22 Words

Swedish toy catalog goes gender-neutral [11 pictures]

November 30, 2012 | By Abraham | 161 comments

Top Toy Group, a part of the Toys “R” Us brand in Sweden, recently released their Christmas catalog. It’s garnering attention for featuring boys and girls playing with toys stereotypically reserved for the other gender. So we see both genders being domestic as well as playing war…

(via Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post)

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161 Comments

  1. Alex says:

    Brilliant. Many kids see their dads in more domesticated roles nowadays, so it shouldn’t raise an eyebrow if a little boy wants to give baby a bottle, just like daddy.

    1. Lesley says:

      I also think this is fantastic, and far overdue. We can’t build a society without gender bias without starting with kids.

    2. Susan A says:

      I think this is great, boys play in kitchens, girls play with guns and building toys. Nothing is more irritating than assuming girls just wants dolls and pink things,even lego is guilty of this. They have a girl line in pink and it’s little houses – except I’ve never met a girl who wanted that line.

      1. vh says:

        An of coz this prevent people to buy Lego Technics as a gift for girl or parents just refuse to buy if girl ask on it…

    3. marcelo says:

      Brilliant????
      This is yet another attempt to confuse sex differences and celebrate the “transgender identity”. And in this case, the target audience is quite young: between 2 and 11 years!! This is sick and wrong.

      1. Meghan says:

        Maybe because we should celebrate it! Forcing children into stereotypes is wrong in the first place. Not every little girl wants to play with dolls and not every boy wants to play with guns and trucks. This ad is perfectly harmless it’s not encouraging anything, it’s allowing and making the children that DO want to play with toys that are associated with the opposite gender feel safe and accepted and that it is OK to be who they are. I feel quite secure in who I am as a woman, I am strait, I am successful and I am feminine, but I also grew up playing with my brother’s toys and doing martial arts and many other things that ADULTS consider to be meant for men, where as kids don’t have those associations they act on the id, what they enjoy and what seems fun to them is completely irrelevant because as children they form their own oppinion first and then are TAUGHT otherwise. We shouldn’t ever associate child toys to one gender or another because it breeds sexism and inequality among the genders.
        Though you as a person may feel secure in what gender you see yourself as, you have to understand that is not the case in all places and that we shouldn’t scorn people who aren’t as solid and that we should accept them, and love and embrace those people because they are human too.
        http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/29/health/gender-children

      2. Sarah says:

        Wow, you have a serious psychological issue. Go learn something about gender identity and then you will be entitled to share an opinion. Your ignorance is stinking up the place.

      3. heather says:

        Yes, cooking and *gasp* caring for children will turn men into women. They’ll run off and have surgeries and start wearing dresses. Oh the HORROR!!!

        or

        They will learn to care for themselves. They will cook meals and wear clean clothes during their college years and have an appreciation for women as something other than their house slaves.

        But man, those girls! What if they grow up and learn that they don’t HAVE to be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen? What if they go to college???? or God forbid, get jobs OUTSIDE OF THE HOUSE!!!

        We can’t let that happen! We need to beat our sons into manliness if we see them pretending to cook. And our girls, well just make sure they are never near a lego, or they just might think they can build things (other than a 5 course meal, that is).

        And be extra careful around those nerf guns. If your daughter even touches one of those, why…she’ll end up as a butch dyke and your poor dear heart will be broken.

        Oh dear marcelo, hide this smut from your poor children. Allowing them to use their imaginations freely or letting them think outside the box, well that will just destroy them. Playing with a doll will turn your sons into sissies and you’ll forever curse allowing them to see this evil celebration of “transgender identity” (to quote the Princess Bride “I don’t think that word means what you think it means”)

        Also, in all seriousness, I strongly urge you to pick up a few textbooks about psychology, sociology, biology, and just for the hell of it anthropology. Or take some classes? Something? anything? please? And if you do have children…I would highly suggest you start preparing them for a lifetime of therapy.

      4. Paula says:

        Playing with a doll isn’t going to turn a boy into a fag or a transvestite, you ninny. It’ll create a boy who will actually interact with his babies and help out with the laundry, instead of sitting around in a wife-beater and wondering what his wife (girlfriend, because he won’t marry her, it’ll be easier to kick her out) is doing all day long.

      5. Erica says:

        What do you mean, CONFUSE sex differences? There are only sex differences because society created them. Some of the best chefs are men and some of the best architects are women. Children shouldn’t be raised with limitations–the world should be their oyster and men shouldn’t think they’re not allowed to be emotional and women shouldn’t be made to think they should cry all the time.

        1. Steve says:

          It’s absolutely, unbelievably blind to think all the sex differences are created by society. Perhaps reinforced in more or less helpful ways. Traditional stereotypes are not all bad. They do need tweaking, but let’s not throw them out.
          Father of five.

          1. Angharad says:

            “Traditional stereotypes” are codswollop that damages both males and females. Sorry, but they absolutely *should* be thrown out.

          2. Ash says:

            You should read the work of Judith Butler! I thought the same thing until I read her; she explains just how much what we think is “natural” gendered behavior is in fact learned behavior. Gender is entirely socially constructed from the minute we’re born: some things are so route they seem natural, but nothing actually is. How exciting and liberating!

          3. lorolanz says:

            It is wrong to denie a man to be a man, just because there are wifebeaters around, does not mean that a tipical stereotype man brought up with stereotipical toys is unable to raise children or clean or cook. when this goes on soon it will be racist to simply call a boy a boy or girl a girl because we dont want them to feel pressured to choose what they want to become when reaching puberty.
            Come on people! this is what we got warned for in George Orwells 1984 Big Brother is Watching, In a faschist Dictatorship, leaders will prohibid words to confuse and weaken the population, the example in the movie, in an all good society there is no need for the word bad instead there is good, good+ or good++
            Woman and Man are not the same! they are the same species, and should have the same rights, but we are not “thank god” the same.
            And most woman, “thank god” want real man. and most man want real woman, i like a woman who dresses sexy for me, and in my experiance woman like to feel sexy, if i had a girlfriend who would like me to put on a dress because it would realy turn her on, i might do that to please her, but that has never happend, must be for a reason….

        2. edanielleh says:

          Erica- your comment clearly shows you have little to no understanding of human evolution and biology. Science doesn’t cater to anyone’s preferred ideology.

      6. Rafael says:

        It feels weird, Marcelo. Seeing the little boys playing with dolls and dryblowing the girl’s hair.. it does feel weird.

        But why should it? I don’t see anything wrong with any of the pictures that portray girls playing with so-called “boy’s toys”. And it doesn’t bother me at all seeing boys and girls playing cook.

        It feels weird because we grew up unused to that. But this can change.

    4. mathilda says:

      Now, if they could get away from pink and blue models for each gender, we’d be onto something! The boys in the picture have a blue vacuum, while the girl has a pink one. Why not make them yellow? or green? or orange? then it wouldn’t matter WHO was playing with them. (not that it really matters now, either, but there are Parents who don’t want their sons playing with pink toys..)
      Thankfully, my grandsons are learning to bake and cook.. my 3yr old grandson made cupcakes the other afternoon.. other than his mom using the oven, he did the rest all by himself. The ten yr old can make a complete meal on his own. They do their own laundry regularly, also.
      It’s not “women’s work”. It’s called LIFE.

    1. Tristan says:

      I’m a complimentarian myself and what you just described was horribly incorrect. Complimentarianism doesn’t identify that a man shouldn’t do laundry and that women shouldn’t play war. There’s nothing wrong with that. Complimentarianism identifies that men and women were created by God as equal but distinct. Where complimentarianism translates too then is in the Church and in marriage. It’s about honouring men and women as God created them. This means Men as pastor’s and heads of their household yes but that does not translate into the possibility of a women being the breadwinner. A man can still be the head of his house and still do the dishes. As a head of the household, a man’s responsibility is to treat his wife and children well and to honour his wife. And honouring your wife can translate to you cleaning the bathrooms too while your wife goes and plays nerf wars with the kid’s.

      1. Tristan says:

        I made a mistake in this part “does not translate into the possibility of a women being the breadwinner”. It should be “does not translate into the possibility of a women not being able to be the breadwinner”. Forgot to proof read it haha.

          1. Catch says:

            Wikipedia is edited by people who would both agree and disagree with you.

            I have no leaning on one side or the other, I’m just pointing out that it’s fallacy in internet debate to imply that your opinion is backed by an official definition – and then link to an open-source encyclopedia.

          1. wowsrsly says:

            Paula … well on her way to editing the whole internets. Carry on the good work!!

      2. Isilzha says:

        I am my OWN person and YOU have no right to define what I should or shouldn’t be because you think it’s part of your stupid religion. Just stop…STOP trying to impose YOUR idiotic religious beliefs on everyone ELSE!

          1. Paula says:

            spoken like a fish in water. (and by fish I mean “man” and by “water” I mean “male privilege.”)

          2. Tink says:

            Except they kind of are. Nobody’s forcing these people to buy their boys hoovers or their girls cars, yet they write about how absolutely terrible and against their religion it is that this has ever been discussed or portrayed and that anybody should do this, ever. They’re not just saying ‘I wouldn’t bring up my kids this way personally’ but ‘nobody should bring kids up this way because my holy book of preference, as interpreted by my particular sect, and my particular self, says so, and you should ALL listen because it’s obviously right because I say so’.

            In the wider world context of very religious people trying to dictate what others should and shouldn’t do (especially those who don’t practice their religion), Isilzha has a right to tell someone that actually, their religion has no bearing on Isilzha’s life and that therefore they should quit telling others what do do.

      3. Lydia says:

        Tristan, I completely respect your opinion and I am a Christian myself. But I strongly believe that the brief New Testament Bible passage that talks about family roles has to be read in context. The writer (was it Peter or Paul?) may have been implying that women were to devote themselves to family and live under their man (rather than disrespecting him and running off with someone else) and that men should respect and honour their wives (obviously, rather than running off or being abusive). It’s a hard one, but it is clear that Jesus treated everyone as equal. Some say that as all his disciples were men, he believed women were for the home etc, but it makes perfect sense for him to choose men in that society, for the purpose was to spread his word and a unfortunately a woman wouldn’t have been taken as seriously. I am sure that God is not a God who discriminates. As an emerging fifteen year old girl, I cannot follow a God that gives me talents and a brain equal to those of males, but expects me to suppress it more because of my gender. Back before they had adequate women’s rights systems in place, a woman would generally have been safest and happiest living under a man that loves and respects her. But now, why should we take a step back because we think God wants to suppress us more than males? Do we think that? I don’t.

        1. Hannah F. says:

          Thank you so much for saying that. I’m an agnostic feminist who is often disillusioned by the religious oppression of women. There is absolutely no reason why anyone should be told what to do or like just because of their gender. Gender and sexuality are both continuums, and it is dishonest to pretend that all women like or should do housework and all men like or should be primary breadwinners. If that’s how a family runs their household, then that’s their choice. But if a woman is head of her house, then no one has any right to tell her that her life choices are wrong. In addition, many of you are operating under the assumption that all couples are heterosexual. What about gay and lesbians couples? They create their own gender roles because their relationships are not nearly as predetermined as heterosexual ones. If gay and lesbian couples can figure it out without anyone telling them how to run their relationships, then I would assume heterosexual couples are equally as capable of forging their own paths without intervention.

          1. Nick R. says:

            I just took a women and genders studies class last semester and it talked all about this. I think you have a very good point and I really respect that you threw that little bit of gender/ sexuality bit in there. I personally believe that religion should have no part in determining gender roles. The person that one is destined to become should not be influenced by an outside force such as religion or social norms. Obviously social norms are going to be encountered and strictly enforced by colleagues and the judging eyes of elders, but my point is is that I like the immersion of all sexes advertising for the various gender based toy products.

          2. Rini says:

            I have to agree with this line, I am a Christian woman, and work in a christian preschool. We do not draw gender lines when it comes to teaching the children what they should and shouldn’t do, our boys are aloud to play with dolls, and be in the kitchen pretending to cook. Our little girls are right there in the mix playing super heroes and dressing up as batman. Yes in my soon to be marriage I am giving my soon to be husband the position as leader of our house, he will get to eat at the head of the table. However I am the breadwinner, I am the one who is bringing in the income for our family.

            I don’t believe that God intended the woman to only do one thing nor do I think that he intended for men to do another. Jesus treated everyone with respect and love. I think it is wonderful that they have finally started showing that people are equal to each other and it needs to start with children. We allow our children at work to explore different roles, we hope this allows them to be better human beings, and to understand others and treat people with love, kindness, and respect.

      4. Jesse says:

        Don’t you both mean “Complementarian?”
        “Complement” means to complete, whereas “compliment” is to offer praise.

    2. Mason says:

      It’s a good thing that they’re not only marketing to Christians who believe in complementarity then…

      A little boy playing with a toy vacuum cleaner is not indicative of a “war on men.” It’s indicative of the fact that the little boy wanted to play with a toy vacuum cleaner.

        1. S.Stern says:

          You know, one of the biggest things that detract me from actually pursuing a long term relationship is the fear of marrying a man-child…O_O;
          I was NOT put on this earth to clean up after someone who never grew up.

      1. Bill says:

        Ha hahaha all that agonized retorting for no reason! I bet the guy has been reading the whole thread laughing…

    3. Kimberly says:

      It’s not about war on men is just that Sweden aren’t as Christian as the USA are most people even those who are Christian just aren’t into that “Christian complentary gender roles” if you get this upset about kids getting to choose what kind of toys they want to play with you most sound whiny and it’s certainly not a war. Anyway somebody said that since it’s called “Girl’s Fashion” it should be for girls not boys, well I doubt they get to change the brand name in the catalouge but it doesn’t mean that boys who want to use them can’t, is not uncommon with male hairdressers after all.

  2. HalfMast says:

    This would make more sense if those Nerf guns were real guns. Kids aren’t forced in to or out of traditional gender roles, they don’t exist anymore. We live in a time where most people live in cities, crime rates are extremely low, and only a very slight minority of people ever even learn to do things like shoot guns, hunt, do manual labor at all, etc. If guys aren’t doing laundry and ironing, they’re not doing anything. Girls playing with pretend guns is “masculine?” Come on. Just the fact that we care so much about advertising, people selling us shit we don’t need, should tell us all we need to know. We live in a feminine society.

      1. HalfMast says:

        “Feminine” here doesn’t equal low crime rates and technological advancement, and it’s certainly not responsible for them. The industrial revolution led directly into a technological economy; one that does not require manual labor, and money now must be made through materialism. The vast majority of jobs in the west are customer service and sales, regardless of the official title of the position. We sell stuff people don’t need, and then help them maintain those things. Most people’s jobs require them to head into heavily populated areas to talk to people. That’s all they do. Nothing is being created or destroyed, they’re just talking. I can’t imagine something more feminine, and terrible, as spending eight hours every day talking to people I don’t want to talk to just to survive. I’d rather go plow a field and reap the very real, tangible fruits of my labor.

        In a political context, and I’m only speaking from my experience in the U.S., though all of the west seems very similar, there is never any real resolution. There are two primary groups of people who despise each other and try to make each other’s lives a living hell. It’s like two high school girls who hate each other. It’s miserable, and both sides do it. Historically, violence was used to resolve conflict, especially on big issues like slavery and Nazism and economic independence, and there was resolution. Now, it’s almost all diplomacy, and diplomacy just means you have one side who gets what they want while the other must live in suffering. Violence is only ever seen as a poor reaction and used by society to decry the acts of those we disagree with because we know they won’t come for us. So we have little boys play with fake ovens with little girls because there’s no reason to teach him how to plow or shoot a rifle. The physical, biological differences in the sexes are irrelevant If all he’s going to do when he grows up is work in a comfy building selling people stuff they don’t need. In this sense, technological advancement isn’t necessarily a good thing.

        Whenever I hear these studies on crime rates and “quality of life,” I wonder who’s determining what these terms mean. Is beating the piss out of some idiot at a bar really a crime? Cause if both of them want to fight, let them fight! If rivaling gangs want to kill each other, let them. Is having an enormous middle class, where people live their dull, safe lives really “quality?” We’re all essentially little kids being taken care of by our mom, corporations and the state, and we just wake up and play “high school” all day. I’m sitting on a couch right now writing a comment about the social ramifications of gender neutrality in Swedish advertising, for god’s sake. Femininity is safe and lame.

        1. Ikajo says:

          Hello HalfMast. I’m a female, living and breathing in Sweden. And I seriously think you need an reality check. You think that war and violence is a good thing? Seriously? Let me tell you something, the most people getting hurt in a conflict is not the soldiers, is not the leaders of a country. It’s civilians, most of them is children and women. I Kongo they use rape as a tactic of war. In Irak, US soldiers killed innocent people whose only crime was being born in the wrong country. In WW2 millions of people were killed without having a chance to fight. Why? Because they were put in gas chambers. Why? Because they were Jews, homosexuals, had the wrong colours or didn’t agree with the Nazis.
          Millions of people died because of bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Why? Not to end the war, it would have ended anyway. Not because there were military bases in the cities. No. They bombed the cities to prove they hadn’t wasted a lot of money on the research.

          In US, you have weapons, guns, death-penalty and the highest crime rate in the Western countries. You ask why men shouldn’t be allowed to fight if they want to. Then I ask you, why should they? Should a man be allowed to hit another man just because his mad? Is that really a reason good enough to hurt someone? What comes next? Gay people? Women? Those with other colours on their skin? Wrong religion? Wrong opinion?
          Why? Why should a man be aloud to hurt someone else just because he is male, just because he needs to prove he’s a man? I should say he’s en poor excuse of a man.

          You seem to look down at femininity, let me tell you something about women. Most women works in healthcare, schools and kindergartens. They are the foundation of the society, without them nothing else would exist at all. And despite that, no one really appreciates their work. A mother can without any regard for her own safety charge in to danger for the sake of her children.
          A woman is not the opposite of a man. We are the men’s equal.

          You think that safety is boring? Well, than make your own life more existing. Jump Bungy jump, explore the jungle, sail around the world, swim across the ocean, become a soldier if you want war, fight against unjust, become athlete, jump down from a cliff.
          The opposite of safety isn’t excitement, it’s danger and the one in danger in your world might not be the one you thought it would be!

          1. HalfMast says:

            “A woman is not the opposite of a man. We are the men’s equal.”

            Everybody’s equally feminine, you’re right.

            And I don’t have anything against femininity when it’s women being feminine. In fact, I really like it.

            I also really like your suggestions; however, bungie jumping, exploring jungles, and sailing around the world require money, and I can only make money by doing all of those things I’d rather not do. I may just go do you a favor, though, and jump off a cliff. Very cheap and exciting indeed.

        2. Zaya says:

          Please look up the so called norms in a basic anthro class. Violence and fighting is not always the norm nor is the Western concept of masculine/feminine present in plenty of societies throughout the world. Google scholar is pretty good with presenting various articles.

    1. juiceb0z says:

      “Kids aren’t forced in to or out of traditional gender roles, they don’t exist anymore.”

      If traditional gender roles no longer exist, why decry an advertising effort to stamp it out where it begins for many of us — early childhood? To assert that children are not forced into gender roles is simply not true. You have the option to give your infant pink or blue. Girls play with ovens, boys play with trucks. It doesn’t take a Gender Studies major to see a pattern.

      “This would make more sense if those Nerf guns were real guns … We live in a time where most people live in cities, crime rates are extremely low and only a very slight minority of people ever even learn to do things like shoot guns, hunt, do manual labor at all, etc.”

      Firstly, there is a reason manual labor jobs are often referred to as being “low-skill”; you don’t need a degree to lift. Consider this: given your assertion that “most people live in cities” (which doesn’t seem to help out those living in developing nations), would that not mean that the majority of work requiring manual labor isn’t available to those living in urban areas? Hunting? I feel as though you aren’t taking proximity into account.

      Out of curiosity, have you ever lived in sectioned housing or visited an impoverished urban neighborhood? And to suggest that children should be encouraged to play with guns? I don’t think this requires any comment.

      “Just the fact that we care so much about advertising, people selling us shit we don’t need, should tell us all we need to know.”

      Conscious or not, the brain takes cues from advertising. Some firms have psychologists working in the creative department to make it more effective. Is it problematic that we live in a culture predisposed to buy and sell shiny shit–sometimes at the cost of going bankrupt? Absolutely. Is it necessary to remove gendered advertising particularly where it concerns children? I think so. As I stated, your brain has a way of understanding subtle cues in advertising, whether it’s an ad for a cleaning product aimed at women (because only women do housework) or an ad for a Tonka truck for boys (because only boys like playing with trucks).

      “We live in a feminine society.”

      I’m sorry, but this is blunt misinformation. As long as we are still blaming female rape victims, putting value on women based upon their appearance, judging women for enjoying sex, institutionally prohibiting women from making crucial decisions in their own health care, and effectively putting the blinders on young women in regards to their own bodies and sexuality, then we are NOT living in a feminine society. The behavior goes both ways for men AND women.

      1. HalfMast says:

        “If traditional gender roles no longer exist, why decry an advertising effort to stamp it out where it begins for many of us — early childhood? To assert that children are not forced into gender roles is simply not true. You have the option to give your infant pink or blue. Girls play with ovens, boys play with trucks. It doesn’t take a Gender Studies major to see a pattern.”

        Pink and blue don’t indicate feminine or masculine, right? They’re just colors. Playing with a Nerf gun or Tonka truck isn’t masculine. They’re little plastic toys. They’re essentially the same as a little plastic oven or a little plastic vacuum cleaner. It’s all feminine. These kids aren’t gender neutral, they’re preparing to become women.

        “Firstly, there is a reason manual labor jobs are often referred to as being “low-skill”; you don’t need a degree to lift. Consider this: given your assertion that “most people live in cities” (which doesn’t seem to help out those living in developing nations), would that not mean that the majority of work requiring manual labor isn’t available to those living in urban areas? Hunting? I feel as though you aren’t taking proximity into account.”

        Yeah, I get it. Telling my why the culture is the way it is doesn’t change the fact that it’s feminine. You must not have read my reply to AJ. I’m specifically talking about the west, but it’s true that most people in the world live in cities now, anyways.
        http://www.unfpa.org/pds/urbanization.htm

        “Out of curiosity, have you ever lived in sectioned housing or visited an impoverished urban neighborhood? And to suggest that children should be encouraged to play with guns? I don’t think this requires any comment.”

        I’m not suggesting kids should play with guns. I’m saying they have no reason to learn how to use guns. Or use a plow. Or ride a horse. Or hunt. All very masculine activities. Of course little boys are going to play with pretend ovens and vacuum cleaners, that’s all they’re going to have to do when they grow up.

        “Conscious or not, the brain takes cues from advertising. Some firms have psychologists working in the creative department to make it more effective. Is it problematic that we live in a culture predisposed to buy and sell shiny shit–sometimes at the cost of going bankrupt? Absolutely. Is it necessary to remove gendered advertising particularly where it concerns children? I think so. As I stated, your brain has a way of understanding subtle cues in advertising, whether it’s an ad for a cleaning product aimed at women (because only women do housework) or an ad for a Tonka truck for boys (because only boys like playing with trucks).”

        None of this matters. Men and women do housework. Playing with a plastic truck isn’t masculine. Who cares if a boy or girl is playing with them? None of them will need a truck when they grow up, man or woman, because driving into town to sit in a comfy building doesn’t require it. All these activities are feminine activities. You can get all riled up about gender roles, but they don’t exist anymore in western culture, because it’s all feminine.

        “I’m sorry, but this is blunt misinformation. As long as we are still blaming female rape victims, putting value on women based upon their appearance, judging women for enjoying sex, institutionally prohibiting women from making crucial decisions in their own health care, and effectively putting the blinders on young women in regards to their own bodies and sexuality, then we are NOT living in a feminine society. The behavior goes both ways for men AND women.”

        Well, this took quite a turn. I agree women should not be blamed when they’re raped. You make it sound like all women everywhere are constantly being raped, and subsequently being blamed for it. There might be a handful of people who, on occasion, blame a woman for being in the wrong place or wearing whorish clothing, but those people are few and far between. To suggest that it’s culturally acceptable is absurd, and can be dismissed by seeing how we, as a culture, treat men who were falsely accused of rape. Even when a man is found not guilty, “rapist” is attached to his name and he is ostracized and will often have a hard time finding a job or any number of other things. This whole “rape culture” BS that we’re fed is a lie.

        We place value on appearance because there IS value in appearance. Humans are biological creatures who want a healthy mate. Appearance tells us a lot about a person, like their health, self-control, and discipline, particularly a person’s weight, hygiene, and structure. Appearance isn’t all that makes a person, but expecting men to look past it altogether is foolish and wrong. Also, this argument is more proof that we live in a feminine society.

        The social acceptability of sex would require an essay that I’m not going to write. We could bring up biology, like a woman being a potential mate and mother, and social contexts, like living in a post-sexual revolution west that values the act more than the product of the act or family. Besides, women being judged more harshly than men tells us more about our attitudes toward sex than it does toward the sexes.

        And now that you’re bringing up abortion and sexual freedom, how can you possibly say this isn’t a product of a feminine society? Abortion is legal. Sex is legal. How are we putting “blinders” on young women? Is your argument that because women can’t go spread their legs for everyone they meet without being judged, even though they’re free to do so, society is masculine? Because women can’t have everything they want, society is masculine? The fact that we’re even having this conversation, that we’re so concerned about women being judged for having sex that colleges offer courses on it, should tell you how feminine society is. We have nothing better to do with our time than whine about being labeled a slut. Your comment only confirmed what I’ve been saying.

        1. Teal says:

          As a women’s studies/gender and sexualities studies academic, I tried really really hard to put aside the obvious overly privileged male tone of your initial comments, and your responses, and really try to understand where you are coming from and give your points validity. I, sadly, cannot. It is obvious from your attitude that you are male, white, probably fairly wealthy, and have not had much experience or actual factual academic knowledge of people who are marginalized due to their race, sex, class, gender, etc. If you truly believe that society has been overly feminized, then I encourage you to find your local women’s center and go to someone there and speak to perhaps the director of programs, maybe she can help you pull your head out of your ass, I am sure that I do not have the patience to point out all of the ways in which you are an over privileged misogynist dick, and I’m sure none of the other feminists who read this have the patience either. And yes, I am responding angrily and with emotion and am jumping to conclusions based simply off of your response on the internet, I’m perfectly ok with all of that. It is clear to me, and probably most people with any sort of knowledge of issues of social justice, that you live in a fantasy world as the republicans and the right wing christians. I sincerely hope you search out someone to explain to you exactly why every single statement you made is wrong, and with any luck, they will have the statistics, research, theories, and writings to trump your idiocy. And, I can only hope that perhaps you are correct, and it is a feminine world, and we have all been hoodwinked, because then maybe women would finally have the power to shut up stupid loud mouthed know it all men like yourself.

          1. HalfMast says:

            BREAKING NEWS: A women’s and gender’s studies major has a lot of insults and no argument. Is this the most surprising event in history?

            COMING UP:

            A scientific panel reveals it is not, in fact, surprising.

            AND AT TEN:

            Is “How to get your panties in wad 101″ an appropriate prerequisite for all women’s and gender’s studies majors at all public universities? A new study suggests that asking this question “oppresses women and effeminate men.”

          2. Tink says:

            If that’s getting ‘panties in a wad’, was HalfMast getting his y-fronts in a twist?

        2. Stephanie says:

          You ought to look at stats for victim blaming in rape, and maybe talk to people outside of your head for a minute. “slut shaming” (aka victim of rape shaming) is still a very big problem, that is, not every one is being raped and blamed, but the courts and even peers of the victims still take a very poor stance when it comes to a rape victims rights. Just go onto facebook and look up a picture of a young woman who was raped and is trying to share her story to give other like victims hope and read the comments, guaranteed a good 30% of the comments will be “you probably deserved it, slut.” or “Don’t get drunk and you won’t get raped.” or “Well duh, dress like a skank and you’re asking for it.” In fact, I recently read of a case where a gag order was placed on the VICTIM so that she could not sully the name of her attackers, even though they had repeatedly raped and battered her. This happens, this is reality. Your rosey glasses outlook of the “BS rape culture” is quite incorrect.

          Also, as a person who advocates information sharing and education over anything, I know for a fact that most school sex ed programs are severely lacking in correct material. They spread fear and misinformation in an attempt to encourage abstinence, when all they do is keep teens from knowing the proper recourse to take for safety and where to go to get help if they needs it.

          As for appearance, no one wants anyone to look past appearances, what we want to for men to discontinue objectifying women, appearances be damned. Women are not objects for sex or servants to cook and clean, or just pretty things to look at, of course, appearances do tell a lot about a person’s health and potentiality to mate, but turning a woman’s body into a beer bottle for advertisements doesn’t tell you that, all it tells you is that women are inanimate objects existing only for the pleasure of men.

          Speaking of feminine society, you may scoff, but the glass ceiling is not a myth. Women still receive $0.80 on the dollar that their male counterparts receive and look at any company CEO and you will see possibly one women in ten. This is not because women are unable to do the same things that male CEO’s can do, but because they are considered less than men.

          Also, look at your OWN insults, of course they are sexist “Panties in a wad”? seriously? more like “How to completely contradict myself by being a chauvinistic arse 101″. Women are degraded, denigrated, abused, insulted, and over all treated like less than their male counterparts, and you still say this is a feminine society? It is this masculine ideal that makes me completely disagree 100% with you, and clearly everyone else here as well. You are entitled to your own opinion of course, but mark my words, you ARE incorrect, and you would be hard pressed to find people of like mind anywhere. I would suggest you become informed.

          1. Darlene says:

            Won’t comment on most of this crazy stuff, but honestly a scanitly clad female acting ‘sexy’ in a beer ad in truth tells me nothing about the quality of the beer, or car, or tools or anything else that uses that type of advertising gimic. All it tells me is that the ad is geared toward males because sex gets their attention, thus sex sells.

            We do still have gender issues in this society, and branding this society femminist is to not really see the society as a whole. I think many things need to be changed. Sweden also recently used size 12 and size 14 mannequins for modeling womens lingeree and I think it’s great. Most women are not size 2, so why should stores give girls (and boys too if they use the ‘muscled’ mannequins) the feeling that if they are not that thin and not that ‘built’ that they are bad. We need to be more honest with our advertising and such, but seems we are still stuck in gender arguements here. Gender isn’t cut and dried as some would think.. it’s a spectrum. I applaud the advertisers to look beyond the norm and advertise to all.

        3. Tink says:

          HalfMast, um a recent global report says 1/3 of women globally will experience sexual assault and/or physical abuse. Most of these are perpetrated by the woman’s intimate partner. Most of these perpetrators will never be arrested, let alone convicted for what they’ve done. Rape is also a tool of war. Globally, many women become outcasts in their community if they are assaulted or raped. So yeah, women are being constantly raped on a global scale, and in many cases they are blamed for it.

          Also, if the reasons society fixates so much on appearance were primarily scientific (and as someone with a degree in biosciences, personally I believe that’s BS), what we valued would remain relatively constant. Peacocks evolved over millions of years, peahens don’t decide every year to pick completely different signifiers of male fitness. Whereas in humans, our history charts many changes in what we have deemed attractive through the ages – fat, skinny, light skin, dark skin, big breasts, small ones, what has been considered most attractive has changed. This is because most of what we see as being beauty is cultural. You can argue that not looking like you have leprosy, and looking like you’re vaguely fertile and alive is something we’re programmed to look for, true. But gravity-defying breasts, flat stomachs, tanned legs and big lips with fake lashes? These would have been considered hideous even in recent history – it is our fashions and cultural mores that make them attractive, not any innate correlation to fitness. We are so much more complicated than most organisms, why do we try to justify our behaviour in terms that are so simplistic?

        4. boo says:

          hmmm.. I’m a dude, and I’m pretty sure you’re a dick. Enjoy that bud light while you rave about those feminazis in your white pickup truck, buddy.

  3. Keith says:

    I definitely understand that girls can play with boy toys and vice versa, but this seems to put political correctness ahead of actually marketing to the demographics that are most likely to buy the particular product. Then again, maybe in Sweden the “forward-thinking” parents that value political correctness above everything else will want to shop from the “forward-thinking” toy store. There the ones with the money, after all, not the kids.

    All politics aside, you KNOW the boys playing with dolls & cute little puppies are going to get made fun of at school.

    1. Mason says:

      Kids aren’t born with any preconceptions about “gender roles”. Boys aren’t born liking blue and girls aren’t born liking pink. Of course, it is perfectly fine if they really do prefer those colors.

      However, kids soak in everything we present to them. So the ideas of “girls toys” and “boys toys” is representative of what they are exposed to. Before 2 years of age, most babies will pick up whatever they see and play with it. It makes no difference to Billy if this toy is meant for Sally. Children have no notion of “gender-appropriate” toys until they become more active in their social environment. That should tell us something.

      I of course understand that you cannot change how society will view behaviors deemed as “abnormal.” Even the most open-minded parent cannot control how other children will react to Billy playing with a Barbie or Sally playing with G.I. Joes. But why should we start putting restrictions on little kids about “right” and “wrong” toys? Is it really that big of a deal? Yes, they may get made fun of. But, kids make fun of other kids for numerous reasons and there is no way to completely prevent it.

      Furthermore…what is so wrong with a boy playing with a baby doll? Is that “un-manly”? Grown men hold real babies all the time, so what’s the big deal with a boy holding a doll?

      1. travis says:

        That is complete and under nonsense. Sure, there is no reason that boys should like blue, or girls pink, but there are reasons why girls prefer to play with dolls and boys prefer to play with guns. People are not born as fully developed adults, so to suggest that some gender differences that don’t exist at birth *must* be conditioned is ridiculous. Children do not develop sexual feelings for the opposite sex until puberty, does this mean that your sex drive is social conditioning and nothing to do with biology? Of course not, it is just a sexual difference that develops at a much later date. Children under the age of two do not only not express gender preferences for toys, but they also have no concept of themselves or other people either.

        No matter how much you dislike it, men and women are not the same. Boys and girls are not the same. There are very clear, well documented and explainable differences between male and female.

        1. Trish says:

          What’s ‘under nonsense?’ Furthermore, I don’t care whether you are telling the truth or not, but what you’ve just said is harmful to children that don’t fit those stereotypes. There is NO harm at all in having toys as gender neutral. Kids can play with what they like.

        2. Mason says:

          I never once said that conditioning is the only thing that influences a child to have certain preferences. I said that gender norms are a social construct (which is true, because all norms are) and have a lot to do with what kids feel is appropriate. Gender itself is actually a social construct. We decide what makes one feminine or masculine… for instance, what is considered feminine or masculine in this time period/country/etc. is not necessarily what is considered feminine or masculine in another time period/country/etc. If “gender differences” were scientific or factual in any way, would they not stay constant over time or regardless of location? Thus, your claim that “gender differences” are not conditioned basically refutes itself… “Conditioning” is to influence or to determine, so…

          One’s sex on the other hand is biological. It is not determined by society. Thus, when one’s sex hormones switch into full gear at puberty, it IS something biological. So speaking of gender and sex within the same context is pretty inaccurate.

          I am not disputing that biology has nothing to do with it. One’s biology makes sex hormones- estrogen and testosterone. These hormones have been shown to influence personality traits in men and women. Thus, it wouldn’t be out of line to say that biology can influence one’s likes and dislikes.

          But if you think that social norms/gender norms/etc. has NOTHING to do with how men and women operate in society… you are either in denial, or a terribly unobservant person. How many men do you know that would be embarrassed to tell their male counterparts about an interest or hobby they have because it would be deemed as “un=masculine”? How many women have been told not to do something because it’s “un-ladylike”? CLEARLY people have interests that are outside of typical gender norms that they hide or suppress at times. Adults do it every day. Thus, it’s silly to think that children somehow escape that influence.

          1. Tink says:

            Eloquently put, Mason.

            People are taught to conform in many ways, every day of their lives. Parents teach their kids how to behave, and part of that is often gendered. Girls are often encouraged to be quieter, not get their pretty clothes, toys and hair dirty, that they’re being unladylike or should act more mature. By contrast, boys are often given more freedom to play aggressively or get dirty, because ‘boys will be boys’. As a society, we teach girls to be passive and obsessed with looks, whilst we let boys get out of hand and immature on the grounds that it’s just their gender.

            Yes, many girls may be shy, and many boys are energetic or a bit aggressive, but if we select for these traits by particularly encouraging behaviour that we feels fits norms, then it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. We shouldn’t be worrying about whether our girls are sufficiently prissy or whether our boys are too girly, but whether we’re raising healthy, happy, well-adjusted and mature kids who will grow up to be good people.

            Kids also learn about what it means to be male or female from their parents. So if your parents have an unhealthy relationship with their body (eating disorders, low self-esteem, dieting, overeating), or ways of forming relationships with others, kids will pick this up too.

    2. brooke says:

      In actuality, what is portrayed in that catalog is so refreshing because it’s exactly what happens when boys and girls are given those toys. Even in a mixed group.

      1. Alison says:

        ^You’re so right! I feel bad now when I remember how I used to tell my little brother off for dancing around in my ‘dress up skirts’, because he was ‘a boy’. He is now a perfectly straight teenager who has a girlfriend and still loves singing and dancing. My other brother, however, naturally loved all things transport and outdoors-related, including horse-riding, which is his passion. People are people, trying to fit us into a stereotype is only harmful to those who don’t fit! :)

      2. Tink says:

        Very true. Plenty of girls want to play with ‘boys’ toys’ and vice versa, especially if they’re not bullied into only playing with a small subset of toys. It’s not an indication of someone’s future sexuality, nor should anybody be ashamed if it was.

        I’m certainly grateful that although Christian, my parents didn’t have some misguided agenda in preventing us playing with whatever toys we bloody well wanted to play with. My two loves as a kid were art and science, areas that are the mainstay of my life as an adult. Yet if I was prevented or discouraged from playing with ‘boys’ toys’ like science kits, that might have been different. I wonder how many talented people we alienate by not encouraging interests when they are kids?

    3. Emil Rutkowski says:

      Hi. I’m Emil and I’m a father of two kids and I love in Sweden. I can tell you that no, playing with “girl” toys have not resulted in my son being taunted in school. My son’s favorite toys are his My Little Pony toys that go great with LEGO; my daughter’s favorite toys so far(she is rather young) is Duplo(LEGO for toddlers, basically) and as a result they can play with eachother and eachothers friends with ease!

      Yes, people with regressive minds still exists here, I know that too well, but just caving to them and letting them dictate society’s norms is not going to make anything better.

      So yeah, what you KNOW seems to be a very short list.

  4. OrenP says:

    I don’t know what to tell you. I don’t see a kid trying to brush his sister’s hair or play with dolls. It looks like he is trying to shoot her with his AWESOME lazer gun and break her doll house. His smile says it all

    1. Anna says:

      And I would have been pretty mad if my parents bought me guns, video games, or police Playmobil. Bleh
      I think the whole “gender neutral” idea is silly.

      1. Mason says:

        And that’s very nice Mark and Anna, but not all kids feel that way. Your experiences are not representative of all children. The point isn’t to force your children to play with toys they don’t like. The point is to let your children play with whatever toys they do like.

        1. Amanda B. says:

          ^ This. My parents got me both Barbies and Hot Wheels–not to make a statement, but because I genuinely had fun playing with both. I liked playing dress up, thought baby dolls were pretty spectacularly boring, and loved Nerf guns. I played both with my own Polly Pockets and my brother’s Micro Machines.

          My parents handled it, IMO, brilliantly: they told me that some of those toys were designed for little boys, but that it was just fine for girls to like them and play with them, too. Anyone can play with a fun toy. When I got teased by other kids, it didn’t phase me too much…

          “That’s a boy’s toy!”
          “Yep.”
          “But you’re a girl!”
          “Yeah, but it’s okay for me to play with this.”

          And there’s not really much for a bully to say after that. :)

          The point is to stop shoehorning kids into stereotypes that don’t fit them.

      2. Fredrik says:

        Then I guess Mark didn’t get barbie dolls and Anna didn’t get guns, video games or playmobil, which is perfectly fine.

        The question is, what would you do if your daughter wanted a video game or your son wanted a doll. Would you get them the toys they wanted, or would you force your gender roles on them?

      3. B says:

        Just an fyi, all kids feel differently. I’m female, but as a kid I really didn’t enjoy Barbies or dolls. I especially loathed baby dolls and even as a kid I picked up on the fact that people “expected” me to want to play mommy with them. Ironically, to this day I don’t want children even though I’m happily married and all that. I’m thankful my parents didn’t force gender appropriate toys – I was a girl who liked dinosaurs, bugs, Legos, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and McDonalds toys galore. I did like some girl things too, like horses, crafty art projects, and boy bands (good god) but my parents allowed me to like what I liked. Remember….sex is biological, but gender is a social construction.

      4. Jessica says:

        Mark, Anna, have neither of you thought that the reason you think this way is because of how you were raised? I grew up without being told what and what I wasn’t allowed to play with. Mostly, I picked gender neutral toys like legos and plushies. I wasn’t interested in barbies, I had more ninja turtles. I never cared for the Disney Princesses, which I found boring and underdeveloped next to the male characters. I never felt any guilt because no one ever even brought up the idea that what I was doing was outside of the norms implied by my gender. I’m a straight woman, I wear girly clothing and never leave the house without make up. My partner and I share tasks according to our skills more than our gender roles (he’s a much tidier person than I am, but I’m much more manual) . Make what you wish of that.

      5. Wendy says:

        Are you kidding? Playmobil was my absolute FAVE. Especially the zoo one. And I loved gun wars with my brothers. My brothers and I weren’t allowed video games. We played tribes instead, and then had barbie fashion shows and did each others hair. The point is NOT to force stereotypes on people.

      6. boo says:

        says you anna. my little sister always loved to play the fun science games, nerf guns, and ride mini ATVs. She also loved things like ice skating and drawing tulips. She ripped the heads off of her barbies, and was obsessed with dinosaurs. She loved painting her nails and wearing fake red wax lips, and romping around the woods in the mud. Why must it always be one thing or the other??

    2. Alyson says:

      I was always pissed at receiving Barbies when my little brother got Ninja Turtles. He didn’t even _like_ Ninja Turtles. That was _my_ show.

    3. Tink says:

      Nobody’s saying parents should be forced to buy their boys barbies or their girls action man. What we’re saying is that children shouldn’t be bullied or discouraged from playing with whatever age-appropriate toys they wish for, regardless of gender.

      Perhaps if you weren’t told off for playing with toys that weren’t ‘befitting’ your gender as a kid, and you weren’t just bought the socially-approved type of toy, you might have felt differently. Or maybe not. But isn’t it nice to get a choice?

  5. John says:

    eh, if a toy is called “Girl Fashion” do we really need boys modeling it?

    I don’t see the point. If a child wants a toy intended for the opposite sex, the parents should have already created an environment in the home where it is acceptable for the kid to want it.

    1. Fredrik says:

      Why should toys be intended for either sex? Wouldn’t it be better if toys were intended for children instead, and then the children can decide what they want to play with?

  6. Lo says:

    Hey I am a Swede and I think this is awesome. The toy store is just presenting the catalogue the way a lot of people here want it. And what ever you think about that, that is how capitalism works.

    I liked both “girl toys” and “boy toys” when I was a kid and I was not the only one. I think it is fantastic that the store actuality showing the world like it is. Because a lot of children plays whit gender-mixed toys. Get used to it!

    1. Joakim says:

      I agree, its the way a lot of (most) parents here in Sweden like to raise their children. Its not a big deal really.

      Its not like we have all gender issues figured out, we still have a long way to go leveling salaries between sexes and addressing other gender issues. Everyone is pretty much set on the thought that the sexes are equal though, any other way to think about gender seems obsolete.

  7. Richard says:

    Well , this is a good progressive move , frankly I was disappointed with the Lego company’s recent trend in marketing making ‘girl specific’ lines(me and my sister enjoyed Lego together – the train lines esp.) When I have kids of my own the last thing I’m going to do is try force them into specific gender based tastes.

  8. Drea says:

    Luv the kids playing hairdresser. Could you all just lighten up a bit. Buy your kids what they want to play with not what a catalog suggests you should buy for your kids.

  9. Tobias N says:

    It’s depressing to see all the bad press we swedes got after this. It shouldn’t be a big thing. It shouldn’t be a thing at all. There is so much else going on in the world that’s horrible that deserves negative attention, but people choose to get upset over children being equal regardless of how they were born. I really hope people look back on this like we do on apartheid and similar historical occurences, in the future.

    1. B says:

      What a rude, ignorant comment. All I’m reading from you is, “Anything different than what I’m used to is wrong and stupid!”….closed-minded much? The world will never get anywhere with people thinking like this.

      1. Aaron says:

        And im reading from you, “anyone who doesn’t like what I like is wrong and stupid” Moral is, some people have religious beliefs that this might offend. How about having respect for other peoples cultures! (it’s incredibly closed-minded!)

        1. J says:

          How did Luc’s comment have any religious connotations? He/she was probably writing to get a rise out of someone… and it worked. I love reading the comments on these charged posts. One person pokes a stick at a grizzly bear and all the bears go crazy.

        2. Tink says:

          My religious beliefs cause me to be offended by people whose religious beliefs make them believe they can control everyone else’s lives. Does that mean I get to tell you what to do?

          Moral of the story is: your ‘religious beliefs’ have no bearing on anyone else. If you honestly believe God thinks boys who play with pink toys will burn in hell, then…it’s your right to shun all pink goods for eternity. But to act as if everyone in the world has to follow some misreading of some text because you can’t deal with other people harmlessly doing their own thing…not cool.

          Culture is no excuse for telling others what to do.

        3. S.Stern says:

          And upon the mountain Jeezuz said… the BOY will play with CARS while the GIRLS will play with DOLLS… and none shall pass, for this is the law. So sayeth the LERD. Challahfalluja.
          Book of BS 1:34-36

  10. brooke says:

    This is so refreshing. I have four boys and one girl. Looking at these ads, I saw what happens in our house every day. Children are children first, then girls or boys second. I firmly believe girls and boys are different, however I believe it shows up in different ways. I think we really mix up cultural cues with innate childlikeness and the reality of gender.

    I love this.

  11. Joakim says:

    Showed this to my wife…when I said that there was a discussion going on in the forum (didn’t say on what subject) – she asked if it was regarding the fact that you could buy an toy vacumcleaner!?! She didnt even reflect on the fact that the catalog might have raised any gender issues. The point beeing, this is reallity here in Sweden, its not a big deal if a boy wants to play house, or a girl wants to play with a bb-gun.

  12. Sara Mcd says:

    I think the catalog is weird only because the idea that there are boy toys and girl toys is weird. If there were such a thing as gender specific toys then maybe we should leave that alone, but I don’t think such a thing really exists. What is inherently male about a kitchen? Is it because most chefs are men? Or what is feminine about toy dogs?

    Yes, I think there are both inherent and socialized differences between boys and girls and men and women and no, I don’t think that’s a bad thing – diversity is good – but why would it even merit mentioning that a girl likes building or a boy likes to play house? It seems like a non-issue to me.

  13. Doris says:

    I love the idea :) I’m a girl and I used to play with guns, build stuff. I was interested in cars more than my older brother and I was obsessed with something like little mechanic kit, and I was the only one to play with it. I also loved Barbie, little sewing machine, playing pharmacy and cook. I hated classic baby dolls though – I though the babies are ugly and I never wanted to have anything in common with babies and baby trollers.

    So for me the concept of boys having a tea party and girls playing guns looks very natural. And I grew up in a country where people have a very conservative attitude to raising kids – for example, people still tend to believe that physical punishment is a good thing. Many people freak out about gender distinction here, I see parents trying to stop their daughters from playing like their brothers… there are so many gender specific expectations…

    I guess I was lucky. I with every child was.

  14. M says:

    As a nice little cartoon I found the other day said:

    Is the toy operated with your genitals? No? Then girls and/or boys can play with it.
    If yes – it’s not for children at all.

  15. Lauren says:

    Well I’m not religious at all, and I think this is so awesome. Children should be allowed to play with whatever takes their fancy at the time, without ridicule or having to worry about whether it’s ‘gender appropriate’. They’re kids. Adults are the only ones who have problems with girls playing eith guns and boys playing with dolls.

  16. Pam I says:

    Special checklist to decide if it’s a girl’s or boy’s toy:

    1. Do you operate it with your genitals?

    (a) no – it is for any child

    (b) yes – it is not a children’s toy.

    1. Stephanie says:

      Cute, but just because a boy plays with babries doesn’t make him gay. My best friends brother used to play barbies with us when we were kids because A. He wanted to hang out with us, and B. he liked boobs, and barbies have boobs. It doesn’t take a great leap of the imaginations to see perfectly straight boys playing with female dolls.

  17. Stephanie says:

    When I was a kid I played with barbies…. AND hot wheels. It wasn’t to make any sort of “gender role” statement, but because I was a kid and I would play with whatever I had. I also had a big brother that I looked up to and so a lot of my toys came because I wanted to play with him. I played dress up with my friends and transformers with my brother, I watched batman, and also my little pony. When I got older I got into star wars and star trek and we built our own space themed board game out of cardboard and it was awesome, but I didn’t do it because I wanted to “break the mold” and neither did my parents try and make a statement of it, they just wanted us to expand our minds and play and create in environments we thought were fun, which in my case happened to be with legos. I will encourage my child(ren) to do the same, be it a boy or a girl, they will play with the objects that will best encourage learning and creativity, regardless of the current “gender conditioning”

  18. Sarah says:

    That’s brilliant. If I ever have a kid, I wouldn’t attempt to raise them totally ‘gender-neutral’ per se, but I would let them make their own choices once they were able. This would include things like choosing own toys to play with and own sports to play. I wouldn’t deliberately do things like dress a newborn/toddler boy in a dress because that’s not gender neutral; that’s projecting the opposite gender identity on your child and I’m also aware of societal prejudice my child would face. Though, it’d be a different story if my son asked to wear it himself.

  19. MummyBH says:

    My husband and I adopted three children and the toys they bought with them were an ironing board and hoover for the girl and cars for the boys. We instantly made the toys everyone’s and now they choose the toys they want to play with. They know certain toys are more often chosen by girls and vice versa. My youngest boy always wants to get the ironing board out when I or my husband are doing the ironing so that he can do the same things as us. His future partner will love us lol After all, children learn from copying and how will they know what they do and do not like if they have never experienced something or been exposed to it? I would be mortified if my little girl could have found out a cure for cancer and I didn’t let her play at being a doctor and find out her passion for medicine because I stereotyped doctors as being male.

  20. Jewish Kids Programs says:

    Befor few month I was with my nephew he is just 3 years old. I went with him for purchase toys. I was surprised to see the happiness of him. So toys are one of the best stuff for children.

  21. Jessica says:

    Just another example of the pussification of men. When all the women wonder where the real men went, they can look back on this and realize their war against the male gender has finally been won. We fight so hard for equality that some never think that maybe men are just different. I don’t mind if the little boys choose to play with a girls toy or if girls want to play with Nerf guns but the idea of gender neutrality really seems to be driven by women. Kids don’t care and they shouldn’t, that thought should never cross their mind. Give them toys that they like, don’t force gender neutrality on them. If a little boy goes into a toy store and gravitates more towards a baby doll than a set of Hot Wheels, then sure, buy the kid a baby doll. Just don’t force brainwashing on your kids and you can say what want about this. Truth is, I’ve stood on my little soap box and I’m done. The world will go on being stupid because it’s too late for the truth. So say what you want to make yourself feel better, I won’t be back to read it. Peace.

    1. Tink says:

      Who’s wondering where the ‘real men’ went? Like those who thought their wife was their possession to beat or rape as they chose? Men whose view of themselves hinged on lording it over others less physically strong or violent than themselves.

      Or the men taught to suppress their feelings until they were so emotionally constipated that their only way of dealing with crises would be to become a silent shell of a person, or to kill themselves because they could not cope with their pain. Suicide is still a huge problem for men globally, and is also proof that teaching boys to bottle up serious emotions because ‘boys don’t cry’ and ‘men don’t ask for help’ does them a real, lasting harm.

      I’d rather our menfolk were free to be happy and be who they wanted to be, rather than ascribing themselves to a narrow, prehistoric image of what a man ‘should’ be, thanks.

      This isn’t about whether there are some differences between boys and girls (there are, but interestingly, not as much as we like to claim). It’s about the way we as humans try to pressure people to fit into categories and pressure boys or girls to fit into what we’ve been told they should be like. The very fact you see this as ‘pussification’ implies that you see men being anything less than caveman-esque as their being weak, and pressuring men to fit into a role you decided fits them best. Men may be different, but probably not naturally in the way you fetishize.

    2. Lyndsey says:

      oh yeah? What is a real man?I want a man who will love me and honour me. Not treat me with distaste because I am ‘below him’

  22. HELP! says:

    My nephews insist on playing war games and beating each other up! My niece dances and tips her head cutely to one side in a feminine manner! WHAT CAN I DO TO STOP THEM FROM FULFILLING STEREOTYPES AHHHHH

    1. Lyndsey says:

      And why would you want to? They are unique. They have their own likes and dislikes and their own personalities. It’s okay for them to like what they like even if you want to impose gender neutralisation on them. They are what they are. Why do you think gender bias came about?

  23. Charles Reis says:

    Rídiculo e monstruoso. Crianças pequenas devem ter o modelo correto para crescerem psicologicamente normais. Já basta todo o transtorno que normalmente os adolescentes atravessam ainda mais isso na infância??
    STOP IT NOW!!

  24. Selso says:

    The Europe get mad ???

    The left will destroy one of the most developed culture in all human history.

    Sad …

  25. Lyndsey says:

    It is not against Christianity for little boys and girls to play with toys. I dunno why some people get so het up about it. It puts people off Christianity. You know, on the mount when people were needing fed, Jesus didn’t ask the women to go and bring and prep the food. Cooking is not just a woman’s job. I can’t say He hoovered and ironed His clothes cos we live in modern times but what I will say is that, if something needed dealt with, Jesus dealt with it whether it fitted with ‘gender roles’ or not.
    Nowhere in the Bible does it talk about men going out to work to earn the money while women stay at home unable to make a living, though it clearly makes a distinction between men and women. We are different. It doesn’t mean that we aren’t able to do almost all of the same things ( there are clearly some things we cannot do, while there are clearly some things that men cannot do). We can celebrate and enjoy the differences whilst sharing in the living of family life at all levels.
    I like the catalogue. I just think that it’s a pity that pink and blue define the masculinity of products. They are just colours. In saying that, my girls all loved pink despite the fact that I didn’t encourage any gender bias.

  26. Ria says:

    Well this ad actually looks more like what kids do. I was raised with 7 siblings, 4 boys 4 girls, and we all played together. If it was House we played House. if it was War we played War. If it was a lego day we all played with legos together. We all used the same toys. The kids I have seen, when they are raised with another child(ren) of the opposite sex, seem to play this way…it’s only parents that buy toys meant for one gender or another, kids are usually less discriminate, a toy’s a toy…

  27. Erin says:

    An awesome story & it’s ruined by idiotic comments. I should know better by now. All of these small minded men need to stop playing the religion card. I guarantee at some point all little boys have played with a doll or used a play kitchen. Just like all girls have played with a nerf gun or a G.I. Joe.

  28. Lauren says:

    Honestly, this is as gender neutral as I think society will allow at this time. Even the colors of the toys are gender specific according to society norms. Why? Because this is ADVERTISING. They want you to buy this stuff. The idea that a boy will play with a vacuum cleaner and a girl will play with a nerf gun is obvious. Kids play with toys; as long as they are fun toys. But, to think that a boy would choose to play with a bright pink vacuum over a dark blue one is ridiculous. Even really small boys, boys who have not been modeled to like “gender specific” toys or colors, would choose the blue one. Boys tend to like darker colors and girls tend to like brighter colors. Not to say all are the same; it’s just how they tend to be. So, advertising companies have done their research and they market blue for boys and pink for girls. It just makes sense from a business standpoint. However, the gender specific types of toys…that is a different subject all together.

    Toys have changed a lot over the years but, they were NOT meant to be gender specific (they were just modeled after life). If you think back to the days of expansion; people had specific roles to survive (I should note that these roles were not chosen specifically because of their sex but, because of their physical attributes and characteristics. Women gave birth. What better reason do you need than that as for why they were chosen to have the responsibility of raising those children and caring for them? Men were faster and stronger. Therefore, they were a better choice for catching animals and acting as protector of the family). Men went out to work the land; got their hands dirty, explored, rangled animals, etc. Women took care of the family, the house, and taught the children. The toys made embodied the very work the parents did. Why? Because children model after their parents. Girls had dolls because mom was holding the baby; they had toy brooms because mom swept; they had toy pots and pans because mom cooked. Boys had toy guns because dad carried one to protect the family; they had toy horses because dad rode one to rangle livestock or take them into town.

    Life has changed, and so the toys should also. Men don’t have to work the land like they used to, and women aren’t the only ones raising the family anymore. So, to have gender neutral toys that mimic the toys that used to be gender specific only makes sense. Children mimic and model their parents. Women and men carry guns, so kids want to carry guns. Women and men do chores, so kids want toys to mimic those chores. Women and men do outdoor work, so kids want toys to mimic lawn mowers, and weed eaters. Women and men both help with the family, so kids want baby dolls, diapers, bottles, and doll houses. (The action figures and Barbies are a whole other debate all together, as they go more towards the inner desires of men and women as a whole and are relayed to children as toys. Really they are outward depictions of these innate desires to be seen as strong and indestructible, and to be respected (action figures), and seen as beautiful, perfect, and worthy (barbie dolls)).

    Toys are for kids to play; to model their parents and other adults. They shouldn’t be considered gender specific because they aren’t. It is the parents who choose for the children. The parents choose the toys based on what/who they want the child to immulate. Want your child to immulate your husband; how he works dilligently cleaning the dishes? Buy him a kitchen full of toy dishes. He will model his father and he will not think, “Wow, this toy is super girly”. Want your child to immulate your wife; how she mows the lawn? Buy her a toy lawn mower. She will model her mother and she wont think, “This is gross. This is so manly and dirty.” Why not? Because you are doing those things. Toys are not gender specific. You can decide.

  29. Melissa says:

    It is pretty much pictures of what kids naturally do when they’re playing with each other and it’s excellent! The only problem is when the adults and society make a child feel weird for playing because the game or the toy is for “girls” or “boys”.

  30. teresa says:

    My youngest daughter grew up playing with dinosaurs, cars, legos, you name it. It was her choice. Nowadays she is addicted to shoes, nails, hair, you name it. Personally I liked the former.

    1. Nope says:

      Looks like she ended up liking the girly things after all. And it makes me sad that you feel that way, but then again this is what I feel is the problem. You prefered your child playing with toys that weren’t perhaps traditionally girls’ toys. Now she likes the girly things and you are disappointed.

      What is it that is so wrong about being a girl and liking girly things? This I will never understand.

  31. ekgjester says:

    I scrolled through the comments expecting the gender debates, but was so very surprised by the religious! I didn’t realise that gender-biased toy sales had anything to do with personal faith. My daughter likes cars and anything with wheels, and dolls, and kitchens, and pretty much anything she can get her hands on. I was completely unaware this would change her standing in her future religious/faith should she choose one.

  32. Jasmine Palmer says:

    I love sweden! When I was a child I felt embarrassed and weird because I wanted to get boys toys for Christmas and looking through the catalog in the boys section made me feel like I was being told I couldn’t play with them or that I wasn’t a girl. I identify as a girl but I also acknowledge that I am very much “two-spirit” or even “non binary” in that I associate myself very much with traditionally male roles. I enjoy being so fluid and I hate how gender roles are ingrained into us from a very young age, as this makes it harder for children to accept themselves for who they are.
    I am so glad Sweden is doing all it can to raise equality and awareness!
    Tack så mycket!

  33. Teacher April says:

    As a teacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and a teacher in a community after school program, I try to promote children to love one another and respect the gender that the Lord has placed each one of us in. Some people feel that if a little boy plays with a doll than he will automatically end up gay. Or, if a little girl plays with Legos then she will be a lesbian. This is highly untrue. But on the other hand, we must be wise to recognize the spirits that deal with society. I do not try to keep my young students from playing with toys that are usually ideal for the opposite sex. In fact, a great deal of my female students love Legos! And as a matter of fact several of my kindergarten boys play with baby dolls with the girls. Do I see anything wrong with it? No, I don’t. The reasoning is because I can detect when a person is acting like the opposite sex while playing with toys. My students just enjoy having fun with each other. We just have to pray for our youth and society as a whole. They’re a lot of strategies by the advertising agencies that purposely try to promote homosexuality. But it is our job as Christians to stand on the Word of God and not intentionally persuade our youth to partake in those acts. Just be mindful and watchful for these tactics.

  34. Sonia says:

    I’m neutral on this, but I’m sure someone will take that personally. Quick comment on how I’m not able to have my personal opinions!

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