Toys for little girls are outrageous. In my search for the perfect present for my stepdaughter, I found that most toys could be sorted in one of two categories:
2) Superficial and borderline-inappropriate
I’m aware that toys are genderizing agents, but for goodness’ sake, I found a pink washer and dryer set. In case you’re unaware, laundry is not fun. Mind you, neither is changing diapers or burping babies, but here we are.
I’m reminded of the game “pick-up kangaroo,” a ploy that adults in my life would use to make cleaning a fun activity. (That’s how I was tricked into cleaning my room, until I wised up and started asking for money). Pick-up kangaroo was useful. The place was a mess, it needed cleaning. I made the mess, I was asked to clean it up. See? Useful.
But the washer and dryer sets, the child care dolls, the grocery carts and the mini pots and pans all represent responsibilities that don’t even exist for these children yet. In real life, doing all of that stuff sucks. It’s annoying. It’s hard work. I do it because I need to, not because I actually enjoy doing it.
Please note that no such toys exist for little boys-yet another pain in my side. There you go girls, not only are you going to learn to like doing the housework, but you’re going to learn to do it by yourself, because your male counterparts grew up liking other things, things outside the home, things that have contributed to their intelligence and ingenuity.
And that’s not all, girls are reminded to look beautiful while enjoying their duties. If it’s not child rearing, it’s make-up, jewelry, dress-up, etc. A small victory: the Bratz dolls are gone. One less image of sex kittens for five year olds.
So what did I end up buying her?
-Littlest Pet Shop play sets
-A race car mat with Hot Wheels
I don’t want her to play with just boy toys, because I want to her to fit in with her peers. That said, I can’t, in good conscience, give her the things that are marketed for her demographic. There’s no winning.