A few days ago I saw a post on a local selling page looking for a girl’s slide. It struck me as such an odd thing, in this day and age, to be so prescriptive about gender and appropriate toys. To me this is so old fashioned and utterly ridiculous. What on earth is a slide for a girl? One that she can slide down sideways like women used to ride horses to ensure she looks ladylike as she plays? Or more likely this is referring to colour. Of course a girl cannot slide down a green, or blue or even yellow slide, a slide must be pink, the more garish and bright the better. I mean she is a girl after all, and must always therefore play with/ own/ enjoy and see pink at all times to be reminded of her gender. Otherwise who knows what will happen?
What a load of rubbish! Why do we do this? Why do we assign gender to inanimate objects and deem some appropriate for girls whilst the opposite toys are only suitable for boys? It is 2016. If we want to raise strong, independent women who can achieve anything their male counterparts can, then why on earth are we deciding for them what toys they should be playing with based on their gender? That doesn’t seem very equal to me. What does this teach our children really? That something is only ok if it is appropriate for their gender? Does that mean that occupations should be ruled out as society often depict certain roles as being male or female? That certain sports can only be played if they are a certain sex? That they must always behave in a way that is expected of their gender? I want both my son and daughter to play with anything they want to play with, I will not be buying my daughter ‘toys for girls’ or my son ‘toys for boys’. I will buy them toys of interest to them. If my son wants a pushchair then so be it, if my daughter wants – heaven forbid…blue toys!! Then that is what she will have. Equally, if they want the opposite, that is fine too. They are children and I will let them play; explore and learn based on their interests and what they enjoy. I want them to learn through exploration, not prescribed roles and views imposed on them as to what they ought to enjoy. If I see one more post asking for such a ridiculous object to be suitable for a gender, I may scream!