I'm sure the geeks amongst you out there will have seen the myriad of subscription services available on the Internet that send you a box of random toys, comics and merchandise once a month for an annual fee. A couple of friends of mine have signed up to one particular service, Loot Crate, and I've seen some of the very cool stuff that they've received through it.
The one thing that I've noticed about these services though is that its a lot of luck to whether you're going to get something that interests you or not. One month you'll get a box full of fantasy stuff, another it'll be sci-fi, so it's not always guaranteed to be to everyone's tastes.
One service, Nerd Block, however, has attempted to address that by allowing people to choose the type of packages they want to receive. There's one for video game fans, one for comic book readers, one for horror fans and there's even one for boys and one for girls. Wait, what?
Unfortunately you read that right. Nerd Block has made separate packages for children, splitting them by gender.
The bright pink girls package includes toys such as Furby, Moshy Monsters and My Little Pony whilst the boys package comes in bright blue and contains Star Wars, Pokemon and Angry birds.
Now, I know a little girl that would pick the items from the boys list every single time over the girls, just as I know some boys who think that Furbys are cool or who are into My Little Pony. I mean, what are you supposed to do if you want to receive My Little Pony toys along with Star Wars merchandise, get two packages?
The forced gendering of children's toys is a ridiculous practice that is massively outdated. Pink for girls and blue for boys is stupid. Saying that only boys like Star Wars whilst only girls like cute animals is ludicrous. I find the whole concept insulting!
|7 year old Maggie Cole made headlines for pointing out Tesco's gender segregation.|
Some of you aren't going to get this, you're reading this article and you're thinking that it's stupid or pointless or that it doesn't even matter. But it does matter. By telling people, especially children, that some things are for males and some things are for females you're helping to re enforce rigid gender roles and stereotypes. Do you know who benefits from such roles? Men.
Men who want women to be subservient to them. Men who want women to be second to them. Men who want women's voices to mean less then men's. Men who want women in the home cooking and cleaning. Men who don't want things to be equal.
We're living in a society where women are supposed to have 'equal rights' to men, but unfortunately that's just not true. Men get paid more than women, men get more respect then women, men get more power then women. Things need to be equal across the genders. No one should be on top, no one is better than anyone else.
This will be the point where some of you roll your eyes thinking 'shut up you man hating feminist', or some of you might be shrugging your shoulders thinking 'how does this little thing make any difference?' Well it has nothing to do with hating men, or making women better. We all need to be the same, that's why it's called equality. And it does make a difference. It might not seem like it to you, but by playing along with these kinds of gender segregating views you're not helping to make a better world for the children whose sexist toys you're buying.
Also, Nerd Block, you should be ashamed for making those packages. Please stop it and be a better company.
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