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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Gender Issues » Gender Roles.

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Author Topic: Gender Roles.
Spooky4444
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Ever since I was old enough to pick toys out for myself, I've chosen a mix of what are considered "boy" and "girl" toys. Mainly, I chose things such as Hot Wheels, or Action figures. My mother would happily buy them for me, because it is what i wanted. My father however, would always make me choose something from the "Girl" part of the store. Now the seperation between so called "boy" toys and "girl" toys is even more distinct, and the "girl" toy companys, such as Barbie, are making things like vacuums and sewing machines, enforcing the incorrect idea that girls should sew and clean, while boys should play with cars and trucks. I never understood why they would try to make things gender specific. It seems they would make alot more money if they were to market to both genders, therefore eliminating the embarrasment that prevents some boys from choosing so "girl" toys, and vice versa. What is all of your opinions on this?

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Over the hill the centaur goes,
round the mountain and back again,
a little too far from the world of dreams,
and just beyond the world of a man. --Centaur, by Shel Silverstein


Posts: 12 | From: Colonial Heights, Virginia, USA | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
coolestdesignz
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I think you are right in some sense.

Gender specific toys/fashions/clothing/ideas have been hammered deep into all of out heads ever since we were born: Pink for girls. Blue for boys. Cars for boys. Dolls for girls. So on.

I just think this continues because people don't want it to stop. I think most would even be outraged if Matel marketed Barbie dolls to little boys.

If I were given the choice between GI Joe and Barbie, I would take Joe- but only because he come with dual M16s.

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01 PRINT Knock knock.
02 PRINT Who's there?
03 PRINT Recurse.
04 PRINT Recurse who?
05 GOTO 01


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Heather
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(It should be noted that with a historical perspective of toys and marketing, this has gotten massively BETTER in the present day, not worse.

Of course, to some degree, it's also a class issue. heck, when we were growing up, any toys we got were well out of their packages, not marketed to anyone in the goodwill bins they all lived in, and without television commercials to watch and read mandates from, it was a bit of a non-issue.

I also think the toy companies are SO incredibly wealthy that clearly, whatever marketing they're doing is working just fine for them. So much of this culture is so accumulative that the how of marketing to that nature becomes sometimes irrelevant.)


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Londongirl
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I used to think it was social conditioning that led to many young children wanting to play with socially sanctioned "gender-appropriate" toys. However, I've more recently seen evidence on TV documentaries etc which has suggested that sometimes young children want stereotypical toys, because they are trying to form a sense of gender identity, and therefore clearly defined "boys" or "girls" toys can be appealing to them and affirm their developing sense of identity.

Obviously, not every child behaves in this way, and it is also possible that desire in young children for particular toys is at least in part the result of marketing.

Personally, I enjoyed a lot of "girl's" toys when I was a child, although I was also known to play with cars (I think I wanted my Dad's approval there though!). But I'm not very girly now.

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Londongirl
Mature Student in Psychology(About to graduate - what do I do now??) Read about me here


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Grandcannon
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I agree that eople people should be allowed to play with whatever they want. However girls and boys are different, both physically and socially. they have different roles in society. This doesn't mean that girls should cook and clean, and men should work and hunt. For example, in Tikamua indian society, men went hunting and the women farmed. The men made tools and the womenmade houses. Their are reasons for different gender roles in society. Women where simply not as good at using a bow s men. Men where not as good at taking care of crops as women. And its was not an issue of "I'm better" just of I do this and you do this. But they both had an equal vote on tribal matters. Whats wrong with that

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Love is the art of controling something that your not sure exists
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Heather
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Well, because sex and gender aren't the same thing, for one.

What "boys" and "girls" societal roles presumably are is arbitrary and socially mandated, not biologically determined. Those roles are also often both in a constant state of flux as well as the fact that they're pretty much optional (though opting in or out of some of them may carry consequences and side effects, as it were).

And just like plenty of people don't feel that race or socioeconomic status should determine social status, roles or behaviour, plenty of people feel that sex and/or gender should not, either.

Statements like this, "Women where simply not as good at using a bow as men," are a good example of the fallacy that can occur with gender or sex-based roles. That's a bit like saying men simply weren't or aren't as good at parenting as women were or are, or that women aren't as skilled at math: even at times where those things did appear to be so, more times than not, those things are so only because the opportunity to excel at a given thing wasn't afforded a given gender, not because of any natrual or innate ability or inability.


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MiaB
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On the matter of toys, marketing never affected me. I had no interest whatsoever in the miniature ironing boards, I liked the bank or mini-shop or post office toys. I thought the dolls (life-size baby dolls, not barbies, I loved them!) were ugly, and prefered my brothers old little race cars and racing track.

I don't think gender-marketed toys help develop children, more take away their own personality. Why persuade a child to be a girl they should like ironing more than adventuring with action men? I think you develop into who you are, and whatever gender you are regardless. A woman who likes football or predominantly male hobbies isn't presumed to be less female, or shouldn't be. I'm going into a predominantly male profession (or at least so in the UK), but I don't see how that choice should make me less female, less of a woman, or less of whichever gender I choose to call myself.

I have noticed that there are more toys recently that are ironing, sewing kits, mini kitchens, washing machines - it's a shame that's what the manufacturers feel are the most feminine, respectably girly hobbies in today's society.

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*Mia*


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Tinydancer421
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Well i am a student at SKidmroe College and I am doing a reseacrh paper on Gender and Toys. Your post interested me because it addressed exactly what i wish to talk about. i was wodnering if u can point me in the direction of whene I can locate Before and after shots of toys from then vs. how they are now (ex. G.I. Joe and Barbie...)

That would be amazing. IM me at -- edited -- and we'll see what we can dig up
Thanx
~Tiphy

Note from the Mizmanagement: Our user registration agreement makes clear it's not okay to be posting IM handles here.

And hey: you got into Skidmore, you can both understand thhe guidelines AND do your own homework. A simple Google search on the history of those toys will net your results very easily.

[This message has been edited by Miz Scarlet (edited 10-19-2004).]


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Blink
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I was at Toys 'R Us recently, and it really scared me how gendered toys were becoming. When I was little, there was Barbie and there were action figures and I didn't really care for either of them, but there were plenty of gender-neutral toys too, things like Etch-a-Sketch.

At the store, I saw row upon row of pink boxes, with pictures of happy girls wearing sparkly jewelry from their jewelry set, or playing with a barbie, or dressing up as princesses. The other side had rows of stuff that was black and olive green, with action figures and toys modeled on cartoons and such. There were even similar toys that were themed for boys and for girls by changing the color scheme and such. I feel like the distinction between boys' toys and girls' toys is getting wider and wider, and I find this incredibly disturbing.


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CrimsonCriminal
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Yeah, it is scary isn't it? :O

I really do hate the commercials for toys on TV, especially for toys like Bratz (http://www.bratzpack.com/index2.asp)and Barbie (http://www.barbie.com. I think that girl's dolls create an unfair standard of beauty (clihe line but hey) and certain boy's toys are violent. There are some great gender neutral toys that are lovely - legos, animal figurines (DINOSAURS!), plushies, and jigsaw puzzles. I was a complete jigsaw puzzle addict, my mother used to buy me small boxes of 50 piece puzzles and adored them. I loved plushies too, and I still have all of my plushies. I think that toys would be a lot better educational or encourage thinking (Jigsaws,rubix cubes, various board games), creative (lego, etch a sketch, playdough)r ones that promote exersise (skipping ropes, hoola hoops, beach tennis). Those toys are very fun, they are not as expencive and they are actually good for a kid. DINOSAURS!


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feefiefofemme
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I LOVED playing Barbies when I was little and, in fact, I still enjoy it from time to time. My Barbies (or Farleys or Alannas or Miras or whatever elses) would help me act out stories I was writing or planning to write. They'd go off to fight in wars and become president and save the world and sometimes even meet a handsome Ken (or another Barbie, once I became aware of my sexual identity) along the way. I was also really into playmobile and batman figurines (I had this really, really awesome shiny one that I got for my fourth birthday...) and enjoyed playing with plastic animals and cars as well. I remember once in kindergarten a boy friend of mine came over and we played cars. After he left his mum told mine that he had expected to be stuck playing 'girly games' like dolls and dress up, and was quite pleasantly surprised by my passionate love of automobiles. I also loved board games and puzzles. Especially my Rainbow Fish puzzle.

Anyhow, the point of this long rant is that I played with a variety of different toys, both marketed to females and otherwise. It never really bothered me either way.

What I really wish though, is that my little brother was less worried about sticking to traditional gender roles. He absolutely adores playing with Barbies, playing dress up (in fancy dresses, no less), and wearing pretty jewlery. I want him to be able to do that without being shunned or ridiculed. Ah well, the world isn't perfect...


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anne_bonney
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And it's not just the toys. I remember the clothes I wore when I was little. At some point my favorite color wsa blue and there were plenty of blue shirts, pants etc out there.
Now it seems like most clothes for little girls are in "girl colors". And if not, they have all kinds of rhinestones, sequins or other sparkly stuff on them, to make them look "girlier".
Maybe that's just me but I think clothes for little girls have also become, well, sluttier. To me, some of those clothes look just like the life-size versions of Bratz clothes.

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is the way it is, it would only be
your fault if it sayed that way.


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feefiefofemme
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I know, really. It's just disgusting the kind of clothes they're marketing to little girls. I loved my princess dresses when I was young, but the large majority of my clothes were dorky Landsend (one word or two?) shorts and simple, solid-coloured, logo-less t-shirs. It's almost impossible to find those kind of clothes any more, at least in mainstream stores.
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Orange Juice
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Hrmmm, you have a good point, these days it seems like companies just reinforce the gender roles.
When I was younger, I also chose a mix. I have never been much of one for dolls, in fact, they positively creep me out, but I loved (and still do) stuffed animals in every form. The barbies I did have lived in a house with dinosaurs, drove hotwheels, and "Chrissy" was a surfer. At the time, I was a little kid, so I didn't understand why it was acceptable for boys to take their shirts off, but girls not to, so while I didn't do it, my barbies all went around bare chested. XD
The earliest game I can remember playing with my toys was with a plastic Dimetredon, a "wolf" (it was actually a sea lion), and a tiger on a quest to save the imprisoned Triceratops from the evil Stuffed Dalmatian Plushie.
Go figure.

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Life may be hard at times, but it certainly beats the alternative!


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Orange Juice
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quote:
Originally posted by BiGoddess:
I know, really. It's just disgusting the kind of clothes they're marketing to little girls. I loved my princess dresses when I was young, but the large majority of my clothes were dorky Landsend (one word or two?) shorts and simple, solid-coloured, logo-less t-shirs. It's almost impossible to find those kind of clothes any more, at least in mainstream stores.

Tell me about it. I saw a halter top on a 9 year old yesterday. X_x

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Life may be hard at times, but it certainly beats the alternative!


Posts: 8 | From: Seattle, Washington, USA | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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