Guys and Dolls: Veteran Toy Designer Wrestles With the Industry’s Gender Divide

Una de las formas para entender la realidad es dar un vistazo hacia el pasado. Los objetos forman, sin duda alguna, parte de la realidad y en algunos de ellos quedan impregnados vestigios del pasado. El siguiente es un articulo que da cuenta de la historia del juguete y de la separación de género como un instrumento para segregar a las personas en una sociedad, me permito transcribir la primera parte de ese artículo para quienes estén interesados en el diseño de juguetes.

«The last time you spoke to a pregnant woman, how long did you wait to ask if she was having a boy or a girl? Thus begins the first of a million moments in which adults bombard those malleable little ones with preconceptions of gender, ranging from unconscious body language to outright sexism. Perhaps the most common ritual is surrounding babies with “gender-appropriate” objects: Specific styles and colors of clothing, patterned blankets, picture books, and stuffed animals that convey adult expectations of how kids should behave.

“As much as I hate to say this, it’s all about the money.”
Walking through most toy stores, it’s easy to see the divide that permeates the industry—boys get car, sports, and building toys, while girls get princess, dress-up, and housework toys. Although some social critics claim that preferences for gender-specific toys are natural or innate, science increasingly suggests there are no inborn tastes, and instead, our culture instills a male-female divide that children amplify as they begin to self-define. Though we might pretend these toys have no long-term impact, studies show that women are still underrepresented in traditionally male fields, like science and finance, while also paid less than men for the same jobs (and still doing more housework).

By the time kids can speak, most are asking for playthings that correlate closely with socialized clichés, shaping their sense of self and further enforcing these stereotypes. In modern America, where most believe a person’s sex shouldn’t restrict their passions or career choices, why are children’s toys still so strictly gendered?»

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