Gender-neutral gifts make more considerate gifts

An image circulated on the internet seems to show a letter to parents from Lego in the 1970s promoting gender equality.

An image circulated on the internet seems to show a letter to parents from Lego in the 1970s promoting gender equality.

Pink items are for girls and blue ones are for boys, and dividing clothing and toys along these gendered colours is still a normal practice. However, interestingly enough, a hundred years ago the reverse was true, blue for girls and pink for boys.
This concept of how gender colour connotations can change reveals that colour is not inherently linked to gender, but constructed by society as a gender stereotype.

Understanding the socially-constructed nature of gender opens the door to the concept of gender-neutral toys, a concept that many Canadians should remember this holiday season.

A photo that has circulated widely in recent weeks, believed to be from Lego manufacturers to customers stating that, “the urge to create is equally strong in all children. Boys and girls. It’s the imagination that counts. Not skill. You build whatever comes into your head, the way you want it. A bed or a truck. A dolls house or a spaceship. A lot of boys like dolls houses. They’re more human than spaceships. A lot of girls prefer spaceships. They’re more exciting than dolls houses. The most important thing is to put the right material in their hands and let them create whatever appeals to them.”

Given how a cursory look at the children’s section of department stores reveals items that are separated based on if they’re intended for girls or boys, it seems that people in this day and age have forgotten this kind of wisdom, wisdom being the correct word to describe these sentiments.

Which toys a child plays with should not be pre-determined based on if they are assigned the gender of male or female by society. Girls may want to play with dinosaurs and tool sets while boys may want to play with dolls or Easy-Bake ovens.

These realities reveal that it makes little sense to put toys into gender-based categories, and that it is better to create one category of toys for all children, freeing them from the rigid norms of society, and removing the artificial limits placed on their imaginations.

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Gender-neutral gifts make more considerate gifts