A friend of mine posted a video on Facebook today about the “pinkification” of Girls. You know, pink dresses, shirts, shoes and the like, but also the pink toys that focus on the domestic sphere and the fairy-tale sphere. (princesses, fairies, etc.)
I don’t disagree…I do notice that the girls side is completely pink, with a little purple thrown in there just for fun! I also notice that there is tonnes of tulle, make-up, sparkles and the like. What I do disagree with is the statement that the boy’s side has more variety.
That is simply not true.
Go to any big box store and while it may *look* like the boys have more variety, they really don’t…the boxes are just different colours.
When walking into a big box store and going to the boy side you basically have 4 aisles of selection. They are as follows, Transformers (which signify war and violence), Starwars/Startrek (which also are war/violence), Marvel/DC; Hulk, Spiderman, Batman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Fantastic Four, Iron Man, (which are also fighting, violence), Trucks, Cars, Ambulances, Fire Trucks etc. (how many cars can one small child have?), and last but not least Nerf. (oh right, guns.)
So basically the aisles are Fighting, Fighting, Fighting, Fighting, Cars, and Fighting. (there are some cars that have gun attached so they squeak by….).
Have you ever noticed how all these toys look the same, just different heads? Like how different is a Transformer, from a Marvel Transformer, to a Marvel Action Figure, to a Starwars action figure, to a Startrek action figure, to a Car…(okay pushing that one… ;P).
So back to the argument that girls have no selection in their toys. Let’s see, yes they are all pink, but they have dolls, tea-sets (cant boys play with tea sets?), housewares (can boys clean?), and dress-up clothes that are pretty and sparkly. (yes, boys have play-clothes, but they are 3 types…Ninja, Soldier, or Firefighter.)
The difference is that even a Barbie is an open ended toy. She can do much more than shoot a gun at zombies/monsters/evil scientists/or decepticons. Dolls can allow girls to pretend to be a teacher, a mommy, a midwife or any other sort of person who deals with babies and children. Housewares is completely open ended. They can cook a meal, have a tea party, and interact with language when playing with these toys…”would you like some sugar in your tea?” rather than “DIE Decepticon!! DIE!!”
I just think that once you look past the colour you see that toys that are marketed to girls lead them down a path of empathy and sensitivity, meanwhile boy toys are wrought with violence and ill will. (not to mention gross, and ugly).
So the bigger picture is not the “pinkification” of girls but rather the creation of stereotypical roles within our society for the different genders.