The Importance of Sexist Free Toys
Boys and Girls. Blue and Pink.
Walk into any toy store across America and you will find a very dissent line in the sand- BOY or GIRL. Blue or Pink?
I remember as a child I never was limited to any toy. I felt like I could select from both sections of the division. I grew up playing with Lego's, Lincoln Logs, trains, match box cars but I also had Barbie dolls that married Ninja Turtles. My mother thankfully never purchased "pretend adult gender specific things" I didn't have a little kitchen or a pretend vacuum cleaner. We were encouraged to build things- or draw.
While I do believe that with the action of playing children learn rules and real life applications. But I think that a child should be allowed to explore and create rule and gender free. I have noticed that the gender specific toys allow for little girls and boys to start taking on the attributes of things they think are socially acceptable. We need to change the fundamental play in order to have a glimmer of hope of helping change the gender inequality that we are experiencing in 2014. I'm not saying that I don't exhibit "gender specific woman things" such as cooking and cleaning. I do do them. I feel like I have arrived at me doing them not in a gender specific way but in a more task oriented way because I feel because of my toys and my up bring that a woman and a man are equal. I was that crazy kid that wore dresses and ran around with a super soaker in blue around town.
When I started designing Construct. a building toy. I wanted to modernize Lego's and bring the concept of construction and building to a new dimension. Which is why the concept that you can build off a circle became so appealing. It defies logic. How on earth can a structure be constructed out of circles- and why? I wanted to give both boys and girls the foundation to start constructing something new and different. It is also mathematically based as well each circle is approx. 3" in diameter so it allows children the opportunity to have a measurable end product.
When I soft launched the product at the Detroit Design Festival what I noticed that actually shocked me was the gender gap with the toy. Boys were more willing to build and play girls tended to try it for a bit and then leave. The linger time for boys was hours.
When this article (link below) pop-ed up on my news feed- it really inspired the internal thought about Construct. a building toy and the barriers it is trying to rip down. When I created the color ways I did not want to just have a girl and boy version but rather have dynamic colors that both genders could enjoy.
Please let me know your thoughts.