The issue isn’t that girls shouldn’t cook and have fun with it. It’s that we’re being told by companies, toy stores, and their marketing teams that this is the way it’s supposed to be. Girls should cook and clean (essentially playing “mom”) while boys create, destroy, and learn to save the world. Toys like LEGO, light sabers, and toy cars are all primarily marketed towards boys and these toys have far more creative possibilities and give room for more brain development.
Toy stores play a large role in continuing to support the way children of different genders play and think. From an early age girls are given little options of what they can think and become. It is no coincidence that there is a serious lack of women working in the science and math fields.
That’s why SPARK is asking you to join us in ourToy Aisle Action Projectto bring attention to the gender divide in stores! We are SPARKing this movement armed with Post-It notes and cameras in the blue and pink aisles. (Seriously, some stores have actually have colored their toy aisles pink and blue! When will it end?) With your Post-Its, make a note using slogans like “Where My Girls At?” in the blue aisle, “Your Girl Needs Joe, too” on a GI Joe, “This Is An Option For Everybody” and “What About Dads?” on the baby dolls.
Use statistics, too. Here are some we found: women make up only 13% of architects (I wonder why LEGO?), 14% of active US military (Where is G.I. Jane?), and 4% of executive chefs — so, why are all the kitchen gadgets pink when so many chefs are men?