Toys R Us to drop gender in UK

September 6, 2013

toys gender

From The Telegraph:

“The toy store has bowed to pressure from campaign group Let Toys Be Toys to stop promoting toys as gender specific over concerns about the impact this has on children when they are growing up and developing their personalities.

Toys R Us will now draw up plans for how to make its marketing more inclusive, and remove explicit references to gender in store. Adverts will eventually show boys and girls playing with the same toys, such as kitchens, toy guns and lego.

Let Toys Be Toys, a campaign group run by parents, has called for the removal of gender bias, saying it restricts children’s choices.

Megan Perryman, Let Toys Be Toys campaigner, said: “Even in 2013, boys and girls are still growing up being told that certain toys are for them, while others are not. This is not only confusing but extremely limiting as it strongly shapes their ideas about who they are.”

Toys R Us announced the move after meetings with the campaign group. Roger McLaughlan, managing director of the toy store, told the Independent: “We will work to ensure we develop the best plan for our customers.”

Harrods also launched its toy collection last summer based on theme rather than gender.

Last year the Swedish branch of Toys R Us launched a gender neutral advertising campaign at Christmas, showing girls shooting a toy gun and boys and girls playing together in a kitchen.”

Let Toys Be Toys was formed by a group of feminists that met on the parenting website Mumsnet. Read about (and join!) their mission here:

http://www.lettoysbetoys.org.uk/about-2/

girl cop

15 Responses to “Toys R Us to drop gender in UK”

  1. mieprowan Says:

    Reblogged this on There Are So Many Things Wrong With This and commented:
    I wish everyone concerned with gender issues did such a good job of knowing where to apply pressure, and who are the real victims.

  2. red Says:

    We did this in the ’60s.

    Marlo must be wondering if she dreampt those years.

  3. moss Says:

    What? Good news? Unbelievable! Can’t see it happening here in the States though.

  4. hearthrising Says:

    This is wonderful news!

  5. lightperidot Says:

    This is good as it discourages stereotypes and allows children to do what they want rather then being dictated by “gender roles” which are actions and behaviour often wrongly associated with a biological sex. When I was very young I used to much prefer playing with my sister then my brother, I did activity’s that would be considered girly by society however at the time I did not think that and just did it cause I found it fun, however I remember becoming distinctly aware of society’s views and becoming ashamed of how I was, I refused then to play with my little sister despite the fact that I enjoyed it and wanted to rip photo’s of myself playing with dolls or dressed up. After this I purposely engaged in activity’s considered “manly” and made myself out to be aggressive and into fighting and death and power (effects of testosterone) just to fulfil a stereotype! and going to secondary school did not help this one bit because of the strong male roles influences there, I became a bad person because off it. But eventually I grew up enough to do just do what it is I felt like and ignore the “gender” associations, but these gender associations certainly did negatively effect my growing up and make me very unhappy, so Im glad there is something being done about it.

  6. 1899fcbarcelona Says:

    I wonder when United States will catch up?

  7. IceMountainFire Says:

    A drop on the hot stone.
    I’m pessimistic as usual, but this is one little success compared to a landslide of pseudo-science-fuelled gender brainwash that is unleashed on children.

    All the time I see parents act actively against the idea of gender-neutral toys and education even in babies.

    It is a vicious circle: Little girl has a lot of pink stuff and (that’s crucial) gets great feedback when they are using/wearing the pink stuff (″Oh, you look so sweet!”). At some point some wellmeaning person gives the little girl something non-pink, non-″girly″, and when the little girl then – being highly sensitive for her family’s convictions as many children are – ignores that thing, the parents will tell everyone how ″they tried to raise her gender-neutral, but she just has this natural urge to have pink stuff″.

    Just recently I came across a grandmother who prevented her grandson from crossing the street in front of her house alone. She let the (same-age) granddaughters cross the street alone all the time. Upon being asked why she did that, she pointed out that it is natural for mothers and grandmothers to be more protective of sons than daughters (!), as she saw all the time with her horses (!!). She basically said ″Let the cars run over the girls for all that I care, if only my boy is safe″.

    And when the children go to school, it is too late. I know a grammar school teacher who used cards with short sentences in class to teach grammar. Those sentences were taken from the children’s environment, but she changed the typical gender activities, e. g. ″Mother is washing the car″ or ″Father is doing the dishes″. She had to stop the lesson, because the 8 y o boys in the room went crazy, screaming, shouting, crying and swearing at her.

    (I just realise I could have posted this one story at the post below ″Who you calling bitch″, too. Different age group, same shit.)

    And I wish I could be more happy about the success, but I believe the brainwash into gender hogwash starts earlier, well before toy castle age.

    • liberalsareinsane Says:

      “She had to stop the lesson, because the 8 y o boys in the room went crazy, screaming, shouting, crying and swearing at her”.

      Yes, male histrionics and temper tantrums seem to carry more weight. If a bunch 8 y/o girls behaved in the same way no lesson would be stopped and they would just get someones wrath and removed and their behaviour would be offered up as proof that girls/women were unstable and emotional.

    • branjor Says:

      If he’s not to cross alone maybe he’ll cross with one of the granddaughters and get run down along with her. That’d serve “grandma” right.

  8. Chazz Says:

    Oh, goody…. Now, girls and boys have equal access to gender constructed toys. Ain’t progress grand ! ! !

  9. truthful nacho Says:

    Kids in cop uniforms. Disgusting.

    I find myself attributing this to Feminist Frequency’s work, which lets me know that this is a set up to make us feel like we’re getting bargained with. We’re not because the P doesn’t bargain with women. This isn’t going to be another buyoff a la Roe v Wade.

  10. meishuu Says:

    This is good news!

  11. Versa Says:

    But… but… how will parents know when their five-year-old child is transgendered if the toys that the kid plays with aren’t specifically boyish or girlish? Are they just going to have to resort to noting the child’s preferred blanket color/

  12. Randall Says:

    I think that this a great step. I think the toys that our kids play with really help shape what interests they pursue. I want to see more women in Math and Science.


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