Color Lines

Imagine a toy store where the aisles are seperated by color. The toys in the different-colored aisles contrast sharply from each other, and send strong messages to the children viewing them about what is and is not accepted and expected from children of the other color. They also send strong messages about which colored child should be in which aisle, and where their interests lay. For the most part, the children accept the color lines and stick to their aisle. Grown ups seem to have no problem with it.

The Black Aisle for African American kids. The White Aisle for Caucasion kids.
Oh, is that offensive? We wouldn’t dream of segregating toys like that, you’re right.
I meant the Purple Aisle for Christians, The Blue Aisle for Jews, and the far Red Aisle for Muslims.
No, wrong again? Still offensive? We don’t seperate children by race or religion. We wouldn’t teach, and certainly not market nor build profits off intolerance, stereotypes, and limitation like that, got it.

Now imagine I’m talking about Pink and Blue.
Still. Offensive.

When we limit our children, we limit our children.

Comments

  1. My daughter loves dogs. Loooves them. So two years ago I was going to get her a little puppy pull toy, like this one from Fisher-Price.
    http://www.amazon.com/Fisher-Price-Brilliant-Basics-Snoopy-Colors/dp/B000BB56B6

    At the major retailers I tried, they had one specifically for girls, as in the ears were pink instead of brown. Are you kidding me? Why would a girl need a pink DOG? Last time I checked, dogs don’t generally come in pink. So, I got her the white and brown and you know what? She loved it.

    I see that this year, it’s no longer on the market. I hope and pray it’s because other parents also found it ridiculous and didn’t buy it.

    Also, is there any reason AT ALL why this scooter should be in pink, when the other option is red?
    http://www.google.com/products/catalog?client=safari&rls=en&q=radio+flyer+scooter&oe=UTF-8&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=331920236487460557&sa=X&ei=RMDzTuihK4WfiALGwoGgAQ&ved=0CH0Q8wIwAQ#ps-sellers

    I bought red for my daughter because 1) she needs other colors beside pink and 2) when she’s done and I want to resell it, why would I eliminate 50% of my possible market?

  2. It’s true – it’s just so much more ingrained. And – ironically – recent. Pink used to be a boy color – and a certain gang still uses it for new recruits. Both of my kids (one boy, one girl) love pink, purple, blue, and green. But my daughter is definitely MORE about pink – maybe because everyone keeps giving her pink things? Big box toy stores are upsetting on many levels, but the pink-ville (because it’s definitely more saturated on the girl=pink side) is horrible. I have trouble even seeing what’s behind the pepto-haze.

  3. This is fantastic—succint and to the point. And right!

  4. Similar situation this year at toys r us…We were looking to get the elefun ball popper for my 18 month old (the youngest of our four girls) We picked up a primary colored elephant–the body was blue. A few minutes later on an end cap my husband picked up the same toy in pink. He held it up to me and said “how about this one?” We left with the blue one…the pink one was cute too…I wonder how many little boys will find it under the tree a few mornings from now though?

  5. Father of a Daughter says:

    Saw this article today, first one I’ve seen in a major media outlet; thought you’d find it interesting that Lego VP is standing behind the sex-distinct products. http://www.latimes.com/health/boostershots/la-heb-lego-girls-toy-protest-20120123,0,141471.story

    • That is a great article, thank you for linking it. There has been coverage in other major media, but more always helps, always reaches more people.

      THIS –> “The toys send girls a message ‘that being pretty is more important than who you are or what you can do,’ Costin said in a statement.”

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