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To get so cross about sexist children's adverts

(29 Posts)
sillyrama Fri 18-Nov-16 12:50:42

Just watching kids TVs with DS2 and the adverts are so infuriating. There was an advert for a sparkle science (pink of course) for girls followed by a circuit set for boys (blue of course). It's just so limiting to pigeonhole our children into narrow gender ideas when gender is a social construct in the first place.

Rant over, just needed to get that out my system

biscuitbadger Fri 18-Nov-16 13:28:23

Yanbu (though that's not the only issue I have with adverts aimed at kids). Have you come across they Let Toys Be Toys campaign?

We don't watch any tv with adverts, just stick to stuff on iPlayer/Netflix.

NavyandWhite Fri 18-Nov-16 14:12:16

Most girls like pink though and if they don't buy them the blue toy.

TBH when mine (boys) were growing up I just bought them the toys they wanted -
Baby doll
Vacuum cleaner

The angst over kids toys is baffling.

ErrolTheDragon Fri 18-Nov-16 14:25:20

Its the overt pairings like 'sparkle science' (wtf?) and the circuit set especially if (as the OP implies) the former was being played with by a girls and the latter by a boy. It sends the message to kids (and some parents and grandparents who also think on gendered lines) that sparkly shit is for girls and electronics is for boys. Sure, I'd have got the one DD would have wanted (the circuits) and navy presumably you'd have got the pink whatever-it-was for your DS if that was his preference. But adults don't always know what kids want and so its all too easy for them to just buy the 'girl' or 'boy' option. Boys do get bought more techy toys, and I can't imagine anyone believing that isn't one of the contributing factors to the massive gender imbalance in engineering graduates.

ErrolTheDragon Fri 18-Nov-16 14:34:12

Oh and 'Most girls like pink though and if they don't buy them the blue toy. ' is ok if the items are identical other than their colour, but all too often they're not and nearly always its the 'girl' one which is functionally inferior.

averylongtimeago Fri 18-Nov-16 14:46:32

Lego, for example, have lots of great sets including space ships, cars, trucks, electric motors, dragons, helicopters all with predominantly blue boxes and as far as I can see, all male Lego figures. The main child shown playing with them on the box is a boy too, although sometimes there might be a girl sown hovering in the back ground. If you go to a toy shop you will go d these sets in the "boys" section.

To redress the balance, Lego have introduced "Lego friends" for girls. Nice pink sparkly boxes with girls on, female Lego figures only. There is a coffee shop, a pop star dressing room, a house, a vets with cute animals and a fun fair. There is also a range with sparkly fairies. No electric motors, not much in the way of adventure but lots of "cute" and shopping.

So boys get to be space men, engineers and have adventures. Girls get

Nanny0gg Fri 18-Nov-16 14:48:46

ELC on their website, are selling toy vacuums etc.

I don't see why they have to be shown with a little girl dressed as a 1950s housewife with her hair in curlers!

StubbleTurnips Fri 18-Nov-16 14:50:35

YANBU this shit incenses me, especially if you get stupid shop assistants enforcing stereotypes as one did to DD this week and was told Paw Patrol is a boys toy. She very succinctly said 'well it's my favourite isn't it mummy'.

QuoteMeYouFuckers Fri 18-Nov-16 14:51:04

I don't get het up or irritated by many things but this really, really annoys me. There simply is no choice for either boy or girl unless you get it from the 'wrong' section, which is fine if your children don't notice or mind but I'd not so good when they believe the ads and think that certain things are only for boys and that girls can only play with other things.
It pigeonholes them into stereotypical girls' and boys' roles and essentially gives them the message, really early in their lives when their ideas about themselves are only just forming, that boys are adventurous, outgoing, macho types and that girls stay home and play with dolls, kitchens and do household tasks such as hoovering and laundry.
It also bugs me that anything scientific has to be 'pinked up' and dumbed down in order for it to be suitable for girls.
So, the point of my rambling is that yes, op, I agree with what you're saying. I follow the PinkStinks and the Let Toys be Toys campaigns and try to point out to my children how unfair it is and tell them that, despite what Asda or Tesco or Smyths Toy Superstore says, they do actually have more of a choice than they're given and they just have to look harder for it.

ErrolTheDragon Fri 18-Nov-16 15:03:40

I took a look at the 'sparkle science' - patronising shit really. Chemistry isn't about 'glitzy'. hmm

OlennasWimple Fri 18-Nov-16 15:06:13


Thefishewife Fri 18-Nov-16 15:06:47

I like pink my daughters like pink the sparkly the better I paid £6 for for a good kit because I liked. The glitter handle

Oh and there is a girl in my sons engineer in class who has pink safety boots I assume that was on purpous because mostly there black or brown

sonlypuppyfat Fri 18-Nov-16 15:08:28

Does it really matter?

Tarttlet Fri 18-Nov-16 15:12:56

"Most girls like pink though and if they don't buy them the blue toy."

Fair enough, but why do they like pink and boys, on the whole, don't?

Fanfeck Fri 18-Nov-16 15:13:07

I always find it hard to see the issue on these threads.
It's up to YOU to make sure your child doesn't see pink as girls and blue as boys and doesn't care what others think of their choices.

I've a 5 year old DD and have literally never had any of the colour/gender issues I see on here all the time. I wonder do people enjoy being offended and outraged.

MuseumOfCurry Fri 18-Nov-16 15:13:26

It is really unpleasant, boys get the default normal toys and then they're feminised to the extreme for girls.

I would probably have a mental breakdown if I had a little girl today, the stuff they market to them is god-awful.

Rainydayspending Fri 18-Nov-16 15:17:19

I saw a great flowchart on this for identifying if a "female or male" toy :
Do you need to use it with your genitals?
No: It doesn't matter.
Yes: This is not a child's toy.

Fanfeck Fri 18-Nov-16 15:20:17

boys get the default normal toys and then they're feminised to the extreme for girls.

Children get what ever you give them!

ErrolTheDragon Fri 18-Nov-16 15:23:40

It's up to YOU to make sure your child doesn't see pink as girls and blue as boys and doesn't care what others think of their choices.

Sure... but everyone doesn't do that. So some kids get stuck with the 'gendered' choices which may not suit their abilities and character.

Nothing wrong with pink safety boots so long as they are of the same quality as the others. In that context its just a colour.

KatharinaRosalie Fri 18-Nov-16 15:25:50

It's up to YOU to make sure your child doesn't see pink as girls and blue as boys - so why can't we complain if advertising is making their best efforts to un-do our work? Our children don't live in an isolated bubble, I'm not the only source of information for them.

SittingDrinkingTea Fri 18-Nov-16 15:29:14

I saw an ad the other day for some kind of interactive horse toy. There were two kinds, a white and pink unicorn and a brown horse. In the ad a boy was playing with the unicorn and a girl with the horse. It was a refreshing change but I doubt it'll spark a trend.

I find the girlie science stuff especially annoying. It's like the manufacturers had good intentions of encouraging girls to enjoy science, then took a hideously wrong turn. The net result is very "girls, science is a bit too male for you, but don't worry we've made it pink and glittery so you can now enjoy it too".

Fanfeck Fri 18-Nov-16 15:39:21

Our children don't live in an isolated bubble, I'm not the only source of information for them.

But our job is to raise them to be totally comfortable and confident with their choices, likes and dislikes. The world is full of boxes and labels but we don't have to subscribe to them or lead our children to.
I really just have never found this to be an issue at all, I've a house full of all sorts of toys, if I was to overanalyse the colours (which I don't) some probably predominantly marketed towards boys, some girls. Makes not one jot of difference.

ErrolTheDragon Fri 18-Nov-16 17:52:28

Its never been a problem in my house either, but it was for some of DD's friends when she was younger.

WLF46 Fri 18-Nov-16 18:11:16

If people stopped buying the toys, the advertisers might decide they need to present them differently.

Advertisers aim their ads at the market they believe is the one they should be targeting, i.e. the people who are most likely to buy their wares. When parents start buying pink fluffy toys for boys and blue technical toys for girls, advertisers will change how they go about their business.

Remember that adverts are not real life. They are an exaggerated version of real life, with a need to make an impact in a short space of time. Car adverts, for example: they show young women driving a FIAT 500, middle-aged men driving a Lexus or Mercedes, because those are the people most likely to buy that car. Gillette razors: there are different products for men and women, and (surprise!) the ones aimed at women show women using them, and the ones aimed at men show men using them.

Anyway, back to toys. Children want the toys that they like. They don't care that it's a "boy" toy or a "girl" one. Do you actually know any parent who would refuse to buy their daughter Lego or a radio-controlled car if that's what she really wanted for Christmas, just because the advertising person said they were "for boys"?

(And if you do, they should be the people you are calling sexist...)

amy85 Fri 18-Nov-16 18:17:29

I really don't get why people get so angry and upset about toys...just buy what your child wants it's quite simple!!! Not everything has to end in a campaign, petition and outrage...they are only toys fgs

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