In the news this August a Fox News reporter, Cody Derespina, described the causation and consumer reaction to “Target Going Gender Neutral in Some Sections”. After receiving some complaints from customers the retailer felt the need to address the amount of gendered language in the children sections and the colors being used to categorize certain toys. For example, one mother sent a tweet to Target with a picture of a sign saying “Building Sets” and below it reading “Girls’ Building Sets”. She stated that Target should not be being doing this and her tweet went viral with around 3,000 retweets. Target responded saying that “We’ve made sure to share this with the right teams for further review”. The article stressed there is another side to this argument where some consumers believed that Target should not being changing these gendered practices because this is how consumers have always been accustomed to shopping. “Leading up to that moment there’s been a broader conversation about gender and signs and using gender indicators, especially as it relates to kids,” Target spokesperson Molly Snyder told Fox News (Derespina 2015). This debate over gendering toys and other objects at Target brings attention to the cultural scripts used in American culture that aid in the creation of gender segregation and discrimination, and shed light on what many feminists are striving for in new identity politics.
Chad Goldberg (2015) further explains the socialization of gender by stating that
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When it comes to the social construction of gender, the way toy stores advertise their product play a huge role in the contribution. Sitting on the floor looking at the Walmart toy selection, I noticed a few things that I never really paid close attention to before. First, when did the colors pink and blue become a tool used as a gender binary? Second, why does it seem to be a pattern of the professions that the toy emulate in regards to each gender? Third, what does this all mean?
Children’s perceptions of how girls and boys have to act can be manipulated by their surroundings. Target and other toy stores teach boys that they have to like fast cars, jobs requiring manual labor, and sports. There was certainly a type of “manliness” portrayed at boys from the toys. Its almost as if they were influencing them to be aggressive and unkind. The toys are teaching girls that they need to enjoy playing house and that the ideal female role is to be a homemaker who takes care of the kids. Many people may think that it is ok for boys and girls to like different things, which it is. But, it is important to recognize that preferences don’t emerge out of each child’s unique personality but that they are shaped by nonstop pressures of different socializing influences. children are given roles of subservience or dominance before they can understand the words. Target is an example of how society is manufacturing products that ultimately encourage inequalities and gender
Toys play an important role in childhood development as children learn roles and skills from playing. As a result, the toys children are subjected to have an affect on which roles, interests, and skills are learned and practiced. Through Lego’s product Duplo, I will demonstrate the influence particular gendered toys have on children and their performance of traditional gender roles. Gender, which is a learned performance, is something society has been taught from a very early age and toy advertising has played a significant role in reinforcing the performance. One tradition that is reinforced and naturalized by society is the ideology of a male dominated society, representing strong characteristics of heterosexuality and masculinity; also known as hegemonic masculinity. Therefore, using Ideological Criticism, I will analyze how through the branding and design of Lego’s Duplo toys, children have been constructed to do gender differently, ultimately perpetuating and reinforcing hegemonic masculinity.
The 1987 film Broadcast News focuses on the inner workings of a broadcast news department as it shows various friendship and romantic relationships within the workplace. By showing the personal lives as well as professional performances of broadcast reporters in this fictional drama, the film delves into a few key ethical dilemmas. The main characters are Jane Craig, a producer, Aaron Altman, a broadcast reporter, and Tom Grunick, a newcomer to the news reporting profession. Perhaps one of the ethical issue most pivotal to the plot is when Tom decides to stage a shot of him crying in order to splice it in as a reaction to an emotional story told by one of his interviewees in a story he was running about “date rape”. Although doing so compromises
In the article “Gender-Neutral Toy Sections Are Good For Boys, Too” written by Megan Condis, Condis goes over the recent incident with Target removing gender specific toy aisles. People claim that it will help girls more considering that most of the girls toys are labeled with gender while the boys toys stand as a “default”. In her argument she states that although it will benefit girls from making them have to think they have to stick to only “girl” toys, it will benefit boys because they can now break that idea that they have to play with “boy” toys. I completely agree with Condis in her argument and fully believe that the gender specific toys affect boys just as much, if not more.
Envision yourself entering a toy department and noticing numerous diverse aisles. In one aisle, you encounter toys packaged in complementary and color triads colors that include building sets (such as “LEGO”, “LEGO Super Heroes”, and “Angry Birds”) and a wide selection of action figures—Spider Man, Transformers, The Dark Knight, Power Rangers, etc. In the next aisle, adjacent to the aisle with complementary and color triads colors, you find toys packaged in shades of pink and purple. These toys range from “Hello Kitty” dolls to “Barbie Dream” house play sets. Inside a toy department, such as Toys R Us, it is extremely difficult to retrieve a toy that is not marketed explicitly or subtly by gender. If toys were marketed only according to
The moment a child is born and is labeled by its gender is the moment gender policing begins. Gender Policing shapes the child’s character, males being masculine and females being feminine. There must not be any other difference and essentially aren’t any differences demonstrated in a variety of products, advertisement, clothing, and toys. A child’s masculinity is influenced by their parents’ guidance like purchasing violent toys like Nerf guns, playing aggressive games like foam bats, or presenting revealing images or body parts of a female demonstrated on action figures.
Ryan McMaken defends Lego’s gender marketing issue as he focuses on Lego primarily as a profit-seeking business, as well as a business who has proven to know exactly what they are doing. McMaken concentrates on how Lego’s introduction of their Friends Line increased the worth of the female construction toy industry’s from 300 million to 900 million dollars. Evidently, these Lego sets may appear stereotypical or sexist to some, but there are what many people prefer to buy. He explains that Lego, in a competitive industry, must aim to please consumers, meet their needs, and gain a competitive advantage. To do so, it is crucial to offer products that other companies may not; products that will satisfy the needs of all children. Therefore, after extensivea research, and various
Manufacturers of consumer goods play into racialized and gendered preferences for their products, while also generating consumer desires. On the production and marketing of differences, similarities, role models, and both looking-like-me and looking-unlike-me experiences, through toys and games. In this article, Ann DuCille analyzes the past and present ways in which Mattel presents race and gender through the iconic Barbie doll. Barbie could be seen as a female representation of personal and financial independence, and professional success. She has been a World Cup soccer champion, an astronaut, a doctor, and even a head of state. Barbie has become an ideal icon for little girls to become anything they want to be. In the same breath
For my field research project, I went to Toys “R” Us located next to La Fitness on La Cienega. The purpose of Toys“R”Us, Inc. is to make its customers happy, which are mostly kids. As soon as I walked in, I noticed the check out to my left side along with many colorful aisles facing in front of me. The store walls are painted bright orange with a white ceiling. In my opinion the orange color signifies gender neutral. There were two cashiers, one male ask one female. I noticed that the female cashier mostly checked out “feminine toys” and the male cashier checked out “masculine toys.”
Target announced that they will be removing some of the gender specific categories and replacing them with displays and signs that are gender neutral. Along with signs and displays, they will be also be removing specific colors such as pink, blue, yellow and green that suggest a specific gender. The reason for this change is due to the various complaints of shoppers that “raised important questions” (Derespina, 2015). Target is working to find out which parts of the store can undergo a change that will lead to an improved balance. So far, Target has decided to make the bedding and toys sections for kids, rather than for boys or girls. The way that they are shelved will now make no references to gender. Target has formerly had sections titled “building sets” and
Gender socialization often begins early once parents are shown the sex of their child; from then on, baby showers are planned according to gender “appropriate” colors, which are often pink for girls and blue for boys. Even differences in how children are spoke to can be picked up easily in Western cultures. Girls are called pretty and sweet, whereas boys are handsome and strong. Ultimately, the way children learn to identify with their gender culture is in part due to not only family and friends, media, schools, and religion, but also from the toys that may inexplicitly advertise gender expectations. Gender-typed toys may be bought for children as a way for parents to encourage and reinforce gender-appropriate behaviors. However, recent debates have engulfed toy manufacturers and major retailers, which has brought about changes in toy design and marketing in an effort to make reflect more realistic and gender neutral options.
For years children’s toys have always been segregated, with it being overtly clear that the blue and more physical action type toys are marketed at a young male audience, while the pretty pink domestic style toys such as kitchens and babies are aimed at little girls. But has this always been the case? Are toy manufacturers stuck in less modern times when a man would go out and work and a women would keep the house respectable? Are children’s toys what’s holding us back from achieving complete gender equality? Through research, surveys, interviews and making my own observations in local retail stores this investigation looks at the prominence of gender differences and stereotypes in children’s toys and their marketing today and comparing that
Last year Zest Books and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt published “Tomboy,” a graphic memoir for young adults by Liz Prince, about her experience growing up as a tomboy. Nowadays, if you are in high school and still wear boys’ clothes, people will definitely think you are a lesbian. Also, a girl who likes baseball or wants her hair cut short in liberal government, will grow out of such behaviors by condemning rather than honouring them. In early August, Target announced they will remove any gender references, including the use of pink, blue, yellow or green wall-paper behind the shelves in the toy section. Tomboy is an unhelpful word which defines girls who are brave, athletic or strong, the opposite of those characteristics are defined as
Going into different stores, one can easily pick up on the major gender roles each store supports. Even the morals of an innocent toy store, such as KB Toys, is tainted by the gender-differentiating dolls for girls, and trucks for boys. Upon entering the store you can tell right away which aisles attract which kids. To the left there is pink fluffy bears, pink Barbie and friends toys, white teddy bears etc. To the right there is a less vibrant color setting, coordinating army green, black, and gray color schemes. I think it is apparent to anyone who enters these stores that the pink pretty isles are meant to attract little girls, and the dark green and gray isles are meant to attract boys. Upon the packages of toy trucks and guns, there are pictures of young boys playing with them and/or cartoon male figures controlling them. On the packaging of Barbie and her friends there are also other girls on the packaging. I was unable to pick up on a single female on the package of any toy truck or gun throughout the entire store. The