Girls tear down the toy store pink aisle, demand engineering toys

From before children are even born, as soon as the sex is known, there are societal expectations set.

Once they are born they are constantly exposed to societal expectations, no matter what parents do. They pick up on the smallest thing.

Experiments to try and find some sort of neurological difference fail to actually show anything, where they appear to its either a tiny sample or very poor experimental conditions where the experimenter’s biases could have been transmitted to the child.

These arguments for innate differences are of the same kind as the arguments that women couldn’t vote because their heads were a different size and lacked the ability to make such important decisions, seeking to find justification for the current social order.

  1. Humans are not monkeys
  2. How the hell would a monkey have any idea what a pot is even for? The masculine and feminie attributes are ones we give them.
  3. As a counterpoint what about the massive differences in social roles between different populations of the same species of monkey? In some populations you have the males taking a lot of child rearing responsibility (and preventing young females from taking part), in others its the female’s responsibility. Same species, different roles. Sounds like its a social adaptation to me.
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where they appear to its either a tiny sample or very poor experimental conditions where the experimenter’s biases could have been transmitted to the child.

Or the monkeys for that matter! No seriously - maybe a female human regularly brought them their food in a pot? Who knows. It never ceases to amaze me these experiments get done.

However, efforts to find some sort of hormonal difference between boys and girls have been a resounding success. Not to minimize the importance of socially-constructed role evaluation, but testicles, too.

I don’t entirely view the “for girls” part of the slogan as being for the kids as much as it is for adults. Kids don’t buy these things, adults do. By expressly calling out “for girls” I believe they’re positioning themselves as a gateway engineering toy. Get them started on Goldie Blox, then move to something else that’s more substantial.

That being said, we bought Goldie Blox for my 2 year old niece who seems to build a new something every day with them (with parent supervision, of course). Last night she built an airplane.


I appreciate the sentiment but I don’t understand why consumers obey the pink/blue line at all. I don’t have kids, but I have nieces. They’re into the princess stuff but they also love Ninja Turtles, Spider-Man and Science kits. I think the point is to show them that the entire toy store is for them, not just one section of it. Any thoughts from people who actually have kids :slight_smile: ?

As a young boy I use too envy my older sister’s Betty Crocker Oven and assisted her in making cakes and such.

I too was hoping the girls HAD torn down the aisle.

My daughter was definitely a pink aisle shopper. Barbie, she was all over that shit. Purple and pink were not only her favorite colors, they were the only appropriate colors for a young girl to wear in her mind.

Now at 15, she is just one cool kid. She spends most of her time online reading and participating in fan fiction sites, meeting other girls from all over the world. She loves science. She has a great mind for spatial relationship.

We did worry about how to build on her natural spatial skills when she was little. We got her involved in making pottery and that has been a lifelong interest. This year she takes a year long elective and learns the wheel finally (they wouldn’t teach it to her when she was younger or she’d have done it by now). I also spoke with a female engineer who suggested buying her any kind of kit with lots of directions, and so she managed to finish some very elaborate Kinex projects I did not have the patience for.

Don’t worry parents. No need to tear the pink aisle down. Just let your kid be your kid.


Knowing when to stop is good.

I would have “liked” your post if it weren’t for that last line.

The original study and the second study 6 years later that came to the same conclusions were both run by all-female teams. I wonder what unexplored assumptions might have been built into the structuring of the study. It would be nice to believe that female scientists=feminists but that’s merely wishful thinking.

Individual children are different. The differences between two sisters or two brothers are just as great as those between a brother and sister.

How is a child “misused” by wearing pink while wielding a hammer?

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You’ll find it difficult to get opinions from the types of parents who blindly believe girls’ toys should be pink and fluffy here at BB, since by definition they’re not Happy Mutants.


Ugh, the toy is still all pink and purple and ribbon-y. I thought it was gonna be yellow/gold-themed. That’s my favorite color.

Tinker Toys it is.

Or Brio. When I was a kid, a boy pal of mine had a complete set of Brio - tracks, bridges, trains, connections, the whole shebang. I was so jealous of it. He only let me play with it sparingly.

Man, I should get myself a set now. Wish my apartment was bigger.

People are different. Boys are different from boys, girls are different from girls. Emphasizing the difference between girls and boys suggests that all boys are essentially the same, as are all girls. The modern difference between boys and girls is almost entirely cultural.

Instead of having a “boy box” from which boys have to pick stuff, and a “girl box” from which girls have to pick stuff, let’s just ignore the boxes and let everybody pick what they want. The pink aisle makes no more sense than a green, purple or orange aisle.


I find this type of pablum advertising offensive and demeaning. For one, the notion that girls need a special line of toys to become engaged in engineering is ridiculous. They are merely trying to co-opt sincere efforts to engage girls in the sciences through the use of a slick video and superficial bromides. I have been to the site for the product and they have 1 product, 1. Mind you they have scores of links to the various news outlets that have featured them in their reporting. I know the intent of boingboing and other sites is good when linking to this video, the girls are cute the idea is worthwhile, but my daughter and her aspirations are not a commodity. To boot the product looks like it has been dipped in cotton candy and stuffed with pony horse sparkle juice. Are you freaking kidding me? Don’t get me wrong; my daughter loves ballet, and fashion and pandas, just like every other girl her age, but she would look at this piece of garbage and ask me if I was playing a joke on her. The irony of this ad is that the two instances of authentic girl power innovation were home brewed, ie. the ballet slippers nailed to the skateboard and the teddy bear side car. If you want to teach you daughter to love the sciences, go to DIY and let her explore her passions on her own terms, not some corporate shill’s.

Thanks - I just found it galling that while BB can always be relied on to provide a link to a toy on Amazon, my post got blocked because I provided a link to the Your Neighborhood Toy Store site, a resource on creative play and local shopping.

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I agree with all your points! Just a note, my list of points were not mentioned in the Psychology Today article. My first thought was actually something along the lines of “I am not a monkey … why should this be used to say that I should have wanted to play with ‘girly’ toys?!” I thought it would be more useful, however, to go over the studies and discuss how the Psychology Today article was ignoring some important points. As for the pot, I thought it was obvious that calling it a “feminine” toy was rather silly, but maybe I should have stated that more explicitly. By the way, the second study (Hassett/Siebert/Wallen) defined plushed toys as feminine and wheeled toys as masculine, but I did not read that study to see what exactly it really says.

Worked that time…perhaps user error the first time? AFAIK there’s no problem including one or two non-shortened URLs in a response no matter what they are (warnings always appreciated).

Children singing? I’m out.

Both are right.

  1. Many (?most?) “gender differences” are culturally programmed.

  2. Men and Women are different in ways that matter.

  3. Denying the truth of either statement is a Bad Thing ™

But dont take my word for it…

( skip ahead to about 48 minutes for the meat).

another example, which I can’t track down at the moment, is heart medications. As group, women respond differently to certain heart medications than otherwise equivalent groups of men. However, treatment is based on studies conducted solely on men. So women are getting inferior care.

Because our health system doesn’t both (1) and (2) , women are unnecessarily dying of heart disease every day.