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Are you conscious of gender stereotypes when buying toys for your DC?

(46 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

ordinarywalls Thu 23-Nov-17 14:41:19

This has got me thinking, particularly in the run up to Christmas. When you're buying toys etc for your DC... do you just buy what they ask for? (obviously within reason) Do you ever worry that you're encouraging gender stereotypes?

I have always tried to stay away from anything too pink and fluffy but I've been sorting my present piles out and can't help but notice the divide in DD (5) and DS (3) s presents! The whole pink/purple and black/blue/green divide. My DD loves Lego Friends and my DS is obsessed with cars, which probably doesn't help.

ordinarywalls Thu 23-Nov-17 14:41:42

Oops meant to post this in chat! I'll try and get it moved

Anatidae Thu 23-Nov-17 14:48:07

Yes. I think it’s often misinterpreted though. I know someone who refuses to buy her girl a doll. The point surely is that dolls are good toys for girls and boys (as are all toys)

Definitely hate the all pink for girls rubbish - as a kid I just wanted lego.

The idea for me I think is to provide a balance - stuff they like, and not to reinforce gender stereotypes by making girls have toys that are ONLY pink, glittery, and driving them towards caring passive roles, or by making boys have stuff to be ONLY trucks etc.

Same with clothes - for school they should (and do here because they’re outside most of the time) clothes that are equally hard wearing and equally allow them to run, play, climb etc.

astoundedgoat Thu 23-Nov-17 14:53:39

I'm super conscious of it, and I know that I have slightly alienated my MIL with my feelings about all this HOWEVER my dd's actually quite genuinely have zero interest in "stereotypical" girls' toys as they dislike any kind of character toy that SUGGESTS a game, and prefer relatively "blank" toys, such as lego or the old generation of My Little Pony (pre-Friendship is Magic), where you have complete freedom to guide the plot. They hate dolls for some reason. Ponies are fine.

I don't think you need to dismiss "girl" toys completely, just look out for the message - for instance, MLP Friendship is Magic portrays a highly feminist world. So yes, pink and fluffy, but also rooted in intellectual achievement (Twilight Sparkles), female friendship (all of them), female leadership (Princesses Celestia, Luna and Cadence), mutual encouragement and support between women, with a dash of caution about the potential disruptive influence of adult males (Discord) in female friendships.

ifyoucantstandtheheat Thu 23-Nov-17 14:58:20

LMFAO at MLP being feminist.......

I went on the friendship bus with my kids in the summer. Never knew how 'out there' I was being lol.

Joking aside though my daughter hates MLP or anything overtly girly. She rides skate boards, likes animals not dolls but she does like lego friends, they do have some pretty cool sets though like the fair ground.

I think a broad mix and letting the child choose what they like is for the best.

TieGrr Thu 23-Nov-17 14:59:26

When DD was younger, I used to buy her neutral toys as often as I could. But she loves pink and sparkly things and the neutral toys weren't played with as much as the stereotypical girly toys. So now I embrace it and go with what she wants.

CISwomanHere Thu 23-Nov-17 15:00:27

No. I buy them what they'd like and don't try to force my ideas on them.

SleepingStandingUp Thu 23-Nov-17 15:02:30

I have a boy and I find it conflicting. If I buy him the pink dolls house does it show him its perfectly ok to play with the pink dolls house because it requires neither a vulva or penis to operate or am I deliberately trying to make a point. This matters little at 2.5 years old but will matter more as he gets older. How do i balance his freedom of expression with other peoples attitides?
He needs a bag for nursery. Given choices would pink pink paw patrol dog or Spiderman. So do I make a point or minimize any potential bullying?

LBOCS2 Thu 23-Nov-17 15:02:34

Actually, I agree about MLP having an excellent message for young girls. It doesn’t come across in the overpriced pink glittery plastic branded shite they peddle but it does bear watching.

I do think about it. It’s a balance - if I’m buying a toy then I probably won’t buy the pink version, DD1 got ‘regular’ Lego for her birthday - but DD2 loves a baby doll and she’s getting another one for Christmas as i would rather she had something she wanted instead of something I’ve pushed on her.

ifyoucantstandtheheat Thu 23-Nov-17 15:05:01

off to watch MLP then........ who knew.....

It's the kind of programme I've completely avoided exactly because it is too pink and glittery!

PugwallsSummer Thu 23-Nov-17 15:15:55

Not at all. I buy the toys they will enjoy playing with. I don’t give it a minute of thought to be honest.

I grew up in the 80s with a sister who loved WWF & micro machines, while I was all about the Barbie dolls& cabbage patch kids - I don’t really get all the angst about it. Let them play with whatever they like without making an agenda out of it.

HelloSquirrels Thu 23-Nov-17 15:17:57

I just buy whatever i think ds will like regardless of colour tbh.

BackBoiler Thu 23-Nov-17 15:32:25

Surely its about letting the kids play with what THEY want to regardless of the gender stereotypes, this also works the other way - letting girls play with pink stuff and boys cars if they wish!

Nomoresugar Thu 23-Nov-17 15:40:00

Absolutely! I've even bought DD clothes from the boys section for their practicality.

I also don't like I when DD plays with dolls either, and would prefer it if she played with puzzles more.

Flumplet Thu 23-Nov-17 15:40:35

Nope don’t really care in the slightest. I buy him what he likes. When he was 2 he chose a rapunzel doll and this year it’s a WWE wrestling ring.

Thingywhatsit Thu 23-Nov-17 15:45:05

To answer ops question - no. I just buy what I know my dd (3.5)would enjoy or desperately wants. Her favourite colours are blue and purple so try to accommodate that. Her dad doesn't particularly like the "little pink princess" look so we don't tend to do that. To be honest it wouldn't suit her anyways and if she wanted to be a pink princess then I would allow her to and buy accordingly - she is a bit of a tom boy just with long hair she can nearly sit on (and she doesn't want to have cut). For Xmas so far she has a hatchimal, fingerling and a drill set!

Her current most used toys are Lego, marble run and Shopkins. She doesn't really like my little pony - but loves PJ Mask.

LaContessaDiPlump Thu 23-Nov-17 15:48:32

I have boys and deliberately bought them a dolls house grin Ds2 liked it but DS1 didn't! DS2 will usually trail around after DS1 and copy his choices, but will choose sparkly and pink if it's around. Hence, I make sure such things are around wink

RescuedByATurtle Thu 23-Nov-17 15:50:23

Yes, I was very careful when they were younger. But my DD has other ideas. She wants the pink glittery science set, although she does play with the traditional 'boy' coloured one we have. She's not fussed about dolls. MIL absolutely wanted her to have some and said that she wouldn't learn to be a good mother if she didn't have any. Thanks for that! She plays with them once or twice a year, much prefers animals and lego. Same with clothes. She refuses any of DS's hand me downs, unless they have dinosaurs on, always goes for pink and/or glittery if given a choice.

I was surprised by how sensible MLP is as well. And the mini ponies potty trained DD grin

Mittens1969 Thu 23-Nov-17 16:09:40

It’s worse with birthday and Christmas cards. Try finding a card for a girl that doesn’t have a picture of a princess on it! I was trying to buy a birthday card for one of my DD2’s friends; she’s into superheroes rather than princesses and I could not find a card without a picture of a princess. Such gender stereotyping!! hmm

LaContessaDiPlump Thu 23-Nov-17 16:12:23

My DC pick girly girl girl cards for their female friends when they have a birthday. I always hover and ask if they think their friend would like that. They always say yes confused I think that says more about my boys thanm anything else.

SleepingStandingUp Thu 23-Nov-17 16:12:28

Ds loves ponies, might have to find some MLP

LornaMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 23-Nov-17 16:13:28

We're just sending this over to chat at the OP's request.


SleepingStandingUp Thu 23-Nov-17 16:14:03

Go to the cheaper card shops, we brought all gender neutral cards with their age on - just animals

Kr1st1na Thu 23-Nov-17 16:24:25

Yes I am very conscious of this.

My children have the rest of the world telling them they can’t do / like this or that because of their genitals. So I think that a little bit of the opposite view from me is a good thing .

PugwallsSummer Thu 23-Nov-17 16:24:32

Agree with Backboiler completely.

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