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Shubhangini Shaktawat
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Toys should be gender neutral
Out of the many points in our life where society discriminates on the basis of gender, quite a few of them take place at a very young age. For example, toys. Toys are manufactured in a way to suit the needs of the society. Although, nowhere is it mentioned that dolls are for girls, we just know. Girls know that they are not supposed to pick up Nerf guns and go around shooting plastic bullets in their home. Boys know dolls are only and only for girls, hence they should not even be touching them.
In such a tender age, children get to taste discrimination, societal judgments, gender biasness, etc. which completely destroys them mentally. What if a boy wishes to dress a doll up and apply make up on it? What if a girl wants to play cricket out in the ground or rather even play with toy-guns or pistols? Should they then be thinking there is some issue with them? Children in such circumstances do think that something is wrong with them and not the society. It makes them lose confidence, self determination and these very children grow up and tend to either be introverts or catch mental illnesses.
Toys are the least sensible things to be tagged or labeled as ‘only for girls’ or ‘only for boys,’ but the society is capable enough to do this. At times, people even say that blue is a color for boys and pink is for girls. Who gets to decide all this? Why are boys taken to be firm and rough and rigid? Why are girls expected to be fragile, delicate and weak? Why are such things imposed on children since childhood? This is making our society weak. This is making the human race weak.
It is no question that toys should be gender neutral. They are meant for kids, not for boys and girls. So be it! We need to learn how to prevent our future generations from suffering from what we suffered from. We have seen days that we did not deserve to see, which is why we have a reason for protecting the coming generations and just letting them be, away from the discrimination and gender biases. Let us stop using things as blameless as toys for our purpose of discrimination.
A woman myself,
Shubhangini Shaktawat