Gendered toys drive me insane. It is impossible to walk down any toy aisle in any store and not be bombarded with the segregation of so-called “boy toys” and “girl toys”. Why do we, as a society, not only put up with this madness but we also propagate it every time we go along with this nonsense? Boys and girls are subjected to the “us vs them” dichotomy from birth. Blue clothes for boy babies, pink for girls.
Now, let’s get something straight. There is a huge difference between biological sex and gender. Biological sex refers to the physical sexual differences between males and females, whilst gender refers to the socially constructed feminine and masculine identifications (ie. intelligence is a masculine trait, empathy is a feminine trait). Men are not inherently more stoic, more cerebral, or less feeling than women, just as women are not inherently more feeling, more loyal, or more emotional than men.
These predetermined personality traits need to stop being assigned purely because of sex. It is hurtful and damaging to both men and women, not to mention the oft neglected group of people who neither identify themselves as specifically male nor female. Why can’t people just be people? Why is a girl often made to feel ashamed or embarrassed because she prefers to play with G.I. Joe figures rather than Barbies? Likewise, why should a boy be made to feel embarrassed because he prefers to play with Barbies rather than G.I. Joe?
Instead of constantly trying to define others and fit them into these hurtful predetermined lives, why can’t we allow everyone the freedom to be themselves? Let the boy wear the prom dress. Let the girl wear the suit and tie. Let toys just be toys that carry no other message attached than that of having fun.