The pink, pastel wonder comes complete with a washer/dryer, oven, baby cradle and stuffed chair. Now there's nothing wrong with children wanting to play house or play with domestic toys. I had a tea set when I was little and I adored princess clothes and baby dolls. But sometimes my "baby" and I would be mother and daughter taking a safari through the backyard. Sometimes I'd be wearing a tiara while climbing trees and splashing in mud puddles.
I don't understand why we haven't advanced beyond this notion that kids today play a certain way based on what's between their legs.
The Rose Petal Cottage is a classic example -- it's just one female stereotype after another. A line from the sing-songie advertisement goes, "I love when my clothes get so clean, taking care of my home is a dream dream dream."
Now Playskool has put out the Sweet Lily Castle -- for $200 your daughter can be a princess complete with frog to kiss (cause every princess needs a prince). Just once I want the princess outfit to come with a throne and palm pilot to plan all your diplomatic meetings and charity events!
Again, I see nothing wrong with selling stuff like this. But when you step back (like way back) to look at the big picture. It starts to get frustrating.
Last night, I was watching TV and a ridiculous commercial came on. Sexy boyfriend and I were laughing hysterically at it, but I immediately noticed the language
It's not just that only boys are featured in the video, from the voice over, it's clear this is a boys-only toy.
"He’s steering the action"
"Everything your little hero needs" -- hero apparently meaning MALE
"His imagination is racing"
Keep in mind this is also a PlaySkool toy, the same folks that make Rose Petal Cottage and Sweet Lily Castle.
When toys mature, it's the same problem. Take a look at this image (I lifted it from Feministing who got it from Elle phd
And while the "boy's" kit promises to boost your brain... the "girl's" kit promise to relax you and let you experiment with different fragrances. The boy's box is also covered with words like "go wild" and "erupt" and "blow your mind,"while the only thing that promises to be exciting about the girl's is the foaming and frothing of bubbles.
When you stop at feministing, check out even MORE examples of sexist packaging for young girls/boys products. And it starts at Playskool and just continues... actually, it probably starts the minute the doctor says, "It's a girl."
As soon as the "Helmet Heroes" commercial was done (and we were finished giggling at the dad "behind bars") I said to Sexy Boyfriend, "Why can't HER imagination be racing?"
He sort of snorted at me, "You WOULD notice that."
Yeah I would. And I'm kinda pissed that he doesn't. I get really sick of people brushing it off as 'no big deal' when we just went through an election that had some of the worst open displays of sexism and misogyny our country has seen in YEARS. Don't tell me that all these antiquated ideas about sex and gender and the so-called limitations thereof (what girls can't do etc) doesn't have REAL ramifications.
Luckily, I saw this video on CNN today about two high school girls who play football on their school team. Yes, they wear heels and like to shop but they are assets to the team and even wish they could tackle. That representation is much more truthful. Girls can still be girls (whatever that means) even while playing football in the mud, experimenting with chemistry and running for President!