Would anyone like to join in an effort to convince retailers to stop categorizing toys by gender?

(1000 Posts)
OneHandWavingFree Mon 19-Nov-12 00:06:37

Following on from this thread and similar ones, a few of us are interested in discussing ways to send a message to retailers that it is not acceptable to designate 'boys' and 'girls' toy aisles which reinforce the message that science and adventure are "boys stuff", while girls should be primarily occupied with looking 'sexy' or practicing for domestic drudgery.

The first steps might be to draft a letter and identify a few retailers to target for an email campaign. Other ideas of how to get the message across are very welcome too, though.

Would anyone like to join in?

Chat gets a huge amount of traffic, however In The News might also be worthwhile? Or Campaigns?

Feminism will only attract certain posters, many others have it hidden.

ps. Had a thought wrt the name, Equal Play might be more practical from a hashtag point of view? Useful on twitter (obviously) and on sites like Instagram, where we could encourage people to upload photos that are relevant.

Also had an idea wrt some graphics. Definitely liking the Retail/Reality one, also thought of a series of cartoon strips. Thinking 3 panels something like this;
panel 1 - girl looking sadly at a microscope in an aisle headed "boys"
panel 2 - same girl looking at a bath bomb making set in the "girls" aisle
panel 3 - shelf of bath stuff all labelled "Marie Curie Beauty"

The other idea is illustrations of Barbie doing traditionally boys things, and Action Man doing traditionally girls things. Tomorrow I'll look into whether that last one is feasible or whether it'll land us in hot water.

Himalaya Mon 26-Nov-12 07:25:03

I think the graphics/memes need to "remind" people to notice the way that toys are targetted by gender and feel angry about -- which is why I think parallels with education and employment are worth making.

Like if nurser school teachers said "OK Jane is going to sit on the pink table and make biscuits and learn to knit, and Jack is going to sit on the blue table with the Lego and the cars" ..... I think 100% of parents would recognise how inappropriate that is and be angry. The graphics need to get them to have the same feeling.

Equal play is brilliant

SomersetONeil Mon 26-Nov-12 07:33:04

I think Equal Play is really good.

It encapsulates the crux of the issue perfectly - no ambiguity at all.

RikersBeard Mon 26-Nov-12 08:03:23

Hi, have been lurking and just wanted to say brilliant job. DS1 roleplays a huge amount and loves his cleaning/cooking toys and dolls. I am dreading the day someone tells him it's for girls. Likewise I was so sad for my friends DD at a recent pirates/princesses party. She was sobbing as her party bag had hairclips in it and she wanted the pirate sword DS had. It was a 3rd birthday FFS. I am a scientist and grew up with microscopes, chemistry sets, wormeries etc. if I hadn't got into it through play I wouldn't be doing what I am now. I do fear for the next generation of girls.

WomanlyWoman Mon 26-Nov-12 11:17:05

^ THIS sums up why this campaign is needed. That makes me so sad, I just don't understand people who can't see how damaging this is to kids.

Rikers she sounds like my 3yo DD. She was invited to a pirates and princesses party for her friend's birthday and was the only girl there dressed as a pirate. She had a great time but really wasn't impressed with the sparkly fairy wand in the gift bag!

She brought it home and turned it into an aerial on her toy Octopod. grin

GrimmaTheNome Mon 26-Nov-12 11:59:22

Mine is a have-it-all - she was the one who happily went as a pirate princess. Pretty dress accessorised with cutlass etc. Gifts of faux jewellery added to the hoard in her pirate's chest.

AndIfATenTonTruck Mon 26-Nov-12 12:28:47

I have found the fb page and will add pics when on a proper computer (can only add pics to my own gallery from mobile, it seems)...

I have a great one (actually a few) of DS helping in the kitchen. He's just over three and is a pretty reliable carrot-peeler and egg-whisker.

sorry not been around much to do the beta testing etc. one important point though for Himalaya is surveymonkey good at rendering in a usable way on mobile devices? - you want people to be able to tick the boxes as they go round a store rather than have to remember it all in the car park / once they get home.

about staging a pic of barbie and action man on a picket line - be careful using branded toys like that. last thing we want is ththe campaign to be undermined by companies threatening action.

OneHandWavingFree Mon 26-Nov-12 12:56:03

The Facebook page is there and awaiting 'likes' and updates... two questions (for all) before 'launching' it on a new thread:

1. There have been a few late votes for "Equal Play" as the name. Are we sticking with "Let Toys Be Toys" or is there a concensus to reconsider the name?

2. The new thread needs a home! Feminism is (sadly) hidden by some posters and still seems to have a reputation for being intimidating, which might be off-putting to people who would otherwise get involved, Chat is too temporary, AIBU would be inviting a debate that will come naturally enough, but we don't need to go looking for. Campaigns? I don't think it gets a whole lot of traffic but we'd just have to keep the thread bumped and in 'Active'.

I don't want to dither over these details and delay the introduction of the campaign, but I'd love opinions over the next couple of hours before moving things forward.

Himalaya I am on board with your draft plan. I'm sure it will be amended a bit as we go, depending on how things go (and how quickly) but I think it's great to have an action plan / outline to go by.

OneHandWavingFree Mon 26-Nov-12 12:56:51

*consensus (sorry)

I would put it in chat, especially if it's to publicise the page. 90 days is a fairly long time and hopefully by then it will be well-known enough that we can put it in campaigns or even just start a new Chat thread. But I think traffic is key in the early days.

As for the name I don't have a preference, sorry!

Equal play is genius I think.
Chat is good.
Some of the bloggers have lots of readers - would it be worth posting in there, asking if anyone fancies joining/highlighting the campaign?

Himalaya Mon 26-Nov-12 14:54:33

I think in some ways we need the "organising committee" thread here and then other ones to get more people involved in "chat" and "campaigns" (do we need official permission).

I'm worried no one will help with the survey now - can you all sign in either on the thread on FWR or the one on chat, to push it up in active convos - I should have called it "mystery shoppers wanted!"

You could always report it and ask MNHQ to change the name?

GrimmaTheNome Mon 26-Nov-12 15:14:48

Him - I've lost the plot here a bit, could you put links to the threads you want us to boost please.

GrimmaTheNome Mon 26-Nov-12 15:16:54

I like 'Equal Play' too (Fair Play better but if its been used elsewhere better not). I don't do FB at all ...if I want my DD to take a look and 'like' it how does she find it please?<dim dinosaur>

aufaniae Mon 26-Nov-12 15:19:31

IIRC, for campaigns, I think it would need to be an official mumsnet campaign.

nickelbabeuntiladvent Mon 26-Nov-12 15:20:38

OneHand - i would like your original facebook blurb to be on there somewhere.
It doesn't have to be on the "about us" section, maybe a post of the normal timeline?
and we all need to post the page on our own timeline- i've done it on my shop page an don my personal page - just click the little wheel button next to "message" at the top under the picture, then choose "share..." and follow the prompts.

GrimmaTheNome Mon 26-Nov-12 15:21:17

So has anyone raised it with MNHQ yet? I don't know how one does it, maybe OneHand could report this thread?

LadyKinbote Mon 26-Nov-12 15:48:07

I vote for 'Equal Play' with the tagline of 'Let Toys be Toys'

Mm the trouble with chat is its so fast moving, slower stuff just disappears, doesn't it.

nickelbabeuntiladvent Mon 26-Nov-12 16:33:47

your facebook page needs to allow people t post photos - mine's posted in a "posts by others on your page" feed, and I'm sure you can have the facility that it shows straight up on the timeline.
otherwise, you'd have to share it so that the timeline can see it.

culturemulcher Mon 26-Nov-12 16:35:27

Coming late to the party as always but sign me up, I'd like to help.

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