Thursday, October 27, 2011

Free Gendered Toys-Such as small little gripe-huh?

Recently read a post on Huffington about McDonald’s kid’s meal question, “boy or girl?” when you order through drive thru. Ok…for now let’s not get into why we are at such a less than savory establishment with our precious little one’s health in the balance…I want to join with the blogger from HP that sometimes I also get more than a bit irritated.

I am reminded so many times a day all the ways gender stereotyping is thrust toward our small children.  And I don't hear a lot of folks questioning it.  When I mention how hoppin mad I get at that damn McD's (or many other food chains-doctor's office stickers....on and on) question "girl or boy?" people often look at me like I’m neurotic. Well maybe I am, but not about this. By the age of about two, my little boy (who is nurtured in a feminist household) said,  "I can’t like pink Mommy bc I’m a boy".

Countless other such little darts have been shot me now that he is four. I don't always know how to respond.  It has always been this way, true. One need only look at old movies, adverts etc to know this...but today with hyper marketing of EVERYTHING, marketers are still promoting strict gender norms even in what we are told is a more enlightened age, with terms like LGBT and LGBTQ normative language.   Yet my son at the tender age of four questions if it’s OK to like the more pleasant looking, less monstrous toys that are pushed on boys everywhere you go.

I find among the folks I encounter (now across many states) that boys are expected to like the gruesome, the cruel and the "tough" hype. If they don’t, believe me - they get sideways glances (well at least I as his Mom get them). No wonder in short time boys lose their voice. As a feminist I focused alot of my life on the crap that is pushed on girls- and it is a worthy and vital target for change-HUGE. But I now am looking much more seriously and with sadness as I see all this louder, bigger, tougher, more mean ( toys, movies, shows etc.)  "boy's stuff" and how it is dominating little minds.

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