Stop Gendering Toys
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Let's start with children. Bullying in schools has recently been addressed as a serious problem, with countless programs like government funded Stop Bullying, Stomp Out Bullying, and the Anti Bullying Campaign, along with countless school-implemented programs starting in Kindergarten in attempts to end bullying before it starts. Anti-bullying education starts (or doesn't) as soon as a child starts socialization; really as soon as they are born. Bullies often pick out those who are different from the rest. By marketing toys as "for boys" and "for girls" we are creating a stereotype, that only boys can play with the toys from the boys' section and only girls can play with those from the girls'. If you don't believe that children and adults adhere so closely to these labels, I challenge you to walk through the toys section of a store for a few minutes, and you'll likely overhear some interesting conversations.
Teaching children what toys they are "allowed" to play with opens the door for bullying from early ages. Real people are being threatened on the basis of their identity, threatened by people taught through simple "harmless" actions like labeling toys and clothes by gender. Discrimination based on identity can be lessened through the simple practice of allowing children to explore their interests rather than restricting them to strict gender norms, and we can create a more accepting future for our children. Instead, by marketing toys by genre, activity, or age group, children are enabled to explore a wide range of play and interests and develop skills that may not have been available to them had they been disallowed the opportunity.
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