'Let Toys Be Toys' Organising Thread - Part 2

(455 Posts)
OneHandWavingFree Sun 02-Dec-12 12:43:19

"Let Toys Be Toys - For Girls, and Boys" is a campaign started by a group of Mumsnetters, to convince retailers to categorise their toys by theme or function, rather than gender.

We're inviting everyone to 'like' us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter (@LetToysBeToys) and join us right here for discussion and collaborative decision-making about the next steps of our campaign.

Himalaya has been hard at work compiling the information gathered by our fantastic LTBT Mystery Shoppers, and we will be agreeing right here how the surveys will be ranked, which retailers we will be targetting with our message, and how we will go about it.

If you think that girls and boys should feel free to play with whatever toys that interest them most, and that they shouldn't walk into a toy store and feel pressurised to conform into archaic gender roles and stifling stereotypes, please join in the discussion!

aufaniae Thu 06-Dec-12 20:27:19

IIRC an OTBT thread becomes searchable if someone links to it.

It's not a private place. It's much less public than a normal thread, but anyone posting there about anything should be aware it's not actually private.

LadyKinbote Thu 06-Dec-12 21:47:44

So. How private do we want to be? Is there anyone who wants to discuss the detail but doesn't have FB / want to out their RL name?

TheJoyfulChristmasJumper Thu 06-Dec-12 22:24:30

Sorry I haven't been on much this evening, DS decided to spend the evening screaming instead of sleeping. hmm I'm happy to discuss things via Facebook or email - ashes knows my email address, and she, 5madthings and Casey know my RL name.

ashesgirl Thu 06-Dec-12 23:21:50

Would it be worth pulling a research team together now? Given that media stuff is being handled.

Thinking be great to have more research/ analysis done on stores.

But also background research on kids' development, stereotypes, lack of women in science etc. then media team could draw on all this

LadyKinbote Fri 07-Dec-12 00:00:47

Good idea, I'd love to be part of that.

Himalaya Fri 07-Dec-12 00:26:03

OK, I have finally got the data that we have into some shape (sorry for the delay!)

I don't think it is too bad actually. If we keep it simple I think we can divide the stores up into 3 categories good/mixed/poor and it is fairly consistent.

What helps is keeping the '11 iconic toys' out of the ranking (but using it sepperately to say what we found) - it was quite variable which stores had what combination of toys and that was making the rating very variable. if you just stick to 1) do they have signs 2) how many other signals do they use 3) is gender a main organising category on their website you do come out with a consistent list.

If you want to come and kick the statistical tires the file is on the FB admin bit - send a message to the FB page be added there, or PM if you want it sent to you.

It is as Grimma describes basically [pombear] and thanks and I think is defensible.

The only thing is if we want it to go in the (one of the papers this Sunday) we need to sign it off tomorrow!
...

5madthings Fri 07-Dec-12 00:26:16

Sign me in. I studied sociology at uni and enjoy reading up on social influence, development etc.

I cam.use fb or email.

OneHandWavingFree Fri 07-Dec-12 01:11:22

Just checking in for a sec to say that I'm away from home for the next few weeks and only have intermittent internet access. So I'll be checking in to read as much as I can, and will post as well when I have time (and have something of use to say!).

Not that I think you've all been wondering wink , but I didn't want anyone to think I've lost interest. Sooooo happy to see how much everyone's doing with this thanks thanks thanks. You guys are amazing.

Himalaya I think the three categories idea sounds good. And in the case of stores with 'mixed' results, it will be useful to demonstrate that things can be done differently/better by showing how different branches of the same store chain are doing it, as well as how some stores have some aisles that are sorted by function (like the TK Maxx that had a 'puzzles and games' shelf with Spiderman and pink craft sets side by side), and other aisles that are labelled for one gender or the other (it was the same store that had the globe on a "Boys" shelf, and "Girls" shelves full of makeup).

LadyKinbote Fri 07-Dec-12 01:20:56

I agree to keep it simple. To do this 'properly' we'd have to survey every store in the UK & Ireland so we may as well be honest about the data we have and make some simple recommendations based on it.

TheJoyfulChristmasJumper Fri 07-Dec-12 08:48:56

I agree, the 3 categories idea is a good one, especially as Himalaya says that that's what the surveys are consistently showing. Shall I report this and ask MNHQ for advice on any libel issues, before we sign it over to the Indy?

Himalaya Fri 07-Dec-12 08:56:45

I wouldn't ask MNHQ for libel advice - it puts them on the spot. There was someone here who said they were good at this stuff?. I think it is ok, as long as we say "these are our campaign targets and this how we are rating them" (which is true) and "this is what we saw in the shops we visited" (also true) and don't go beyond that.

aufaniae Fri 07-Dec-12 12:56:36

A request - we are getting asked to explain why the campaign is important - by people critical of us on Facebook ("this isn't important", that kind of thing) and also by people genuinely interested and/or keen to give us a platform.

I'm compiling a list of reasons it's important, and I'd like your help - why do you think the campaign is important?

Any kind of reasons are good - from the personal, to examples of scientific studies which back us up.

All help much appreciated!

aufaniae Fri 07-Dec-12 12:58:43

Another request - as the interest in the campaign is growing, a website would be a good thing to have. Myself and murderofgoths should be able to rustle up a pretty decent site between us.

Can I ask, what would you like to see on it?

(We will probably do a very basic one for now, then something more comprehensive longer term).

5madthings Fri 07-Dec-12 13:12:23

Why is it important? Because it impacts our children griwing up. This generation i think.is more subjected to the power of social media, advertiding than ever befire. Like it or not it does impact on our children, esp as they get older.

Curtently the toy market is reinforcing awful steretypes. Outdated syeteotypes that women have fought against.

And for me personally i am witnessing first hand my ds3 a big fan of pink, purple, fairies etc as he gets older (8 on 23rd dec) the marketing and peer pressure is having more of an impact on him and he has spoken to me about how he shouldnt like these things as he is a boy etc. He has bern looking at stuff in the 'girls' sections of toy shop and has had shop assistants say 'the boy bit over that way' or worse 'you wont/shouldnt like those these are for boys'

We have said its ok to like stuff, gender diesnt matter and he accepts that but i can see he still doubts himself and thinks maybe he is wrong or odd to like these things, its crap sad

As an aside for his bday treat he has chisen to go see the new tinkerbell film with two friends smile he wants to wear his purple fairy dress to the cinema. Its the videya? Fairy the purple one from the disney films. his two friends (both girls) will be up for wearing fairy costumes. I think it should be fine but am aware as he gets older people will view this as 'odd' three yr old boy in fairy outfit...cute.

Eight yr old boy in fairy outfit
..odd...gay...etc sad

I am tempted to do a thread aibu to let my 7/8yr old go to the cinema in a fairy dress....i can guess the answers already! sad

5madthings Fri 07-Dec-12 13:17:05

aufeie i have already bern asked about a website.

I think would be good to put links to pages/sited such as towardthestars and there is a similar campaign in usa something to do with pigtails? Its called. Gain.a link.

Online surveys fir people to fill.in?

A statement if aims/our brief. Few pics.

Wpuld be put a questions bit? ie freqyently asked questions?

How to help the campaign. Link to the petition?

I am not that tech savvy but happy to help. Also thanks for adding me to fb admin bit was out at toddlers this am so still catching up and trying to catch up on housework now we are over the norovirus... Plus bday party for dd tomorrow.

TheJoyfulChristmasJumper Fri 07-Dec-12 13:51:08

I think 5madthings has made a good point, this campaign is important because children's self-esteem and self-confidence can be affected by being told that what they want to do/wear/play is 'wrong'. Even if it's subtle, like pink packaging on dolls, it sends the message to a boy that he shouldn't want to play with it, that there is something wrong with him for wanting to do so.

I also think it's important because it is increasingly common for both patents to have to work. If we tell little boys that it is 'wrong' for them to want to play with dolls, kitchens, etc then it makes it much harder to teach them to be nurturing, self-sufficient adults. Boys with dolls are seen as wrong - but why can't boys pretend to be Daddy in the same way that girls pretend to be Mummy?

Btw 5madthings your DS sounds awesome. grin

ParsingFancy Fri 07-Dec-12 14:00:24

<piles on>

Q: Why is it important?

A: Because we can't afford to waste the country's talent, be it in fashion design or designing bridges, just because someone is the "wrong" gender.

Discouraging children from exploring their natural talents is just daft. It's detrimental on the national level and it's detrimental on the personal level.

OneHandWavingFree Fri 07-Dec-12 14:20:55

It's important for the same reason that challenging stereotypes and assumptions about gender, race, etc. is important in any other sphere.

Use the example that it wouldn't be appropriate for an employer to advertise a job for an astrophysicist under a heading "jobs for men", so why should we accept that all of the rocketships and space toys live on a shelf under a "toys for boys" sign?

As others have said, play is the "work" of childhood, and we should be demanding at least the same standard of equality for our children as we would demand for ourselves as adults.

AndIfATenTonTruck Fri 07-Dec-12 14:34:11

Hello, I'm still here, still willing to be part of the admin group. Ashesgirl has my email address which is the same as my name on fb. My skills... Well, I work in central government so I know how to write things in "policy language" if it comes to that. I know how to draft letters to MPs, government depts etc which might actually get answered. I could probably write a good FOI, if it comes to it (lord knows I've answered enough of them...!)

msrisotto Fri 07-Dec-12 14:39:44

This has to be the right place for this link

ParsingFancy Fri 07-Dec-12 14:44:18

Does it make sense to talk in terms of "shops creating stereotypes" rather the "needing to challenge stereotypes?" Onus on the shops to stop deviating from the ungendered norm?

Some of this marketing shit seems so much worse than in my childhood.

<multi-coloured 70s child>

I like that Parsing. Something like, because its not up to shops to tell our children what they can and can not do.

5madthings Fri 07-Dec-12 17:11:55

jumpmag.co.uk/why-do-we-need-jump-mag/

look at this, words fail me sad

Newsworthy Fri 07-Dec-12 17:24:45

Andifatentontruck - i think you have to make yourself known on FB by sending a message to the page?

Newsworthy Fri 07-Dec-12 17:25:44

Where is MmeLindor??

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