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.
AS THERE IS NO PROBLEM!
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.
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 🙂
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!