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If you’ve seen my posts on facebook or twitter, you may already know that my kids are starting to show an interest in legos. When my mother-in-law came to visit, she took the kids to the toy store and my son immediately chose a set to make a truck. My daughter, while at the store, discovered Lego Friends, a series designed to appeal to girls.
Lego Friends sets are not for building rocket ships or airplanes. Instead they feature things like bake shops and plenty of bright pink bricks. I have really mixed feelings about them. At the store, my daughter, without any prompting, automatically referred to them as “the girlish legos”- implying that the other, regular legos were really for boys. This made my husband and me a bit upset. (He told her all the legos where for boys AND girls.)
I’ve seen a lot of posts online about Lego Friends, and other people dealing with the gender issues it brings up. But what I haven’t seen, are similar articles on boys and crafting. There are men who crochet and knit, but they are far outnumbered at yarn groups by the number of women there. And I think, if we’re going to encourage our daughters to build airplanes, it behooves us to show our sons how to chain stitch as well.
Reminds me of this great video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CU040Hqbas
Sad thing is that this stuff doesn’t just come out of nowhere, but as your reaction shows, it can be hard to figure out where and how to combat it. ;-(
I have mixed feelings about that Lego set. When I was a kid, Lego did come out with a “city” and a “surf” set. They were mostly things like police cars, fire trucks but also ambulances, and stores. While I had their Medieval set, I loved that set too because it was a great way to play store. I had some model/Lego airplanes but I think I was more into playing with things that were a little closer to what I would see more often. Sometimes a gal wants to play bakery even if she does want to grow up to be a rocket scientist.
My point is, I wish they would come out with an “around the town” set. It seems to me to be the most gender neutral option.
Tomboys want different. Can’t lego create a genderneutral theme like they made the miniffigures collectibles?
We tried to tell my daughter that the regular lego stuff was genderneutral but she didn’t buy it. Part of marketing is that people are more likely to buy an item if it says it’s for a particular group/person/event. I saw a bottle of heinz ketchup the other day labeled “perfect for grilling”. It wasn’t any different that the regular ketchup, but that line is intended to make people think “I grill, so I should buy this”.
Judy! And have I told you how much I love your playhouse?? I think I have but I’ll tell you again. It is the best 🙂 And yes boys cook too. Most chefs are men. and… Everyone has to eat :)Jill- boys tlaotly crack me up too 🙂 love them for that.
AKAIK you’ve got the answer in one!
I’d venture that this article has saved me more time than any other.