Let Toys Be Toys campaign - what should we do next?!

(26 Posts)
aufaniae Thu 03-Jan-13 11:40:03

This is your chance to get involved!

The beginning of the Let Toys Be Toys campaign (born right here on mumsnet!) was a run away success in the run up to Christmas.

We are already planning our Let Toys Be Toys campaign ideas for the coming year.

What would YOU like to see us doing next? What annoys you the most? We'd love to hear your ideas.

PenguinBear Fri 04-Jan-13 10:27:49

This is probably a minor niggle not worthy of this thread but it annoys me that most doll prams/strollers that I like enough to buy come in pink/purple. I've settled for purple but would love more choices in other colours!

That annoys me too Penguin! I know that some people say that pink is just another colour (and personally I don't mind it) but the whole 'pink is for girls' thing is so utterly ingrained now. sad

For me I would like to see acknowledgement from toy manufacturers and sellers that girls can do science too - science kits are almost always in the boys section, and have photos of boys on. Small wonder that ee have a shortage of female scientists in this country when they're put off science practically from birth!

5madthings Fri 04-Jan-13 14:28:40

Yes I settled for purple. I did find a nice silver cross one in red I liked but couldnt justify the extra expense just for the colour.

I need to get on Feb and read what's going on in the ltbt admin page, been manic this holidays!

5madthings Fri 04-Jan-13 14:30:51

Oh I think we need to target the worst offenders, m&s and I am surprised they haven't responded to tweets etc tbh.

Also the entertainer, we front have one in Norwich but I saw one in Lincoln over the holidays and was horrified at the gender stereryping in store, never seen anything like iut!

PenguinBear Fri 04-Jan-13 15:52:23

Agree about the Entertainer, IIRC even the flooring was different in girls/boys sections hmm.

5madthings Fri 04-Jan-13 15:58:58

That should be we don't have one in Norwich, not we front..

And yes I think the floor wasink/blue massive sign casting 'boys construction toys' seriously I was shock having never seen an entertainer store before, needless to say they didn't get my custom and they never will whilst they continue with such gender discrimination.

aufaniae Mon 07-Jan-13 10:14:31

PenguinBear that's not trivial at all IMO! Many people would be put off buying one for a boy as even the manufacturers think they're clearly expected to be for girls. In this way many boys are being denied the chance to learn to be nurturing, and the "girls are nurturing / boys like action toys" stereotypes become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

However we all know that many boys enjoy and get a lot out of playing with buggies and dolls.
I was very impressed with DS's childminder's use of dollies and buggies. She had her charges (all boys under 2 at the time) playing with buggies and dolls (which they referred to as "babies"). It was part of a very deliberate plan: many of the little one had siblings on the way, and she used the dollies to encourage them to practice being caring and gentle with babies. And I'm convinced it worked! DS loved his "baby". We have a picture of him at his CMs on the fridge; a couple of years later he still remembers the dolly in the background was his "baby"! He's really gentle with babies in RL, and although I have no idea if that's his natural character or something encouraged by his CM, the work she was doing with them can only be a good thing IMO.

The boys at the CMs loved the buggies too. It was another very cunning idea of the CM's: as well as the DCs simply enjoying playing with the buggies, she found the DCs were easier to chase after in the park as not so fast when pushing a buggy!

Have you seen the Pink Stinks campaign btw?

MmeLindor Mon 07-Jan-13 11:05:40

Just marking my place. Am so impressed with what you have achieved already.

PurpleStorm Mon 07-Jan-13 13:33:39

Not sure where my sister found this, but she got my nephew (22 mths) a grey doll's pushchair for Christmas, along with a baby doll.

DSis is expecting DC2, and she said that she'd bought these to try and get DN prepared for being a big brother.

ZeroToleranceLiz Mon 07-Jan-13 15:03:05

Hi there and happy new year from Scotland!

Loved the campaign in the run up to Christmas this year, really good timing for getting the message out.

Just to say I think international women's day is a really good idea as a date to pick for getting media coverage and boosting the campaign. At Zero Tolerance we were planning on highlighting gender inequality in early years as part of our international women's day work, and it would be great to team up and support you any way we can north of the border! The idea of relating toys to gender inequality in the workplace, and gender inequality more generally is a really good one - and perhaps a bit clearer a message than the changing attitudes idea?

Would particularly be interested to meet/have contact with people interested in this issue who are based in Scotland. You can contact me on here or my email address is liz(dot)ely(at)zerotolerance(dot)org(dot)uk

(didn't want to write it down with the ...s to avoid spam but you get what I mean)

Himalaya Mon 07-Jan-13 18:52:27

I think we should now concentrate a big push on getting the petition signed - get 10,000 signatures and then make a big song and dance of presenting it to the worst offenders and push the companies to respond.

If you haven't signed it yet get to it!, get your friends and family to sign.

We need to get it viral...

aufaniae Mon 07-Jan-13 19:10:05

Happy Hogmanay ZeroToleranceLiz smile

I just got back from visiting the ILs in Scotland yesterday!

Thanks for getting in touch smile We're a pretty new group, AFAIK, there's no one from north of the border in the campaign team (yet!) but there may well amongst this wider mumsnet campaign thread or on the Facebook page.

ZeroToleranceLiz Tue 08-Jan-13 11:00:49

thanks for getting back! hope you got your first foot in up here(or whatever it is meant to be called - confession, am an English ex-pat...)

Will have a look around at see what we can do up here and keep you posted [simle]

As an 80s child, I remember reading a childrens' book about the suffragettes and it helped me to realise that the world was unfair, and people can change it - children's toys definitely matter!

WomanlyWoman Tue 08-Jan-13 14:52:12

Hi Liz, I think this - "planning on highlighting gender inequality in early years as part of our international women's day work" is an excellent idea. We are still planning our campaign, but something around that definitely sounds good to me. Shelves full of science toys with huge 'Boys' signs above them for example, it's just common sense that this this is going to affect girl's ideas about themselves.

TennisFan42 Sun 20-Jan-13 12:03:03

How about having some positive attention for the shops/manufacturers that are getting it right? Might give the others a kick up the bum if they feel the competition is getting all the attention!

SomethingOnce Wed 23-Jan-13 00:17:36

I started an AIBU about Galt's awful marketing emails a few months back - if you want me to forward, do drop me a PM with an email address.

Great campaign. Keep up the good work!

timetosmile Wed 23-Jan-13 20:12:41

What about the risible way women/girls are portrayed in gaming?

Even on Sonic and AllStar racers for Xbox my level of play there's a curvey laydee in a little skirt.

And don't get me started on the unfeasibly leggy half-dressed daughters-of-Lara Croft in the war/adventure games.

This is where the majority of our preteen boys (and their sisters) spend every spare minute.

LurcioLovesFrankie Wed 23-Jan-13 20:27:02

Timetosmile - admittedly this was about sci fi rather than gaming, but did you see this: www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21033708? I was really encouraged to see the BBC website carry an article like this. (It reminds me of the "man-ups" someone posted a link to here a while back).

ZeroToleranceLiz Wed 30-Jan-13 11:03:51

www.vawpreventionscotland.org.uk/node/2887 We're having a meetup in Scotland on the 19th of February to discuss what we can do up here if anyone is local and interested smile

NicholasTeakozy Wed 30-Jan-13 16:17:09

It isn't just toys, it's cards as well. Trying to find a card for my one year old granddaughter was, erm, interesting. Every single gender specific card was pink for girls and blue for boys. In the end I chose a Thomas The Tank Engine card, and apparently it went down well.

WomanlyWoman Tue 05-Feb-13 09:30:10

Agree, cards are horrendous. Liz, make sure to let us know how the meeting goes and can you tell people they can post any pics/links/info of good or bad examples to our fb page. If anyone wants to share pics and wants to remain anonymous we can share them for you, the LTBT email is lettoysbetoys@gmail.com Something yes, great, do forward the Galt stuff. Re positive stuff, anyone seen the Early Learning centre website lately? "so your child can feel like a proper Mummy or Daddy" * rubs eyes in amazement * We are going to do some more on them.

Slightly off toys, but was looking for a magazine in Sainsburys, and although not labeled as such there was a big gender divide, and the few gender neutral magazines had obviously been sorted through and assigned a gender, so nature ones had to be searched for between Thomas the Tank and Ben 10.

PromQueenWithin Tue 05-Feb-13 11:42:33

What about research and / or links with interested academics? For example, Prof Agnes Nairn specialises in the harm that marketing practices can do to children, perhaps there's some value in trying to develop something with her?

BubblesOfBliss Tue 05-Feb-13 11:42:49

Hi - I wasn't actually part of the original thread - but I love what you've done. What I would like to see is a coalition of the groups - pink stinks - and so on setting up some sort of commission to politically strategise around the issue. Perhaps some sort of conference (I know this is expensive in time/money) where all the different relevant groups are brought together....

PromQueenWithin Tue 05-Feb-13 12:18:56

I like the idea of a conference Bubbles, I think it could be really great actually. Perhaps combining talks from people with expertise in relevant areas with workshops to strategise and make plans.

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