In a bizarre move, the Australian Greens party wants to ban gender specific toys because they say it could lead to domestic violence, sex stereotyping, pay inequality, male aggression and low self esteem.
I was particularly taken with the view expressed by Lisa Mayoh from the Daily Telegraph. I share it with you here.
So according to Greens Senator Larissa Waters, my young daughters are contributing to pay inequality and domestic violence because they like Barbie. And bright pink. And pretend jewellery (which is usually bright pink).
Isn’t that the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever heard, guys and gals? Oh sorry — can I call you that, or is that sexist?
Little girls like pink. Burly boys go for blue. Incredibly, toy stores cater for that demand by having — shock horror — girl’s aisles and boy’s aisles. And guess what? That’s life.
Are public toilets sexist? Does the fact we have clearly labelled “women’s’’ and “men’s’’ sections often highlighted in pink and blue further perpetuate the gender stereotype?
Oh please, show me one person who likes a unisex bathroom and I’ll show you how playing cops and robbers as a three-year-old will create an army of violent abusers decades down the track.
What you play with — and why — doesn’t mean anything for the future of your young people, no matter what spin the Play Unlimited’s No Gender December campaign and its supporters, like Waters, put on it.
Not every girl wants to wear a tiara and glittery high heels to kindy and not every boy wants a dump truck for his birthday.
I know girly girls who love fast toy cars as much as Barbie’s convertible, and I know little boys who aren’t shy to ask mum to paint their nails before taking Transformers to get muddy in the backyard.
Just recently I brought my daughter’s (male) bestie a Play Doh steamroller with tubs of brown, green and blue play doh for his fifth birthday.
“Ooohhh can Santa bring me that for Christmas?” my eldest asked, running her grubby little fingers all over it.
“Well we can ask Santa if you’re a good girl — but do you want the cupcake version with the pink and purple play doh?” I asked, fearing a poo-brown play doh meltdown on Christmas morning.
“Nope, I like that one. Girls can play with anything boys like, you know mum.”
How cool is that?
Kids don’t think about gender stereotypes, so why should we?
To say, like Waters did this week, that parents should boycott the evil marketing ploys selling trucks to boys and dolls to girls because it could lead to “serious social problems including domestic violence against women and children’’ is too ridiculous to properly dispute.
Can’t our kids play with whatever makes them happy without us scaremongering mums and dads into fearing for their future at every play date? I think it’s kind of cute that kids are almost born with a natural intuition to like what they like. My girls walk on their tip toes and have loved dancing since they could stand without falling over.
They love having tea parties and the way my two year-old pats her “bubba’’ before giving her a bottle and tucking her into bed is the cutest thing you’ll ever see — and the only thing that tells me about her future is that she’s going to be a beautiful, caring friend, and hopefully a lovely mother one day.
Their cousins of the same age may be of the opposite sex but they will absolutely sip a cup of tea and nibble some delicious pretend cake at our tea party — and then they’ll all go outside and play with the boy’s remote control cars and zoom through their super cool race track.
Boys dressing as super heroes will not turn them into aggressive men.
Girls growing up loving Barbie will not give them low self-esteem.
It’s our role as parents and mentors to make sure that common sense prevails and that doesn’t happen — and it’s a sad thing that gender is an issue we are forcing on to our unknowing kids. I love that my daughter wants to dress like Superman one day and Queen Elsa the next, and I love that my girls and all their friends know they can do anything boys can do — because they bloody well can — and having a Barbie or a Ninja Turtle isn’t going to change that.
Dolls are awesome. Trucks are fun. End of story.
Can we all just live happily ever after now?
Source: Lisa Mayoh, Sydney Daily telegraph 3/12/2014