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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGirlCanSkate View Post
    Nope, but it doesn't stop them from putting it all on credit!
    I don't know anyone who has multiple strollers for one child, or even a jogging stroller for that matter. I don't think there's an American Girl shop in my entire state, so no one is running out buying multiple ones on credit or otherwise. That may be the reality in your very narrow niche, but it's hardly true broadly speaking.

    As for Angelskates and Prancer's comments, they are rather obviously true, no? For something to be gender-neutral, you first have to have a concept of what is gender-specific, then designate things outside that realm to be gender-neutral. So gender neutral toys presuppose that toys are generally gendered as a matter of course. The arbitrariness of such classifications was pretty apparent in the link from rjblue. That blogger classified super heroes as gender specific, but toy kitchens as gender neutral. But that only reflects on her internalized gender schemes projected onto toys. It says nothing about the essential nature of the toys themselves.
    Last edited by agalisgv; 12-07-2012 at 06:24 PM.

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    Do toys have essential natures?
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  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by vesperholly View Post
    I wonder if the gender stereotyping is having the opposite reaction — the stereotypes are so pervasive or overpowering that they encourage rejection of them.
    I don't think so, no.

    It's been a while since I read a lot of child psychology, but I have a rather dim memory that most young children go through a strongly sexist phase when young, regardless of what their parents do or don't do regarding sexist stereotyping. This is part of figuring out their identities. First they associate strongly with a parent (which is why a lot of little boys go through what is for many a very worrying stage where they wear their mother's shoes and such; they spend more time with their mothers on average and so identify with mothers more). As they develop a sense of self apart from the parent, they become rather fixated on what it means to be themselves. And as part of that, they grasp onto rather rigid ideas of what is Boy and what is Girl.

    When my son was in this phase, he informed his sister that boys are doctors and girls are nurses. I laughed, I'm afraid, because I am a bad parent, but also because every doctor my son had ever seen in his entire short life to date was female. It amused me that he had, in defiance of all personal experience, come to this conclusion.

    Where did that come from? I don't know. I didn't take my kids to toy stores when they were little (I am not a masochist), he didn't have doctor toys, he didn't watch a lot of TV and what he did watch was all terribly, terribly PC. I'd say it was most likely from other kids, but I don't know. Maybe I should have started an indignant blog blaming....I dunno. Somebody!

    Most of the concern about sexism seems to come from women and mostly about the messages sent to girls--which is natural, given what kind of sexism has dominated our society. Such messages, however, change over time, as does the awareness children have. For example, I see a lot of pro-girl gender messages--girls can do anything, girl power, girl rule, boys drool, etc. Those are gender-based messages as well. Most women think they are great--how wonderful that girls are being given such a positive message! But it seems to me that if you are worried about gender stereotyping, those messages are also a prime example thereof--just a different one. What message do boys get from all this?

    I also wonder what happens to those girls who do just want to grow up and have babies. What kind of messages do we--liberal, educated, empowered feminists that we are--send them? Why is it okay to wring your hands over whether or not Susie Q might get the idea that she can't be a doctor when she grows up because of gender messages she gets, but we should avoid at all costs telling Suzie R that maybe it's okay to not focus her existence on having a career? One way or another, we are directing our children into pre-defined roles.

    Quote Originally Posted by manhn View Post
    I thought little boys shoot stuff. That's what I did. That doesn't happen anymore?
    Not among middle class parents in general, no.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheGirlCanSkate View Post
    I think all this happens because A. people are concerned about the wrong things or B they don't have enough real concerns.
    Wow.
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  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    It's been a while since I read a lot of child psychology, but I have a rather dim memory that most young children go through a strongly sexist phase when young, regardless of what their parents do or don't do regarding sexist stereotyping. This is part of figuring out their identities. First they associate strongly with a parent (which is why a lot of little boys go through what is for many a very worrying stage where they wear their mother's shoes and such; they spend more time with their mothers on average and so identify with mothers more). As they develop a sense of self apart from the parent, they become rather fixated on what it means to be themselves. And as part of that, they grasp onto rather rigid ideas of what is Boy and what is Girl.
    Most of the concern about sexism seems to come from women and mostly about the messages sent to girls--which is natural, given what kind of sexism has dominated our society. Such messages, however, change over time, as does the awareness children have. For example, I see a lot of pro-girl gender messages--girls can do anything, girl power, girl rule, boys drool, etc. Those are gender-based messages as well. Most women think they are great--how wonderful that girls are being given such a positive message! But it seems to me that if you are worried about gender stereotyping, those messages are also a prime example thereof--just a different one.
    Indeed. I remember this discussion about the family that was refusing to tell anyone if their child was a boy or a girl. On the one had, the flag is waved for gender neutrality - don't classify people, we're all equal, we can all do whatever we want regardless of whether or not we have a penis or a uterus. On the other hand, there's the girl power messaging, and while there may not be a parallel for boys, in some ways it's always been there.

    We act all pc and open minded about these things, but the fact is that boys are different from girls, and I don't know when that became a bad thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by agalisgv View Post
    I don't know anyone who has multiple strollers for one child, or even a jogging stroller for that matter. I don't think there's an American Girl shop in my entire state, so no one is running out buying multiple ones on credit or otherwise. That may be the reality in your very narrow niche, but it's hardly true broadly speaking.
    I know several people with multiple strollers for one or two children. I see plenty of jogging strollers when out on the running/walking/biking trails. When our daughter was born 29 years ago, I got a phone call from an American Girl retailer. I see American Girls in several malls. But I agree that there are different pockets/attitudes in different parts of the country.

    I suspect that Toys R Us market the way they do, because it works. I have been in Toys R Us and Babies R Us many times over the last 3 years. I never really noticed the "girls"/"boys" sections. Just the grouping of like items. Mega Blocks, Duplo Blocks, Lego sets, Capsella sets, Science lab together. Infantimo and V-Tech infant toys, Kitchen/dolls/strollers etc. in another. I never specifically looked at all the kitchen stuff as being pink - there are plenty of options/ads showing both girls and boys playing with them.

    Didn't this whole thing start with not being able to find a "blue" easy bake oven? here is a blue one, one that looks like a microwave oven with a slightly pink touch pad,

    This is just to do about nothing in my eyes. There are bigger gender issues to fight than "stereotyping of toys and how they are marketed"

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    Quote Originally Posted by numbers123 View Post
    This is just to do about nothing in my eyes. There are bigger gender issues to fight than "stereotyping of toys and how they are marketed"
    The responses to this topic just reinforce for me how this is something we need to make women more aware of. They are the ones who are buying all the dumbed down (because a lot of them are simplified versions) and pinked and princessed toys. And then they go to the drug store and pay double the money for the same razor (because it's pink or purple and curvy), and the same price for a stick of antiperspirant that has half the volume (but it's pink or jade and curvy). And then they go to their college level job and earn 82% of their male counterparts wages. The money should be pink. And curvy.

    (I realise that the members of this board are a more discriminating bunch as a whole (that's why I love you), and that it is easy to keep your own child away from or aware of the marketing.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cachoo View Post
    I'm not sure what the reaction would be today.
    Judging by my own kids, about the same. My kids went to this granola-type pre-school where the parents were very "enlightened". At some point, someone donated a yellow woman's bathing suit with sequins all over it to the dress-up box. And the boys grabbed the second it showed up and monopolized it. They were using it dress up as super heroes. Which is a "boy" thing, right? But it made all the parents uncomfortable to see boys running around the preschool in a woman's bathing suit with sequins. At least they were self-aware about it and did their best not to let on to their kids that there was anything wrong with what they were doing.

    But it was surprising to us how strong that reaction was among the parents.

    Quote Originally Posted by rjblue View Post
    (I realise that the members of this board are a more discriminating bunch as a whole (that's why I love you), and that it is easy to keep your own child away from or aware of the marketing.)
    I haven't found it that easy. Marketing is everywhere. And people act like marketing only impacts other people but never them. But I know that marketing is very effective which means even if I think it's not impacting me, it probably is. In fact, I think they deliberately design it so you think it's not affecting you in order to make it more effective.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjblue View Post
    The responses to this topic just reinforce for me how this is something we need to make women more aware of. They are the ones who are buying all the dumbed down (because a lot of them are simplified versions) and pinked and princessed toys. And then they go to the drug store and pay double the money for the same razor (because it's pink or purple and curvy), and the same price for a stick of antiperspirant that has half the volume (but it's pink or jade and curvy). And then they go to their college level job and earn 82% of their male counterparts wages. The money should be pink. And curvy.

    (I realise that the members of this board are a more discriminating bunch as a whole (that's why I love you), and that it is easy to keep your own child away from or aware of the marketing.)
    I just got a free "women's" razor from P&G. It is aqua colored. And I got free deodorant. It is in a white container. There was also a "men's" deodorant in the P&G goodie box. My husband is taking that one because I prefer not to smell like Old Spice. Not because it is not "pink and curvy". There is not a lot of pink in the deodorant aisle, actually. Check out this page from target.com. http://www.target.com/c/deodorant-pe...auty/-/N-5xtzp. There is blue, white, yellow...one with some pink on the page but that is reflective of the scent. If there is any color associated with gender going on, it is black and silver for men--far more uniform than the colors products intended for females are made in. Are we going to start a petition to get companies to stop making men's personal care products in those colors? Of course not, because no one gets pissed that men and boys are only offered dark and neutral colors.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacMadame View Post
    Judging by my own kids, about the same. My kids went to this granola-type pre-school where the parents were very "enlightened". At some point, someone donated a yellow woman's bathing suit with sequins all over it to the dress-up box. And the boys grabbed the second it showed up and monopolized it. They were using it dress up as super heroes. Which is a "boy" thing, right? But it made all the parents uncomfortable to see boys running around the preschool in a woman's bathing suit with sequins. At least they were self-aware about it and did their best not to let on to their kids that there was anything wrong with what they were doing.
    That is one really common trait with little boys that has to be quashed by our upbringing. They love lace and velvet and sparkle and feathers just as much, if not more, than little girls do. Males are supposed to be peacocks. Beau Brummel has a lot to answer for.
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  10. #70
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    I would just add a bit more...

    Yes, there are pink razors. But beyond that, pink is not a dominant color in women's personal care products. The only make up line, for example, to ever make compacts, bottles, and other things predominantly in pink was Mary Kay and they have significantly moved away from it in recent years. Dominant colors in the makeup aisle in terms of tools, lids, compacts, tend to be neutrals--blacks, browns, beiges, navies, metallics. Yes, there is pink blush and lipsticks. If you're opposed to that, then you be the trendsetter wearing blue blush and turquoise lipstick. Go for it. Post pictures. Over in the "feminine hygiene" aisle, any shade resembling red seems to be a big no-no. Boxes are not pink but blue, white, purple, black, green...nor are the boxes curvy. The tampons are, but if you want gender neutral tampons or uncurved ones marketed, I really don't know what to tell you.

    The "pink explosion" is not as pervasive for grown women as you are making it out to be. And it really isn't as bad as all that for kids. Here's a page of girls dresses from J.C. Penney. Pink is not the dominant color. In fact, I would hazard to say it seems to be various shades of blue: http://www.jcpenney.com/dotcom/kids/...pywE%20pywllwl

    Here's a page of sweaters: http://www.jcpenney.com/dotcom/jsp/s...uestid=3087088

    Again, the dominant color is not pink. There are a wide variety of choices other than that.

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjblue View Post
    The responses to this topic just reinforce for me how this is something we need to make women more aware of.
    Absolutely, because the world will be upside down until we all agree with you.

    Quote Originally Posted by rjblue View Post
    They are the ones who are buying all the dumbed down (because a lot of them are simplified versions) and pinked and princessed toys. And then they go to the drug store and pay double the money for the same razor (because it's pink or purple and curvy), and the same price for a stick of antiperspirant that has half the volume (but it's pink or jade and curvy). And then they go to their college level job and earn 82% of their male counterparts wages. The money should be pink. And curvy.
    So women who don't see all this the way you do are just dim, unaware victims of marketing who don't know any better and need corporations to do their thinking for them by not marketing things in a way designed to appeal to their dim, unaware selves. Got it.

    I wonder what you would conclude from looking at my razor and my deodorant--and whether you would be correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by rjblue View Post
    (I realise that the members of this board are a more discriminating bunch as a whole (that's why I love you), and that it is easy to keep your own child away from or aware of the marketing.)
    So if I see things as you do, it's because I am "discriminating" and if I don't, it's because I am unaware. Got that, too.
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    I see nothing wrong with gender specific toys. However if your kid wants to play with a Barbie or Legos and you want them to play with the opposite gender toy, that is wrong. Just let your kid play with what they want to play with. I have a friend that swore up and down she would never let her daughters get into barbie or Disney princess. (I have no idea why...does that mean your a doomed to be a stripper or something?) Anyway...guess what her girls love? Disney Princess. And my friend actually tried to stop it. I found that very odd. Let your kid play with what they want to play with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post


    So women who don't see all this the way you do are just dim, unaware victims of marketing who don't know any better and need corporations to do their thinking for them by not marketing things in a way designed to appeal to their dim, unaware selves. Got it.
    You forgot the part where those of us who own anything pink don't deserve equal pay.

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    Disney chapstick, clothing, shoes, toys, bedding, I do not like that direct marketing to young children. Grabbing a blanket and calling it a robe and making a crown out of paper and saying she was a princess didn't bother me. I guess I just put more value on open ended play and creative use of materials.

    I'm pretty strict though - I don't let her wear pants with words on the butt, I'm a Princess tees, nothing rude or sassy, minimal logos (I already bought the shirt, why do I have to advertise for free?). I'm more conservative than many of my friends about clothing choices.

    But I also talk to my kid about my thoughts. If she has a good reason, I'll let her decide. It's the only way they learn to make decisions. Is it better to have an A&F tee or 2 tees elsewhere? Does she want to wear this? http://a248.e.akamai.net/origin-cdn....orkShirt-2.jpg What would her teacher's thoughts be? What about someone who doesn't know her? Is it funny? Is it 'just a shirt'?

    I'm not immune to marketing. But I have more skills in decision making than a three year old who wants a pink and yellow plastic light up wand that has Belle on it AND a blue one that has Cinderella on it AND the pink and purple one that has Aurora on it, when she would have just as much fun with a stick that has a ribbon or two on it.

    The filter between the pink/blue aisles and the child has to be the parent.

    My friend was raised with 5 gifts at Christmas - something to be active with outside, something to play with inside, something educational, something to share (family game), and something from your wish list. I try to use that as a rule of thumb.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjblue View Post
    The responses to this topic just reinforce for me how this is something we need to make women more aware of. They are the ones who are buying all the dumbed down (because a lot of them are simplified versions) and pinked and princessed toys. And then they go to the drug store and pay double the money for the same razor (because it's pink or purple and curvy), and the same price for a stick of antiperspirant that has half the volume (but it's pink or jade and curvy). And then they go to their college level job and earn 82% of their male counterparts wages. The money should be pink. And curvy.

    (I realise that the members of this board are a more discriminating bunch as a whole (that's why I love you), and that it is easy to keep your own child away from or aware of the marketing.)
    Why do women go to the store and buy a razor at all? Isn't that something forced on them by society? Men don't shave their legs but women do? Or is that men should shave their legs too? Everyone should do what they want to, but why do most women want to buy razors pink or not and shave their legs? And is this perhaps also why they earn less than men?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    Absolutely, because the world will be upside down until we all agree with you.
    Yep.

    I'm going to go read my copy of Cinderella Ate My Daughter now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjblue View Post
    Yep.

    I'm going to go read my copy of Cinderella Ate My Daughter now.
    Excellent! And when you get done reinforcing your beliefs, maybe you could, in the interests of equality and non-sexism, try The Demise of Guys: Why Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It, and get some idea of why girls will never, ever want to be like boys when they grow up, nor will they need to worry about that wage gap for much longer, no matter how much pink stuff they buy.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    nor will they need to worry about that wage gap for much longer, no matter how much pink stuff they buy.
    Well, that depends on your definition of longer. I think 2063 is a long way off.

    Last month my daughter saw a woman take a craft kit from her little boy and tell him that he couldn't have it because it was a girl's toy. It's really sad when a little boy can't even get his mother to support his atypical interests.

    Some stores and manufacturers are responding to parent's concerns. Too bad I live a continent away from Harrods, because this looks wonderful.

    I was in a toy store called Benjo, in Quebec City, a week ago, and their store was organised by category, so that no matter where in the store you were, there was a mix of children shopping.
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    I was in Toys R Us yesterday. I was looking for a specific item and asked an employee where I could find it. As part of her directions, she directed me to go past the "girls aisles." I guess what I was buying for my niece wasn't a "girls toy."

    A lot of baby girl clothes are pink or purple. My niece let everyone know her favorite color was green at a fairly early age (15 months). But it's not that easy to find baby/toddler girls clothes in green. (I do buy her boys clothes, but they don't fit her as well because she's scrawny).

    What I found interesting is that my sister has no problem buying "boys clothes" for my niece and even prefers it because she doesn't like the pink, overly cute, and lacey stuff. But, she's much more hesitant about putting my nephew in "girls clothes," though she got over most of that based on the cost of buying more clothes instead of hand-me-downs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueRidge View Post
    Why do women go to the store and buy a razor at all? Isn't that something forced on them by society? Men don't shave their legs but women do? Or is that men should shave their legs too? Everyone should do what they want to, but why do most women want to buy razors pink or not and shave their legs? And is this perhaps also why they earn less than men?
    And now that we are all buying razors for our legs, they are making more and more razors for other parts of our bodies and younger women are telling me that it's "unhygienic" not to shave your labia folds (which they call a hooha or their vagina but your vagina is inside you, not outside, but I digress) and get your butt crack waxed. It doesn't end because the more body parts they can convince us to shave, the more "stuff" they can sell us. It's not even a plot. It's just that companies want to make money and they make more money if we buy more stuff.

    I personally find that razors marketed to women don't do as good a job as ones marketed to guys. They tell us that these women's razors are designed to fit our "curves" but there is nothing with as many angles as a guy's face. Anything that can shave that does great at my arm pits. Not to mention, there often isn't a lot of difference between guys and gals razors. With some brands, the only difference is the color and the guy's razor is cheaper. Because it costs them so much more to make it pastel colors?

    However, in my world, the guys shave their legs. Shaved legs heal easier if you crash your bike and get road rash.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    nor will they need to worry about that wage gap for much longer
    I'd love to believe that but the wage gap seems to have held pretty steady or at least only narrowed slightly since the 70s.

    Quote Originally Posted by Allskate View Post
    (I do buy her boys clothes, but they don't fit her as well because she's scrawny).
    The boys stuff isn't cut right, I've found. I tried to reuse some of my nicer outfits from my son with my daughter but they didn't fit her properly.
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