Friday, 17 June 2016
I don't want pink or blue, I want the rainbow!
This week I have seen several adverts and posts about a new brand of doll specifically for boys. The dolls are wearing all sorts of different outfits, the one I remember seeing was a construction worker.
But why? Why do we need a doll for a boy that is wearing the uniform of a typically male role.
I thought we were in an age of gender equality and neutrality? Even Jules Oliver's Little Bird brand is designed as unisex, toy stores are moving away from 'boys' and 'girls' toy aisles. So why bring out these dolls and hail them as revolutionary or ground breaking?
My son has both a gay man and a gay woman as god-parents and will grow up with friends with same sex parents. Gender and sexuality in our social circle are rather fluid concepts. I love that my children will grow up with a totally broad ranging and and inclusive version of 'normal'. I love it because I think it will make my children's lives richer but also because I hope it will make them better people. Better than our generation.
You only have to look in the news and comments made on social media at the moment to see what happens when fear and hate are instilled in people's minds. When a strict and rigid set of ideals are taught that ostracise or persecute people for the fundamental parts of who they are.
Our children are small and impressionable and have minds ready and ripe for shaping. I think that is why these dolls have pissed me off so much. We should be challenging these outdated stereotypes on behalf of our children, not reinforcing them. If we teach our children at such a young age that there are 'boys roles' and 'girls roles', 'boys toys' and 'girls toys' then we are already teaching them that anything or anyone that falls outside of these divides is not the norm, and therefore is wrong.
I am sure that the company that have bought out these toys thought they were doing something great for little boys, that they wanted to make a dolly for all the little boys out there that wanted a dolly. They wanted little boys to be able to have dollies too. But why didn't they just put up a fucking bill board saying BOYS CAN HAVE DOLLS TOO and be done with it. Why not just stick the dolls next to the cars and say YOU DO NOT NEED TO CHOOSE.
Why bring out a doll that says "Hey little boys, you may play with a dolly as long as it is of a man, (A MAN, not even a sodding baby), and is dressed in the uniform of a job that, despite the fact it could be done by women is mostly done by men, because society is backward and intolerant and we want you to be too."
Now, I am sure that that is not really what the company intended to or actually thought (no law suits please!) But that is what these dolls say to me.
I think you should be able to look into a toy box and simply be able to say, "Oh look, it's a box of toys!"