When we have to buy toys for boys and girls, we must avoid perpetuating the gender roles that advertising conveys.
It comes Christmas and with it, also arrive Santa Claus and the Three Kings , always ready to fill with gifts smaller houses. The children will get up on December 25 and January 6 with the Christmas tree full of toys and, in their excitement, they may not realize the reality that these gifts can hide, at least for the moment. But when they start playing with their friends, they will start to see a similar pattern: while boys will have consoles, girls will have dolls; while they will have cars, they will have babies . Years go by and, although we believe that we are more and more evolved, it is not true, and at Christmas it shows.
The sexist toys will end up being, like every year, the orders and also the most gifted. And, really, the problem is not the toys, but the people. We are the ones who give the toys the category of ” boys ” or ” girls “, which we separate by gender from when they are small (even before they have decided whether they are boys or girls; we must remember that one thing is sex and another is gender). We believe that they will be happier with babies, while they will prefer action figures. And we were wrong, of course.
Being parents, you have to face daily new challenges that your children are posing. It will not be until you have a baby that you will begin to understand what it is like to have to look for the most appropriate toys within those that the child has asked for, for example. Because some may not fit your age, others may not seem educational enough to you, and the latter may seem too insecure. If we add to this that the vast majority tend to be sexist, we will probably obtain a very complicated equation that we will have to solve every Christmas.
If at this moment you are wondering what you can give that is not sexist, and you have no idea, do not worry, because here we are going to make a list of things that you have to take into account before buying gifts to prevent them from being sexist. In this way, you will get your children to understand that the only difference between boys and girls is biological , and that tastes can be exactly the same. Go for it!
NO MORE PINK FOR GIRLS AND BLUE FOR BOYS
The first thing you have to be clear about is that there are no colors for boys and colors for girls ; a boy may be passionate about pink, and a girl may hate it. This difference in boys ‘colors and girls’ colors is imposed by society, and is perhaps one of the most sexist details that we can find in stores. You will notice it very clearly if your children ask you for bicycles or any type of skate as gifts . And it is that when you go to the stores, you will see that there are always two colors available: blue and pink . There are some exceptions, yes, but few. As a general rule, they will only be available in those two shades.
TOYS CONVEY SEXIST GENDER ROLES
THEY CAN BE DADS, AND THEY CAN BE MECHANICAL
Not only are the colors very marked by our sexist society, but so are the professions . If you look closely, a large part of the toys and gifts that you find this Christmas in the stores will be related to the future professions that your children will choose; They play at being older, and, in this way, they develop, they see what they like . But if we get carried away by what advertising tells us, they will be cooks, nurses, teachers or housewives, while they can only be mechanics, scientists or architects. Why can’t your daughter play at being a scientist, if that’s what she wants? Sure it can! And it must!
Professions do not understand gender either, no matter how much they want us to believe that women are more useful for professions related to social aspects, and men for everything related to science and numbers. If from the time they are children we teach them that they can be absolutely whatever they want, they will end up being it ; but if we clip their wings, they will not see beyond what we have taught them and, unfortunately, they will be simply what they have learned to be.
If your daughter wants to play mechanic, let her. Enjoy, learn, try, practice. And the same is the same if your child wants to play at being a dad, or being a cook. How does that really affect you? Why is it bad for boys to play with babies, if we let girls do it all the time?
OPT FOR TOYS THAT ESCAPE GENDER ROLES
It is true that your children may be the ones who end up asking for toys with very strong gender biases; Maybe girls, based on seeing on television that what they have to ask for is a pet or a baby, end up doing it. But that’s what parents are for, to try to correct these sexist attitudes from the outset. Of course, the Magi can bring the girl a doll, but they can also bring her a book , a Lego game or a black scooter as well. It does not consist in giving what we want, but in giving the girl or boy something of what they have asked for, and something else that we consider more educational and separate from those gender roles.
Ultimately, it is the children who decide, but we are the ones who help them decide . And what better gift than to give him something related to science or learning, always looking for fun. In this way, we avoid sexist toys and, in addition, children will learn while having fun.
Dr. Tabriella Perivolaris, Sara's mother and fan of fashion, beauty, motherhood, among others, about the female universe. Since 2018 she has been working as a copywriter, always bringing to her articles a little of her experience and experience as a mother and woman.