Home ยป Forced Into Gender Stereotyping!

Forced Into Gender Stereotyping!

Forced Into Gender Stereotyping!

Something I’ve noticed over the last year especially, is how societies agenda towards gender stereotypes is still SO present.

We’re raising Corben to see people for exactly what they are, people. I want him to interact with people, not men or women just people. I like to think even after 31 years of living in a very stereotypical world, I have retrained my mind to see only people rather a person of either sex.

I don’t mean I’m disregarding the obvious differences between male and female genetics, but more dismissing genders in terms of how you interact and treat people. For me, I couldn’t care less if you’re a man or woman, I will speak to you and treat you with respect as I would expect in return. Something I hope rubs off on Corben.

I think toys and general play are a huge part of this during a child’s early development. I was really proud when a couple of years ago Corben decided he wanted to dress as a princess when he spotted this sparkly tiara and matching wand! We were out at a shopping village and he proudly walked around with these items acting out scenes from some show he’d watched. Obviously as a parent in 2015 I think it was, I saw and still see ZERO problem with this.


Later that day he was Hulk, smashing half the house up. There was a period when he had some of his older sister’s dolls and accessories too. He named them and cared for them for ages! Kids only see props and games and role play. It’s brainwashed adults that find issues with this type of ‘behaviour’. We aren’t born thinking Blue is only for boys and crying is for girls, it’s bred into us via parenting, media and society.

gender stereotypes

I thought we’d cracked it until this last 6-12 months and something has changed.

Whenever we go to walk down the ‘girls isle’ in the toy shop Corben starts saying ‘Urgh, they’re girls toys’. I’m disappointed this view has slipped through from somewhere and hope that our influence over time will overcome this ridiculous statement.

He’s said similar things a couple of times now and we’ve quizzed where he’s heard this but haven’t had a definitive answer as yet. Although all you have to do is look around and it’s obvious isn’t it? In toy shops it’s rife with stereotyped marketing. Entire isles steeped in pink and packaging with girls playing ‘girls’ things. Isles flooded with blue and photo’s of only boys playing with superheroes, most of which are MEN! Is there any wonder he’s picked this attitude up despite our efforts?

What chance do we open minded, modern thinking parents have?

Obviously we’re continuing to present our vision of a gender stereotypical-less future and Hallmark along with DC are helping with that.

Hallmark have kindly sent us their selection of DC Super Hero Girl itty bittys to help in our mission to portray girls are also super, it’s not only boys that can have epic super powers. Corben loves them, possibly not as much as I do though, they’re so cool to drop into my office photo’s ๐Ÿ™‚

gender stereotypes

Corben’s collection of toys is certainly expanding into a more typical genderless direction but there’s still work to be done. It doesn’t help Corben is naturally a very stereotypical ‘boy’, but that’s OK. He loves zombies, prank/joke sets and superheroes and villains. At least now he can continue his love with the super world knowing it’s for girls too!

Moving forward I’d like to see more products that are generally ‘girl’ related being marketed towards both genders of children. If all doll packaging for example is pink and has girls playing with the product, its only natural for little boys to assume it’s for girls to play with not boys. Let’s see some neutral marketing and more products for little boys to play Daddies!

Well, here’s hoping that there is a future where children can feel comfortable playing with what they want and not even think about gender stereotypes.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this, let me know in the comments below and/or online @dadvworld

Also check out the Hallmark DC Super Hero Girls itty bittys!







  1. umbegonia
    12th October 2017 / 1:12 pm

    Great article – thanks for sharing your experience. My son also went through a phase of being unsure if he was allowed to like ‘girl things’ – which came out as always wanting to know if there was a boy main character in stories or films. After talking through why he was bothered, and reassurance it was OK for him to take an interest in female characters, he got over it pretty quickly. Unfortunately a lot of parents take this stuff at face value instead of questioning it, and it quickly becomes, ‘Oh, he won’t read that, it’s about a girl…’ What a message for a boy to learn! You must not relate to women as equals. You must not take an interest in girls’ experiences…

    • DadvWorld
      12th October 2017 / 5:23 pm

      Thank you! Appreciate your kind words. Yes, I’m sure our parenting will prevail and this phase will be short lived. Too many parents do take the easy way out and just use phrases like you mentioned, ‘He won’t read that’ etc. If large companies and industries did their bit and all parents had a more open minded attitude there’s a chance we could change the world one child at a time! Thanks for reading and commenting ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. 12th October 2017 / 4:36 pm

    But if he comes out with genderization crap, you have to reiterate that there’s no such thing as girls’ or boys’ toys.
    If you say nothing or just despair that that’s what’s happening, you’re doing him a disservice.
    If you say “there are no girls’ toys and boys’ toys, anyone can play with anything”, that will boost him to repeat that to his friends, who will then pass it on.

    • DadvWorld
      12th October 2017 / 5:24 pm

      Yes definitely, agree with that. If more parents were open minded and did reiterate these kind of points for children to spread the message, we could change the world one child at a time. Agree with your point 100% – Thanks for reading and commenting ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. 25th January 2018 / 9:11 am

    I usually hate these gender stereotyping blogs because they usually end up bashing parents for the choices they make, however I completely agree with your point of view. I have a boy and a girl, they play with each others toys, one minute my little girl is driving cars with her brother the next they are feeding their dollies with bottles. I really dont have an issue with either, my little girl isnt really into dressing up clothes yet, so I am sure there will come a time when her brother wants to put on the sparkly princess dress in stead of the bat man suit, my little girl does however love the batman suit, and they’ve both been dressed as pirates at one time or another.

    I think you’re right if the pictures on the box or advert weren’t directed to one sex or the other then it would be more open for these kids to decide what they want to play with without any thought to if its for a boy or a girl.

    • DadvWorld
      25th January 2018 / 9:43 am

      Hi, how are you? Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. That’s great that your children are open and free to play with whatever and however they want, that’s how I believe it should be. Hopefully we will see a change sooner rather than later in the way toys are marketed towards children and parents. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. 25th January 2018 / 1:32 pm

    Also how about typical ‘boys’ toys – tool sets, etc being marketed for girls. My daughter used to love playing at ‘fixing’ stuff around the house. Gender stereotyping works both ways unfortunately.

    • DadvWorld
      25th January 2018 / 2:22 pm

      Yes 100% ! It is definitely both ways and Iโ€™m all for complete equality. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

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