Saturday, December 15, 2007

Gender, gender, gender

What the hell is up with Littlest Pet Shop and their Electronic Paws Off diary? Is there any reason why it only comes in pink?

What, Hasbro thinks that boys don't like dogs guarding their stuff? MM begs to differ.

However, that led me to find out that most reviewers thought it was crap. So...we're not buying it for a couple of reasons now.

And for the record, if it had gotten GREAT reviews I might have bought it but I'm just so flipping sick of manufacturers vomiting pepto-bismol all over toys so that they can market them to girls.

It's insulting.

It's insulting to girls, because --- what? They need to only buy pink stuff? Oh! No! if it's not pink then it's a boy thing!!!

It's insulting to boys, because ---what? They need to be told there are certain things they can't use because oh! no! IT'S PINK!!!! Ewwww! You're using a girl thing!

And I'm not against MM using pink stuff. I get him pink stuff quite often. But he does get pressure about it and I don't want him thinking that only girls can be diarists or cooks or parents for crying out loud.

I'm angry and shocked that almost 40 years after this album came out, things are actually worse.

I mean...have you been to Target lately? In the toy section there is a pink ghetto. Three aisles where not only are all the toys packaged in pink, but the section signs are also in pink.

That is the section in which you will find all The Littlest Pet Shop toys.

TLPS toys are plastic crap. I am not denying this. I have guilt over the amount of plastic crap in my house, but that is not what I'm ranting about today.

MM loves TLPS. LOVES it. What's not to love about cute little animals? And most of it is not pink.

MM also loves to write. LOVES it. So why did Hasbro decide that THIS toy needs a pepto paint job? Hasbro is going to get a nasty letter from me tomorrow.

But I think there's going to be a disappointed boy on Christmas Day. Because we're not buying that pink plastic piece of crap.

Think, Hasbro. If it had also come in yellow or green or purple I would have bought it before reading any reviews!


Gary Oxford said...

I hear ya. With an engineer mom and a SAHD, Sammy's getting a pretty good grounding in the uselessness of traditional gender roles, at home at least. But the minute he goes to school, all his buddies are teasing him and each other by accusing each other of being girls and liking pink.

I get so sick of marketing being the dominant force in our culture, and making so many of us feel like losers and weirdos if we don't conform to their demographic niches.

Good on you and MM for subverting the dominant paradigm. And may he find plenty of other ways to explore his love of writing.

kathy a. said...

hear, hear.

jo(e) said...

I hate the gender-specific toys. Ugh.

It used to drive me crazy when we'd go to the toystore to buy a present for a birthday party or something, and they'd have a "boy" aisle and a "girl" aisle.

The whole thing with the color pink is just weird. The idea of certain colours being associated with gender is so bizarre and arbitrary.

Magpie said...

Yes! I have only a girl, and I hate the pink pink pink from the other side of the fence. I avoid it at all costs.

Sarah said...

My daughter is really into dinosaurs, road construction and space stuff---yesterday she told me, sadly, she was "mostly into boy things." I was appalled that she would get that idea but I can see how: so much science-y stuff is marketed to boys and the girls get the "nurturing" toys (which she likes, too) broke my heart that she felt she was doing something wrong! Ugh!

Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

And you pointed out something I hadn't thought about: it's actually WORSE than it used to be. When I was a kid in the '70s and '80s, there was some pink stuff, sure. Like the Barbie aisle and the dolls aisle. But now it's as if every toy (board games, Legos) need to be in pink... you know, for girls. 'Cause girls can't play with blocks unless they're pink. Grrrr.

Mummy/Crit said...

And lets not get started on the clothes issue! You can buy either pink/lavender frilly stuff with unicorns/fairies (for girls) or blue/black/grey/beige with army/car motifs (for boys). This now applies to the baby clothes too. When D'Arcy was tiny we bought him heaps of brightly coloured baby clothes, but now it's all gone pastel and pink/blue dichotomy.I'm hoping that I kept enough of the interesting clothes for #2 so s/he doesn't have to be a pastel weirdo.

Blah. The genderising of things like Lego really pisses me off too (thanks to APL for reminding me).

elswhere said...

You know, one reason I kind of like TLPS despite its crappiness is that it isn't inherently gendered: like you said, what's not to love about cute little animals? Plus, it gives visiting gender-conscious boys something to play with when they enter the Homage to Pinkness that is MG's room.

So this development just TRULY irritates me.

And yes, it is worse than 30 years ago. Good on you for writing a letter.

hamiam said...

Ayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy-MEN !!

Andrea said...

It is worse. You're right.

And the pink just drives me up the flipping wall.


jenn said...

Hmm, I don't understand why the free market hasn't taken care of this. If they limit their "target" they are cutting into their profits. Why wouldn't they want to sell to everyone?


Genevieve said...

Argh! The pinkosity is horrendous. So many cool toys could be gender-neutral if the marketers didn't screw them up.

When the kiddo was little and loved his Little People, I had to go online and buy an old Fisher Price house, because nowadays they're all pink and purple and icky-looking.

What infuriated me this year was that he wanted Legion of Super Heroes toys, and McDonald's ONLY gave out the boy ones. They even added three supervillains rather than include any of the female superheroes. I was furious! (DH laughs at my geekery when I shout "Saturn Girl CO-FOUNDED the Legion!!", though I actually didn't know that till I researched the McD's thing a little.) Apparently McD's is worried that boys would be disappointed if they got female superheroes? ARGH!! I solved it by buying the McD's set on ebay (therefore not giving McD's my money), and also ebaying some figures of Saturn Girl, Phantom Girl, and Triplicate Girl from decades past.