Now that we are in day 3 of solitary confinement, I have seen an unacceptable number of toy adverts…and perhaps worse than this I can now tell the time based on the Milkshake morning schedule, but I digress. My point is that these adverts have shown just how alive gender stereotyping is.
Adverts for dolls and kitchens are full of girls, cars and pirates are reserved for boys. Surely we know that such toy grouping just isn’t representative of the way our children play. Little bear loves his cars, he will choose to play them them above almost anything else, but his kitchen and broom are a very close second. When we visit nanny he loves to play with the teaset and push buggies around. Do I mind? Of course not…Does daddy mind? Absolutely not. As a child he used to dress up in his sister’s ballet clothes and he would play football, and he would enjoy both. But has it left an impact?
My husband is kind and considerate, believes in equality and sharing roles in the home, he loves rough play with the little bear and he reads quietly with him…if this is the result of non-stereotyped play as a child then bring it on!
And what of the message that these stereotyped adverts send? Does the little girl who loves her cars start to think she shouldn’t? Does the little boy who loves to look after a doll start to question if he should? So much is made of the power of adverts but to me, it just seems that that power is not being used for positive.
Day-dreaming mummy truly thought that having a child in the 21st century would mean less stereotyping around children’s play but sadly not. The reality is that most parents are more than happy for their children to play with whichever toys they choose but it seems the toy companies are still stuck in the dark ages…time for change please!
The Day Dreaming Mummy