Tag Archives: gender stereotyping

Jo Swinson slams gender stereotyping of toys – and is attacked by Jeremy Browne

If you’ve been buying presents for children these days, you’ll doubtless have noticed that there seems to be a bit o a gender divide in the way toys are marketed. For the girls, you have dollies, little puppies, things you brush the hair of and put in houses. In some stores, these things are housed in garish pink aisles. For the boys, you have anything remotely interesting. Science sets, dinosaurs, space stuff. For role playing, girls get to dress up as nurses or princesses while boys get to do exciting world-saving superhero stuff.

This should be offensive to all liberals, who have a massive respect for the individual. Children should never be told that a particular toy is for them or not dependent on their gender. Jenny Willott, when she was standing in for Equalities Minister Jo Swinson, said that gender stereotyping of toys limited children’s ambitions and even harmed the economy.

Toys are a hugely important part of our children’s learning and development. It is of course for children and their parents to choose the toys they play with, as we were just discussing. They should be able to make those choices freely from a full range of toys. How our children play helps to shape their aspirations for the future, and I want those aspirations to be based on their abilities and interests, not on stereotypes. I value the right of every single child to be treated as a unique individual and to be given the opportunity to explore their own interests and develop their own potential and talents, wherever they may lie. That is important not only for children now playing, but for the future of the economy.

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Jenny Willott: Gender stereotyping of toys harms the economy

I’ve been an auntie for 21 years and a mother for almost 15. In that time, it’s safe to say that a large part of my disposable income has gone on toys. I find nothing more frustrating than going to a toy shop and finding that the wares are segregated into boys’ and girls’ stuff. Often the girls’ stuff is all pink and glittery and sparkly and involves dollies or little dogs or animals to put in houses. Anything remotely interesting that you can build or make rather than look after is over in the boys’ section.

Now, I don’t have …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 6 Comments
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