Saw a commercial last night and it made me ask the question that forms the title of this piece. The commercial was for a product called “Kinder Surprise” and was trumpeting the fact they now offer something called “Kinder Surprise for girls”.
Is this necessary? Do we really need more gender-specific toys? We’re in the second decade of the twenty-first century. Presumably we have reached a point in human evolution where gender stereotypes are no longer necessary. Surely there isn’t a man alive who still adheres to the June Cleaver image of women. The days have long passed when the only career choices for women were nursing or secretarial work. There is no limit to what women can now accomplish if they choose to so do. So why do we need gender-specific toys? I can’t speak for you, but to me that seems like a step backward.
According to Google, Kinder Surprise is manufactured in Italy by Ferrero. That it is European doesn’t surprise me, for it was some toy company, also in Europe, that put out special catalogues containing gender-specific pages. These were for only certain countries, with the catalogue for the home country being more gender neutral, but still…
I suspect the reason behind this idea really boils down to profit. Personally I feel these men are misogynists who won’t be happy until women are sent back to the kitchen. Guess what guys. Women can vote now. They are out in the workforce at all levels, not just junior staff, so if they’re in the kitchen, it’s because they want to be there, not because you want them there.
Maybe that both my grandmother and mother were strong women has a bearing on my perspective. Maybe not. Maybe that I’m transgendered and have seen both sides has an effect on my views of this. In any case I find the whole idea of branding toys “for girls” or “for boys” abhorrent. It’s 2013 people, not 1320. Women are people now, not property.