Dolls are for girls and cars are for boys.
Normally parents won’t even question why this is. Who decided this notion and most importantly why? Well I do question this (and many other notions, if you’ve been following what I blog about).
image above via thesundaesunday
In my perspective dolls are still only accepting for girls because it is expected for the female to be the caretaker of children from an early age. Believe it or not there are still some strong roots on the notion that women were only fit to be mothers and wives.
We forget that not so long ago (in the western world), women did not have the right for childcare, and were expected to dedicate their lives to their children and their husband.
Oh how we take this for granted! We forget that it was a bunch of determined ladies that made this possible. Thank you ladies, I am forever grateful!
But back to the dolls and cars:
It’s true girls ask for baby dolls and you as a parent are gladly to fullfil this whim.
But what if you had a boy asking for a doll? What would your reaction be? And could you deconstruct it?
Why is it that if a boy likes playing with dolls it is regarded as some sort of sexual orientation? That’s a bit insane if you think about it. On the whole, children have no sense of anything sexual before puberty (and if they do, they are probably exposed to a big dose of television/media outlets, which seems to sexualise almost anything unfortunately – yes cartoons too!).
But I have another perspective on this – why not think about the caring father your son will be, as he plays baby and dad/mom?
I’ll tell you one thing. I am so much more comfortable and happy to see boys playing with dolls than with toy guns. Now guns scare me. What message are you sending to your kid if you let them play with guns?
We as parents and/or educators have to deconstruct these patterns of thinking so a new generation can hopefully grow up to be one of the most accepting ones in human history. Don’t you think? Or maybe I’ve been listening for too long to John Lennon’s “Imagine” song. I think brands have a great responsibility in the way gender is defined in society. One of my major concerns when defining our brand was with this in mind. We implement ideologies of what is accepting and non accepting. We either build walls and divide people or chose to be accepting of diversity. Yes it is our choice.
I would be grateful if you would like to share your thoughts in the comments below