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To think mumsnet are helping promote sexist attitudes

(198 Posts)
YoniFoolsAndHorses Fri 31-May-13 15:36:06

Re "girl" and "boy" toys.

I am a 'Mumsnet panelist' and regularly fill in a load of little surveys. I have never win any of the £50 amazon prizes, but actually I have never minded that at all. I can do the little surveys easily on my phone in a few minutes, and I like to think that it's doing my bit to keep mumsnet getting bigger and better.

Until this afternoon.

Until I get a survey about toy cars and trucks to which I would only be elegible to answer if I had a son.

My daughter plays with similar cars and trucks. We know the make involved well. She has fantastic and reasoned opinions on the toys involved too (we tried the survey together - although I didn't submit it - I just answered the first question incorrectly and said she was a boy).

How can this possibly be right that mumsnet is allowing such sexist marketing to continue around 'girl' and 'boy' toys?

<Goes to find out how to withdraw from getting any more surveys as feel very disenchanted with the set up now>.

AngryGnome Fri 31-May-13 15:45:24

That doesn't sound great confused have you emailed mnhq?

OddBoots Fri 31-May-13 15:47:00

Hopefully they have a good reason, if not then this is rather disappointing. confused

DuelingFanjo Fri 31-May-13 15:48:02

Maybe All mums with boys should refuse to respond?

HollyBerryBush Fri 31-May-13 15:51:07

The manufacturer will have a specific reason - I think MN are only interested in the revenue.

OHforDUCKScake Fri 31-May-13 15:53:44

Mumsnet panalist? What does this mean? I want to amswer questions too.


ivanapoo Fri 31-May-13 15:53:55

What Holly said... MNHQ is it REALLY true you can't buy positive reviews/recommendations?

But who can blame them? It's not a public bloody service and they need to make money somehow.

Ilikethebreeze Fri 31-May-13 15:57:26

Personally I am always a bit hmm, when I read that MN only employ 8 men out of 68 staff, and they, I think with the exception of 1 of them, are all techies.

Actually, I am not sure now whether that post is now for your argument, or against it blush confused hmm

WorraLiberty Fri 31-May-13 15:58:11

There's already a thread about this in the test products topic

Perhaps MN don't know what's in the email?

meganorks Fri 31-May-13 15:59:32

The reason will be because they are trying to reach their core target market. So while there are plenty of girls who have and enjoy those sorts is toys, the majority will be sold to boys. I bet the surveys aren't for dads to fill in either. They want to speak to mums as usually they are the purchase decision maker.

YoniFoolsAndHorses Fri 31-May-13 16:02:57

Sigh. I guess I am just disappointed. Yes, I have emailed too.

The reasons why there are "girl" and "boy" toys is complicated but not rocket science. And I refuse to believe my girl is in such a small minority. She loves cars and trucks! As all children are wont to do, when they are not shunned by the manufacturers themselves.

OliviaMMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 31-May-13 18:23:40

Hi there
Thanks for your comments here -
We do appreciate where you're coming from but this is the particular group that the client wanted responses from in this instance and we will of course pass on this feedback.
Thanks again

CloudsAndTrees Fri 31-May-13 18:28:22

You have had the answer from MNHQ now, but I would have said anyway that I'd have thought that the company probably wanted to know what parents of boys thought about their product. It's simple enough, not sexist at all.

Would you have said it was ageist if there was a survey aimed at the parents of toddlers rather than teenagers?

StuntGirl Fri 31-May-13 18:45:23

"We do appreciate where you're coming from but this is the particular group that the client wanted responses from in this instance"

I'd rather Mumsnet worked with clients who don't promote sexism.

GlitzPig Fri 31-May-13 18:53:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 31-May-13 18:54:06

I'd rather they work with anyone who's willing to pay them so that I can continue to use their website for free!

clarinetV2 Fri 31-May-13 18:56:45

Agree with StuntGirl. I don't think mumsnet should be promoting this company - which they are doing if they distribute the survey.

Clouds, I can understand a company wanting to analyse results by gender to target their marketing if they feel the need, but just wanting to know what parents of boys think about their product indicates they are making a whole lot of assumptions about girls' toys versus boys' toys. It's not the same as a survey aimed at parents of toddlers versus parents of teens, as the groups are at very different developmental stages. I think it's OK to make assumptions about (most) toddlers having distinct tastes and preferences from (most) teens, but it's no longer OK to assume the same of little girls and little boys.

Portofino Fri 31-May-13 18:59:13

What clarinet said above. The let toys be toys campaign, which originated here, is having some success so I do think MNHQ should back that up.

ParsingFancy Fri 31-May-13 19:01:05

Olivia, could you please ask why the survey is boys only? Did they say "boys" by mistake for "children"?

I'm sure the Let Toys Be Toys campaign will be interested either way - if there's a good answer or if it's a slip.

CajaDeLaMemoria Fri 31-May-13 19:06:08

Maybe mumsnet should charge more if a company wants to target just boys or just girls - they can quote the Let Toys Be Toys campaign as the reason.

If companies really want that data alone, they can have it, but they'll be put off being sexist by the higher price.

5madthings Fri 31-May-13 19:09:25

I think this is a bit of a cop put by mnet tbh.

Why help reinforce gender stereotypes in the children's toy market. It is sexist and its not OK to descriminate in this way.

MrsDeVere Fri 31-May-13 19:10:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsDeVere Fri 31-May-13 19:12:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CloudsAndTrees Fri 31-May-13 19:15:37

I don't see why it's sexist to want to know what parents if boys think about something, I really don't. Maybe I'm missing something.

It makes sense to me to target research.

Yama Fri 31-May-13 19:17:24

MNHQ - adding my voice to the disapproval felt by allowing such sexist partners.

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