#1 By: Cory Doctorow, July 2nd, 2013 22:00
Here's a downright inspirational video from Goldie Blox, who make "engineering toys for girls" and depicts young girls taking over the horrible girl-toy pink-aisle at a big toy-store. Little Girls Engineer Their Own Toys to Take Over the Pink Aisle In This Goldie Blox Ad [VIDEO] READ THE REST
#2 By: Robert Baruch, July 2nd, 2013 22:12
Oh. I was kinda hoping to see the girls destroy the toy aisle.
#3 By: Manny, July 2nd, 2013 22:25
Oh, dear, she's riding the board backward and how is she going to kick-push with her shoes nailed to the deck? Isn't it cool that she's going to learn this for herself instead of having an adult tell her she's doing it wrong, will get hurt, and needs to stop?
#4 By: Dean Putney, July 2nd, 2013 22:31
Yeah, that bit didn't make much sense to me. And the not actually tearing down the toy aisle was pretty disappointing.
#5 By: Alex3917, July 2nd, 2013 22:35
While I applaud the sentiment, the product they're promoting isn't exactly an erector set. Nor is it legos. Frankly it's not even lincoln logs. Also, the idea of teaching girls that you need to buy something in order to 'join a movement' doesn't exactly seem like a positive message.
#6 By: Stefan Jones, July 2nd, 2013 22:59
Yeah, the actual toy is very disappointing. At least, in isolation. They'll need to follow up with more toys and apps. Something involving low voltage electrical circuits, maybe. And come up with something girls can play and construct with on their own. This first items seems very "guided."
As for buying something to join a movement . . . I don't begrudge anyone with wholesome business ambitions and a positive intent the chance to toot their horn and invite folks to jump on a bandwagon. As long as there is good intent and quality behind the hype.
#7 By: sfhardy2, July 2nd, 2013 23:42
#8 By: Taymon, July 2nd, 2013 23:45
I feel kinda bad saying this, but…
I find that the video is much more enjoyable if you watch it with the sound off.
#9 By: Job, July 3rd, 2013 00:03
Yeah that just seems like a giant load of pink Lego BS to me (father of three girls under 6).
Why would a girl's engineering toy be any different to a boy's? There's the fundamental problem - the obsession with insisting girls and boys are somehow different. IMHO the alleged differences are 99.999999999% explained by the way we treat them...if not more.
Best thing: let them play with real tools. Our eldest has had her own cooking knife since she was 3 or 4.
Our 11-month year old has tried (and failed of course!) to sharpen the hatchet with a file and chop kindling with it! Last night, after watching me for all of 5 minutes she was trying to tighten up the screws on her older sister's bicycle bell.
And yes, so disappointing they didn't actually destroy the pink aisle.
#11 By: johannsf, July 3rd, 2013 00:29
Goldie Blox hopes they can tear down the pink aisle - good luck! The pink aisle is there because ToysRUs wants a pink aisle, and people who shop there want a pink aisle. Meanwhile, independent toy stores don't have pink aisles. They have toys for future engineers. Parents choose where to take their kids to shop.
Oops - I offended the community by promoting a site other than Amazon. My apologies!
#12 By: Shane_Simmons, July 3rd, 2013 01:12
Seems a little like pinkwashing (pinkwashing="buy this box of cereal with a pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness!") to me, but I could be wrong.
I too would rather just give my kids some hands-on time with some tools, and some nice generic non-gendered science-y stuff. My 8-year-old just got several science-y things to keep her occupied for the summer, and so far she's having a blast with it. Played with that, then played a round of princesses with some of her friends (one of them a boy), then went on to fight Orcs as Aragorn. These companies that put out the girly swear they do studies, but sometimes I wonder.
And yeah, she does have some of the girly Legos (gifted IIRC), but has regular Legos, too. She seems to enjoy them equally. NBD.
#13 By: tsa, July 3rd, 2013 01:25
Girls and boys are different, and that's not because we treat them differently. I don't like it at all when I see kids misused because of their parents' idea of an ideal world. You can make a similar movie for boys. Let the kids choose their toys themselves and see what they like.
#14 By: Tim, July 3rd, 2013 01:29
Goldie Blox, who make "engineering toys…
Wait. How is this not just another sexist toy line, again?
#15 By: Antinous, July 3rd, 2013 01:54
If you live in a universe where all the adults are treated equally and there's no media or advertising, that might be true. Here in the real world, children are programmed from birth to play out cultural sex roles. You do realize that women in non-European-derived traditional cultures don't really have much in common with Barbie and Skipper.
#16 By: Antinous, July 3rd, 2013 01:57
In the absence of implied societal permission, explicit permission may encourage girls to pursue their own interests instead of the interests shoved at them by society.
#17 By: Tim, July 3rd, 2013 02:33
When I was shopping for my daughter at Target last Christmas I had a hard time finding a gender-neutral doctor's playset that wasn't all pink and hearts and glittery crap for examining dolls. Thankfully my daughter knows that women can be physicians because she has two aunts that are doctors, but I don't think using "…for girls!" marketing in that case was a positive thing.
#18 By: Jon Sowden, July 3rd, 2013 02:58
"tearing down the aisle" can, in English, mean "running down the aisle when you're probably not meant to be." It can also mean "ripping that aisle of pink crap to shreds."
#19 By: L Edwards, July 3rd, 2013 03:17
The only early childhood behavioral gender difference supported by research is in rough-and-tumble play (boys do more of it). Boys also test somewhat higher in spatial reasoning, but that particular skill is trainable. With hands-on experience. Like building stuff...
#20 By: fireshadow, July 3rd, 2013 03:19
Just a few weeks ago I had a discussion with someone who was arguing that projected gender roles have little to do with the different types of careers that men and women have, because women are genetically inclined to nurture (and are better at nurturing than men). He brought up an article* that argued that male and female monkeys prefer different toys, which would support his belief that boys and girls play with different types of toys because of genetics.
In general, I know very little about gender toy preferences. I just know that I was never interested in dolls or other "feminine" toys. I also know that I was quite happy when my mom sent me off to college with a set of tools with flower decorations on them. I thought the decorations were amusing, but overall I just thought it was cool that I had a set of tools and most of the other girls did not.
For the people who dislike the idea of engineering toys for boys and engineering toys for girls, I think that at this point in time it is probably useful to have engineering/science toys clearly announce that they can be for girls. It is unfortunate that this is usually done by making the toy pink, but that seems like a separate problem that affects all types of toys.
*Here is the article: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/200804/why-do-boys-and-girls-prefer-different-toys and some points about it based on what I have read ...
Regarding the Alexander/Hines study in the Psychology Today link:
(1) The researchers did not do a preference test which would have involved presenting all six toys at the same time. Instead, they placed a toy in the cage for five minutes at a time and filmed the interactions. Those interactions were then rated.
(2) The male vervets did not appear to prefer masculine toys over feminine toys.
(3) Female ververts preferred the feminine toys (mostly the pot) over the masculine toys.
(4) Both male and female vervets spent more time with the pot than with the doll.
(5) The authors hypothesize that the color of the pot (red) " may be signalling opportunities for nurturance and thus eliciting female responsiveness".
The Hassett/Siebert/Wallen study actually showed that male rhesus monkeys showed significant gendered toy preference but the females did not show a statistically significant preference (opposite the other study).
#21 By: Job, July 3rd, 2013 04:25
At this point I feel duty-bound to point out that humans are not vervet monkeys and evolutionary psychology is a load of old bollocks
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