Wednesday, July 3, 2013

La meme damn chose

Sorry! I didn't mean to disappear. Took me longer than expected to decide on, and navigate a job change. In the meantime, we have returned President Obama to the White House, managed to break the gridlock in Congress (on immigration reform of all things), and been buffeted and buoyed Supreme Court rulings. More on all of that later.

While plenty has changed since my last posting, we're still stuck in the Eisenhower era when it comes to gender coding of toys.

Deja vu all over again
As French critic-journalist Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr said, the more things change, the more they stay they same. Writing in The New York Times, Elizabeth Sweet reports the comeback of gender stereotyping of toys, ironically, as the presence of women in the workforce soars to more than 70 percent.

How do we get toy marketers to return to the enlightened 1970s, when Sweet says "very few toys were explicitly marketed according to gender." Maybe it's time we told toy marketers to stop dictating what constitutes "appropriate" play behavior for girls and boys.

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