Finding the funny in parenthood before somebody loses an eye...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Are Pink Legos Building Stereotypes?

This morning, I again had the privilege of being on NPR's "Tell Me More with Michel Martin."

The topic of conversation? Legos.

Turns out Legos has made a line of toys marketed toward girls called "Lego Friends." It's pink, the "people" have pretty hair, and it revolves around more of girl-patterned role-playing.  Kids can build a beauty shop, a Vet's office and other "girl-friendly" destinations - and then play within their creations with the characters.

Apparently this REALLY pisses some people off.  Not me...but some people.  Well, a lot of people. Over 45,000 to be more exact.

Two young women,  Bailey Shoemaker Richards and Stephanie Cole (early 20' kids...need I say more...) have started a petition to STOP Lego from marketing a toy to girls in a way that undermines "gender neutrality" - and that's how many signatures they have to date.  (FYI, the petition doesn't say "Don't make it!"  It says "Don't sell it!" - just want to clarify.)

Well, I don't agree with them.  Not one bit.

Sure Legos rule!  I LOVE Legos!  I spent my childhood playing with Legos, but I also loved Barbies.  If Lego had made pink and purple brinks when I was a girl, I would have LOVED IT! 

Here's my question - Why do people keep trying to deny gender differences?  I'm not saying boys and girls aren't equal (well, actually we're not...girls are better...) But why can't it be okay for my boy to be a boy - and conversely for my girls to be girls??  It doesn't mean they won't run a race, or that they don't play a sport, or even that they can't beat the crap out of their brother.  Believe me, they can.

I just believe that boys have a right to be "boys" and girls have a right to be "girls."  What are we saying to our boys and girls if we tell them they can't indulge their DNA?  Isn't that just as bad?  I am just saying that with some parents not even disclosing the gender of their children I think it's gone too far - and somebody needs to draw a line in the sandbox. 

Let me be REALLY clear about one thing - I am NOT saying a boy CAN'T dress up or that a girl can't play with Star Wars toys!  I'm saying why do we think it's so wrong when boys and girls DO stereotypical stuff!  Why can't we let kids just be who they are and without squeezing what we refer to as their "gender related preferences" out of them. 

I can't do right if I let my son play wear a t-shirt with a skull, and I am a bad example if my girls see me dress up for date night?    Enough already!  I AM WOMAN!  HEAR ME ROAR!  And to those people out there who are trying to squelch my "inner pink" I say "p*ss off" while I go buy me some shoes!

(Here is this morning's NPR show, "Tell Me More with Michel Martin." (By the way - thank you to the two other moms on the show, Roopa Unnikrishnan and Carrie Goldman, for being such great sports. It a pleasure).

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