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January 11, 2012
Easy, isn’t it?
Peggy Orenstein, author of “Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches From the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture,” reports in The New York Times that Hamleys, "London’s 251-year-old version of F.A.O. Schwarz, recently dismantled its pink “girls” and blue “boys” sections in favor of a gender-neutral store with red-and-white signage."
The latest cute-kid video, as she points out, to go viral on YouTube is “Riley on Marketing,” which shows a little girl in front of a wall of pink packaging, asking, “Why do all the girls have to buy pink stuff and all the boys have to buy different-color stuff?”
In the 70s, feminist educational researchers first studied the implications of the tendency for girls to play with dolls, and for boys to play with cars.
We found out girls developed their communication skills while boys' toys encouraged them to grow up with better technical knowledge.
Nice and cozy.
Then in the 80s, girls performed well in all those so-called boys' pursuits like science and math.
Those facts didn't reach the toy market since they're still stereotyping.
Today, even worse than ever.
Pink for girls has become a national obsession.
Mixed into all this is a 2005 study, looking at the play of young primates, by psychologist Professor Melissa Hines of Cambridge University, who found that when offered a variety of toys, female monkeys tended to gravitate towards dolls and soft toys, while males chose toy cars.
Now that we know what to get monkeys, what are we to do?
Are toys engendering stereotypes?
Or is it finally time to "man" up and realize there are far less differences than we thought.