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Afshan Iqbal
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Toys should be gender-neutral? Of course. The base of any belief and thoughts are built from childhood and when the child who has learned the valid things grows up, he/she becomes an ideal human. Why are these concepts of misogyny, misandry, inequality, superiority, and many other stereotypes present in our society? It is because children from birth are associated with gender segregation. The concept of girls liking pink color or toys such as barbie dolls or kitchen sets and boys liking blue color or toys such as cars and robots is preconceived. For example,
In a household when a boy is born, he is given toys like cars, balls, cricket sets, etc. As he grows up, he is expected to take an interest only in sports or careers like engineering, piloting, finance, and so on. However, when a girl is born, the first toy she gets is either a doll or a kitchen set, which sets a base that when she grows up all she has to do is work in the kitchen, take care of her family, and do household chores. If a boy wants a doll, he is being told that it’s not for him and only girls play with it. Similarly, when a girl wants a car, she is given the same gender-based reason. From toys to sports, everything is segregated based on gender. Resulting to which the stereotypes taking birth, where a girl is considered weak and a boy is considered strong. This turns into more serious problems when these children grow up. It is mandatory for all parents to teach their children what gender equality is about and when they buy gender-neutral toys for their children, it will be a solid start.
When we give gender-neutral toys to children, they will learn the concept of equality and they will never consider them less or better than the other gender. It will be a foundation for a better future for the upcoming generations.