Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Truth Hurts

I think we can all agree that sexism is everywhere. No one says anything about it, and we all try to act like it isn't there, but it is -- and it starts early. Kitchen sets have little girls in the ads, while trucks have little boys. The doll isle is all pink and features "little mommy" slogans. The action figures are on aisles filled with blue "tough guy" slogans. Nothing implicit is said about toy only being for girls or for boys, but it's all implied.

Thank God for Fisher Price. They totally cut through the bullshit. Ladies and gentlemen (mostly gentlemen) I give you the hammer...



Yep, this hammer is for boys. BOYS! No girl better try to touch it, even if she is 3 to 18 months. A girl baby wouldn't even know what to do with the power of this hammer rattle, and trying to figure it out could cause serious problems! She might break a nail, and we all know about the problems of baby nails.

Of course, Fisher Price realizes that while girls shouldn't -- no, CAN'T -- play with hammers, they know that they are still at least 50 percent of the toy buying market. They had to create something for them too. After all, girls can be so pouty if they feel they aren't getting enough attention.

BAM! Yep, that's right -- a diamond ring! I mean, come on, isn't that what every baby girl wants? Of course, it would be better if it was given to her by a boy baby, but it's fine as a gift from her parents in order to remind her what's she's reaching for in life: a real ring from a boy, that hopefully knows how to swing a hammer.

I am just so proud of Fisher Price for saying what every other multi-national toy company is thinking: that boys should do things, and girls should stand by and look pretty until boys are ready to pay attention to them. If they get any more truthful they'll have to call their next collection the "fuck you Gloria Steinem, get back in the kitchen" teaching toys.

No, I won't be buying any of them. Probably no other Fisher Price toys either. Regardless, though, I do appreciate their honesty.

27 comments:

for a different kind of girl said...

Is that a hint of pink on The Hammer For Busy Boys? Why, that's unacceptable! An outrage!!

So are the silly, pointless gender slants on these products. I don't get the need for them to do this at all.

FabuLeslie said...

Ok, that is outrageous, shocking... I've been angry all week, and thought I was over it, but THIS has brought it all back! I love how the booys are 'busy' and the girls are 'sweet' in this scenario too. ArrggggghhHH! Suddenly I'm a pirate about it all. Ugh.

Riot Kitty said...

Gag. What a sexist bunch of idiots. I collected action figures, not dolls, as a kid...and I still do. And I have much more use for a good hammer than a diamond ring!

Heather said...

Oh my God, I'm suddenly 20 years old again, working in a lawfirm where the attorneys regularly called us "skirts."

melistress.com said...

The other day my eight year old daughter and I were at the drugstore. We went into the bathroom and she noticed the fold down change table attached to the wall. She asked "Mom, why is the dad in the lead and the mom in the middle and the baby in the back? Shouldn't the mom be in the lead? And why can't the baby hang on to the dad's tail?" This prompted my first discussion with my daughter about gender inequality. It is everywhere.

I also got angry with the Sony Bookstore and e-mailed them the other day. I had an ad come to my e-mail with suggestions for people who are interested in football. Not interested in watching the superbowl? Well, then we have some books suggestions for you! The Devil Wears Prada, Bitter is the New Black, Good Grief, In Her Shoes, Death By Chick lit, The Nanny Diaries...see where I'm going here? It appears that if I am not watching the Superbowl I MUST be female and only concerned with Makeup, Fashion, and Romance. GAH!!!!

Cate said...

And this suprises you why?

Sam said...

Oh. My. God. This sickens me. I feel like forwarding it to all my friends who terrifyingly insisted that there are "natural" behavior, feeling and thought divisions between boys and girls, and that they emerge without us having to say a word. Ugh.

The Tame One said...

I think you need to invent pink swords and stuff for power hungry little girls. Perhaps a gavel!!

dbs said...

Useless plastic. Insidious too. Why not play with the kid yourself?

Granny Annie said...

Now look how far you all have come. In the 50's no one would have blinked an eye at the toy discrimination. Loved the laughter this post gave me (as do so many of yours.)

Kelly said...

Oh, Libby, this is just the beginning. Toy makers are so delusional it's not even funny.

Jen said...

This was a great post, thanks Libby.

Amanda said...

Returning to the 50's, one stereotype at a time.

Mandy's Kidding said...

Shut the front door!

Mandy's Kidding said...

I mean, sure, go ahead and make the hammer. But why direct it in print to BOYS ONLY! Grr. If I were the copywriter I would have wrote: "FOR BUSY BOYS AND PISSED OFF LITTLE GIRLS!"

Waiting Lisa said...

ARE YOU KIDDING ME???

The diamond ring kills me. Absolutely kills me.

Summer said...

The hell? That diamond is not nearly big enough. Psshht.

BugginWord said...

Gross. Just gross. And disappointing.

Erin said...

What the hell? I am getting more and more annoyed as the day wears on. Someone on twitter just said her health plan covers Viagra but not birth control and I'm just like WHAT? What century is this, again?

P.S. your word verification is sexist, too. It wants me to type "dishest." And it wants me to wash the dishes, too.

Chelle said...

I'm glad it's all clarified for me. I wouldn't want fisher price turning my baby gay or something. EgAdS.

People are asshats, eh?

Patty Punker said...

the hammer should say "for busy boys and frustrated adult women." am i the only who sees a jackhammer vibrator?

Kelley said...

Wow! That is pretty shameless, isn't it? I like that they even go as far as to say "for a sweet baby ___" on the packaging. Just so you know, my little 2 1/2-year-old has a kitchen set in his room with lots of play food, pots & pans. Take a hike, Fisher Price!

LL Cool Joe said...

Don't get me started on this one! The thing I hate most in the world..gender stereotyping.

Jules said...

Well, seriously, what girl uses a hammer?

Katie said...

I think I vomited a little bit in my mouth upon seeing that ring. Jesus. Are we still going to college for our MRS degree, too?

Lunch Buckets said...

Oh my gosh, that's ... amazing.

Daniel said...

I hadn't given much thought to toy sexism before. That is pretty fucked up, I'm thinkin'...