Saturday 21 December 2013

The ‘Indy’ Soldiers On With #FirstWorldProblems…

…and it’s that perennial favourite of the chattering classes – ‘girl toys’ vs ‘boy toys’:
In November last year, the campaign group, Let Toys Be Toys, was formed with the aim of persuading shops in the UK and Ireland to stop using signage that divides along the gender divide. So far, it's succeeded in getting 13 retailers to agree, including big hitters such as Toys R Us, Sainsbury's, Tesco, Hamleys and Debenhams.
Ah. And are you representative of the millions of parents out there searching Toys-R-Us for that special gift?
Tessa Trabue, one of 10 parents who make up active membership of the campaign, is particularly proud that Boots removed the "boys" signage from above the science toys as a result of their pressure.
The mechanisms of the campaign are simple but effective. "[It's] a mixture of us and our supporters taking images and tweeting pictures from shops," she explains. As soon as those images are out there, the group follows up with letters and phone calls.
"For the majority of stores this has worked," she says.
"Often when we point it out to them, there's a genuine look of realisation, and they say they haven't meant to alienate children from playing with certain toys."
I guess not. You just have a loud voice.
Trabue appreciates that sometimes it's hard for shops to make a decision on how to organise toys, given that the packaging shouts one gender or the other. That's a subject the group is going to tackle in the new year.
Whatever happened to the WI? Ladies, wouldn’t jam-making be a quieter, gentler, less aggravating pursuit?

Do you really have that much spare time on your hands?
But given that the group has nearly 5,500 followers on Twitter, the purchasing power they represent already seems to be an inspiration for shops to think more creatively about layout.
5500 followers, eh? Amateurs...

But it’s all about finding that elusive little thing that makes you feel superior to everyone else, really:
Earlier this week, historian Dr Thomas Dixon, of Queen Mary, University of London, posted a picture of the latest toys from Lego on Twitter: "I love Lego, but not this. Violence for boys; pets and trees for girls…"
I got in touch with him about what he feels the ramifications are for children, and he emailed back, assuring that he is not an expert, just a parent and Lego-lover who is frustrated.
"For me," he writes, "the sadness is the limitation being placed on children's development and imaginations by this kind of thing. Many parents can see through it and try to ignore it. But each individual advert is part of an all-pervading fog of cliché and prejudice, which is very hard to escape."
Yes, you're the special one. You can see this stuff, all the other, dimmer parents can't.
… we need to become cognisant of an insidious trend that is dictating what our children spend their time doing in their formative years. It doesn't make sense.
Oh, blimey, another one!
Once you start to notice, it becomes very clear how prolific this pernicious practice is: I had a little gulp this week when I saw that even good old Kinder Egg has pink and blue versions.
Oh, calamity! And look at the stick you get if you dare try to suggest 'Look, ladies, is this really so important?'...


Fidel Cuntstruck said...

Surely only the thickest of thick parents will even notice that the toys are segregated? And only idiots of the calibre of MumsyTrabue, one of a whole ten parents who have signed up to this campaign, feel coerced by this blatant "discrimination"

5,500 followers of the social media campaign eh? But only 10 who are prepared to put themselves up as "activists" - it does make you chuckle.

Joe Public said...

I look forward to seeing the "Chemistry Sets & Explosives' Precursors" next to the "Cookery Ingredients"

Tatty said...

That response you received spoke volumes.

Claim something is a problem - when it really, really isn't - so you can join the debate and litter a ludicrous arguement with big words.

That some people just like the look of their own words is the natural progression to liking the sound of their own voice.

Anonymous said...

I hope that all their sons turn out to be mincing, flouncing, homosexuals who become catamites as soon as it's legal.

That will help level out the 'gender divide'.

Furor Teutonicus said...

XX including big hitters such as Toys R Us, Sainsbury's, Tesco, Hamleys and Debenhams.XX

Sorry Julia, not often I pick you up, but that is spelled wrong;

"including big hitlers "


Twenty_Rothmans said...

Hey, Tessa Trabue, you think you can adjust the points on this 350 small block?

Oh, you can't?

I suppose "Setting up your own, whining, it's not fair campaign" belongs in the girl's section after all.

Her clunge would fall out if someone told her that men invented the Internet.

JuliaM said...

"Surely only the thickest of thick parents will even notice that the toys are segregated?"

TBF, that's a large section of the population now, isn't it?

""including big hitlers "