The Gender Battle: Letting Toys be Toys

The Gender Battle: Letting Toys be Toys

Every now and then toys seem to become the hot topic of debate. Boy toys. Girl toys. Gender neutral toys…why is it that it isn’t ok for toys to just be toys?

The Gender Battle: Letting Toys be Toys

I remember when Livia was born the hot debate of the year (besides vaccinations) was letting boys play with dolls, dress-up, make-up…anything that was stereo-typically labeled a girls item. Parents and educators everywhere stood up and rallied, and it was a wonderful thing. It was the first time that I personally witnessed the power of the internet and it’s ability to educate and change minds.

The Gender Battle: Can Boys Play with Dolls?

Recently, the hot debate has been over Lego Friends and other lines of toys aimed at getting girls interested in STEM. Cartoons are popping up everywhere making fun of these attempts as if they are more harmful than good.

As I read post after post bashing concepts such as Goldibloxs or Lego Friends I can’t help but wonder, when did it stop being ok for girls to like things that are stereo-typically labeled girls items? You’re a girl and you enjoy dolls, ponies, and make-up? Oh bless your heart…society must be failing you.

Why does it matter if a girl likes pink or a boy likes blue? Or if a girl likes sports and a boy likes dolls? Why does it seem like we are incapable of accepting a toy as a toy and letting a child play with whichever toy strikes their passion and engages them?

It is not the toy that needs to be gender neutral. I can guarantee you that unless taught by peers, society, or the adults in their lives a child is not going to look at a toy and label it as belonging to one gender or the other.

A toy is a toy and it is about time we dropped this whole mentality of injustice created by play items. The injustice isn’t in the toy…

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Written by Stephanie Oswald

Parenting blogger and early childhood intervention specialist. Mom, wife, coffee addict, nature junkie, book loving, kid at heart!

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