Get Inspired, Be Empowered Forums Sexism & Patriarchy Toys should be gender neutral

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19 replies, 20 voices Last updated by Afshan Iqbal 3 months ago
  • anshika agarwal
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    @anshika-2
    #31418
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    Toys should be gender neutral
    Yes! Toys should be gender neutral. Because toys DON’T have GENDER. According to me children should not be given gender-neutral toys. It depends on parents that with what kind of toy they want to raise their child. For example, if a parent buys a doll for their son and he likes that then it’s his choice. For a small baby it’s not about the gender of the toy but it’s all about to play. They can play with whatever they want. Some brands like kinder joy advertise two types of kinder joys one for girls and another one for boys. In girls they provide dolls and girls and in boys they provide supermans. These brands are promoting stereotypes.
    More than 80% people believe that boy’s favourite color is blue while girls prefer pink. Due to gender stereotypes being formed at a very young age girl’s prefer pink and boy’s prefer blue. All toys with pink color are made for girls and all toys with blue color are made for boys.Things need to change and update and by giving gender-neutral toys to babies aged below three is a very good step towards gender neutral. If a baby girl likes a car toy then parents should let her but that without discriminating. Education is the key to have gender neutrality. Parents should teach their children about discrimination and why it is bad. This is the best way to overcome these issues in the society.
    By giving gender-neutral toys to babies would create hindrance to their personal growth and development and it won’t have gender neutrality in the society.

    preety agarwal
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    @preety
    #31427
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    Yes toys should be gender nuetral. Girls shouldn’t given dolls or pink color games. There should be equality. If a girl wants to play with a car please let her play with it. She is mot lesser than anybody.

    avanti
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    @avanti
    #31446
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    At birth, a child is assigned a sex identity- male or female. Sex identity is a biological concept and is related purely to one’s physiology. Gender, as seen in today’s world, is a much more fluid and personal concept. A gander identity is one’s own personal experience and expression influenced by multiple internal as well as external factors.

    When society attaches gender identity to objects and activities, it is basically monetizing on boxing identity expression into the binary, that is, girl or boy. Pink, dolls, kitchen sets are all products for girls; trucks, cars, fighting games, blue are made for boys. This futile and immature labeling does more harm than good. The early experiences of children play a huge role in their conditioning and determining their life experiences. Focusing the toys for girls leads them thinking that the kitchen is their territory, and a car is a boy’s. Similarly, it leads boys into thinking the kitchen is for girls, they only must play around.

    If we go further ahead, certain traits are attached to boys and girls. Boys cannot cry, they cannot cook, they cannot relax. These notions are a big part of toxic masculinity and is benefitting for nothing other than patriarchy. This starts from the earliest ages of children when gender roles are imposed upon their daily plays. This very thinking hinders the women from going into the so- called man dominated professions such as engineering.
    Hence, toys should absolutely be gender neutral, because their very role is to entertain and provide stimulation for the child’s mind.

    simran arora
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    @simran
    #31461
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    Toys are a mere object of interaction in the world covered with gender inequality or societal standards of which toy refers to whom. Like other objects in the world, toys are in no race. Since childhood, girls find refuge in playing with barbies, while boys find solace in playing outdoor games or video games. Only a few parents in the proportion are gender-neutral and make no bias decisions.

    Gender stereotypes related to toys may force the children to perform gender-specific tasks as managed by the society. For example, a girl playing with barbie is an institutional role of her responsibility as a mother or a boy playing outdoor activities would make him a gallant man. However, if you parent your child with gender-neutral toys, then their future would be more compassionate. Some of the reasons for improved personal development are promoting experimental thinking and empowering children to find their identity beyond their gender.

    Tougher than being said, the promotion of gender-neutrality is not an easier task. The idea of imposing gender on toys promotes the proposal of marketing and increases consumer productivity. However, parents should know that only they could urge a barrier between the idea of the product and the intention of the play. I remember that my parents never forced me to play with dolls. From outdoor activities to video games, I have cherished my childhood with no gender bias.

    Therefore, it is an ideal activity if both boys and girls play with dolls. As mentioned above, if dolls urge the motherhood responsibility, the same can forward the idea of fatherhood. We cannot develop the critical thinking of a child until we know what s/he is thinking. Perhaps, one should be allowed to play with any toy and make decisions on their own.

    Shubhangini Shaktawat
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    @shaktawat9
    #32408
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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

    Shumaila Siddiqui
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    @shumaila
    #32566
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    Toys are a source of a joy for child, and it should not be specific for genders. I think we should chuck the idea of gender within the child so that we can have a better outlook for both the genders in the future. Toy are first instruments a child will see in their life. They are designed for children’s, not for a boy or girl. Every child should be playing with every toy. A child must be given the toy of their choice whether a boy wants a doll or a girl wants a doll. Let them explore on their own and see what interest them to play.
    We should encourage people to buy toys as per their child interest, with this a child gets freedom to explore toys without being restricted to gender roles.
    It will have an impact on them that genders are equal, and they will be able to go beyond the sexism and patriarchy.
    Nowadays, The toy association and company are producing gender-neutral toys . They are being promoted on larger scale and some exceptional toys are being made to make children more creative and logical towards the career and life. STEAM (Science, technology,engineering, art and mathematics) toys are gender-neutral and inclusive.
    If a child play with steam toys it enables both sides of the brain, one is logical and other one is magical (artistic)side. It makes use of both sides of brain and help the child to grow.

    We are responsible for certain behavior and mind set our children has in the future.If we make them believe, this toy is for girls and not for boys and vice versa . They will become what has been cultivated in their brain. Gender-neutral toys will help a child to inherent the quality of both the girls and boys. For example a girl will have a perception to make her living on her own and not to wait for a man to fulfill her needs and a boy will be not ashamed of doing household chores or looking after a baby.
    Make your child aware of gender-neutral toys and let them explore freely.

    Mayuravarshini Mohana
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    @mayura
    #32588
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    Toys are perhaps our first introduction to gender. There are particular toys for boys and certain others for girls. Boys are given trucks, robots and miniature cars while girls are taught to enjoy play tea sets and dolls. Every experience in the world is culturally categorised as masculine and feminine and children are nudged to take up appropriated paths from a young age.

    No discussion on toys could move ahead without touching upon the Barbie doll. For ages these petite dolls have been accused of propagating looks over values. It is said that if Barbie were a real human, she would weigh around 54 kilograms with a waist smaller by 20 centimetres than that of a group of anorexic patients. Girls as young as five years have expressed concern over their food habits. Such dolls in addition to defining ‘femininity’ have set impossible and unrealistic standards for the same. Exposure to such standards instils negative body images and poor self-perception in young girls which could potentially lead to depression and eating disorders.

    It is well known that toys are pivotal to gender socialisation. They educate children on various gender roles and promote stereotypes. They even go a step ahead in determining educational pathways of children. Early research showed that children are steered towards certain kinds of toys based on their gender. This provided the opportunity for girls to develop emotional skills while boys were encouraged to pursue technical skills.

    Over time children learn that some toys are for boys while others are for girls. This delineation becomes even more rigid as toy companies produce gendered and sexualised toys which ultimately define one’s gender on behalf of the child. The child is therefore left with no room to observe and explore one’s own gender expression, but is streamlined into normative masculinity or femininity. This also becomes a nipping of non-binary gender expressions in the bud. A study conducted among 324 Austrian parents of three- to six-year-old children exposed a pattern in parental toy selection. Parents preferred same-gendered and gender-neutral toys over cross-gendered toys. What became apparent through the study was not a desire for the chosen toys but an aversion towards cross-gendered toys. Gender fluidity still remains a stigma in many communities worldwide. The result has parents forcing a particular gender identity on to their children.

    Like light at the end of a tunnel, gender neutral parenting is gaining momentum in India. Many parents are setting precedent by not interfering with their child’s gender expression and letting them be who they are. One such parent told the Hindustan Times that her 12 year old daughter wanted tuxedos instead of dresses for school events and that she didn’t stop her. Some parents even christen their children with gender neutral names. This is a promising start towards gender inclusive society, and gender neutral toys will have a pivotal role in conducing it.

    Manpreet Singh
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    @manpreet
    #33420
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    In the growth and development of a child, toys play an essential role. Toys are much more important for a youngster born in a nuclear family and living in a city. Every quarter of the year the type of toy requirement will change. It is good that a number of playthings are presented to them. I feel it’s also the moment to transcend the gender prejudices associated with toys, when we, as parents, choose toys for our child. To put it simply, buying a bat and a ball, superhero models for your child’s girl, and buying a teddy or doll for your tiny kid is quite typical. Many individuals today assume that boys are blue, whereas girls like rosé and purple. It is true in most cases, thanks to the formation of gender preconceptions at an early age. Everybody shouts “gender equality,” when one sex can accomplish something that the other can’t.

    Things have to change and providing children under three with gender-neutral toys is a fantastic beginning. So girls that don’t enjoy dolls, for example, don’t have to worry about fitting in with girls that prefer dolls. But if the kid rejects toys that are sex-neutral? There are several constraints for parents who exclusively give these toys to their children. The youngsters should then be permitted to choose themselves. Education is also essential to prevent misconceptions about gender. Parents should teach discrimination to their children and why it is bad. This is the best method to make society fair. It is improbable that girls can improve if they are told constantly that science, technology, and construction are not for them. Onwurah grew up playing on a red bike with a yellow pogo stick and was a microscope when she was nine. “Toys are so significant and educational,” she says, “and it’s about future jobs for me, what happens in ten or fifteen years. A segregated society we can’t continue.”

    Aditi Sahu
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    @aditi
    #34131
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    Toys are just something that are intended for the children to play with. They range from a doll to a an action figure and many more. In the society, there’s a common perception that some toys are designed specifically for girls while others are specifically for boys. These perceptions do nothing but just create a sort of divide between gender from a very young age. So there is no doubt that toys should be gender neutral.

    Why would you want your child to have a notion that he cannot play with some things just because of his gender? Why would you want to pollute you’re child’s mind with harmful notions like “dolls are for girls and action figures are for boys”? Children internalise the things that they learn in childhood and it causes them lifelong trauma. Toys are just there to serve as playful objects for children, let’s not make toys something they are not. Toys are gender neutral and should be treated as such.

    Afshan Iqbal
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    @afshan
    #34144
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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.

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