December 22, 2012

Feminists: Still making children cry on Christmas morning

From the NYT:
Guys and Dolls No More?

By ELIZABETH SWEET

IMAGINE walking into the toy department and noticing several distinct aisles. In one, you find toys packaged in dark brown and black, which include the “Inner-City Street Corner” building set and a “Little Rapper” dress-up kit. In the next aisle, the toys are all in shades of brown and include farm-worker-themed play sets and a “Hotel Housekeeper” dress. 
If toys were marketed solely according to racial and ethnic stereotypes, customers would be outraged, and rightfully so.

That is pretty much how record stores -- the few remaining, such as the beloved Amoeba Records on Sunset Blvd. -- are organized.
Yet every day, people encounter toy departments that are rigidly segregated — not by race, but by gender. There are pink aisles, where toys revolve around beauty and domesticity, and blue aisles filled with toys related to building, action and aggression. 
Gender has always played a role in the world of toys. What’s surprising is that over the last generation, the gender segregation and stereotyping of toys have grown to unprecedented levels. We’ve made great strides toward gender equity over the past 50 years, but the world of toys looks a lot more like 1952 than 2012. 
Gender was remarkably absent from the toy ads at the turn of the 20th century

Because children mostly got lumps of coal in their stockings. Seriously, poor societies tend to be less sex-differentiated in many ways than rich societies simply because they are poor.

It's pretty much basic Maslow Hierarchy of Needs, with survival at the bottom and self-actualization at the top. In 1900, a nice Christmas present to find in your stocking was an orange. You and your sister both liked the oranges your aunt brought you in 1897 and you've been dreaming ever since about having another orange. Their sweetness showed they were providing needed calories. Oranges even had vitamins.

A century later, you and your sister have, to be frank, more calories than you really need, but their is no end to your feeling that you need more self-actualization via fantasy, so your sister is demanding a Polly Pocket Fairy Wishing World, while you are throwing a tantrum over how much you want a Power Rangers Samurai Bull Megazord Action Figure.
but played a much more prominent role in toy marketing during the pre- and post-World War II years. However, by the early 1970s, the split between “boys’ toys” and “girls’ toys” seemed to be eroding. 

In other words, feminism came to quickly dominate thinking in America after its break out in 1969.
During my research into the role of gender in Sears catalog toy advertisements over the 20th century, I found that in 1975, very few toys were explicitly marketed according to gender, and nearly 70 percent showed no markings of gender whatsoever. In the 1970s, toy ads often defied gender stereotypes by showing girls building and playing airplane captain, and boys cooking in the kitchen.

One thing you can't say about feminism is that it hasn't failed because it's never been tried.

It has been tried.
But by 1995, the gendered advertising of toys had crept back to midcentury levels, and it’s even more extreme today. In fact, finding a toy that is not marketed either explicitly or subtly (through use of color, for example) by gender has become incredibly difficult. 
There are several reasons gender-based marketing has become so prevalent. On a practical level, toy makers know that by segmenting the market into narrow demographic groups, they can sell more versions of the same toy.

Boy and Girl are not exactly narrow segments.

Anyway, this doesn't make economic sense. All else being equal, manufacturers don't want to sell more versions of the same thing, they want to sell fewer versions to keep costs down: "You can have your Model T in any color you like, so long as it's black." They provide more versions because of demand: i.e., boys and girls tend to like different stuff. Just as General Motors outmarketed Ford in the 1920s because Alfred P. Sloan figured out that the country was getting prosperous enough that there was a new mass market not just for the basic transportation Ford's Model T provided, but for allowing customers to self-actualize through car purchases by providing a variety of levels of luxury in cars in multiple colors and with changing fashions in sheet metal, richer societies sell more ostentatiously masculine and feminine toys and entertainment.
And nostalgia often drives parents and grandparents to give toys they remember from their own childhood.

How does that make sense? You just said that toys were degenderized in 1975. Surely today's parents must be nostalgic for the Pat the Androgynous Action Doll that their aunt bought them at the womyn's co-op in 1975?

Oh, wait, you mean nobody remembers the neutered toys from this brief consciousness-raised phase fondly? Now why would that be?
Such marketing taps into the deeply held beliefs about gender that still operate in our culture; many parents argue that their daughters and sons like different things.

If only parents would listen to Elizabeth Sweet instead of their children about what toys their children really want.
But if parents are susceptible to the marketers’ message, their children are even more so. In a study on parental toy purchases led by the psychologist Donna Fisher-Thompson, researchers who interviewed parents leaving a toy store found that many bought gender-typed toys because their kids had asked for them, and parents were a bit less likely to choose gendered toys — at least for girls — on their own. 
Moreover, expert opinion — including research by developmental and evolutionary psychologists — has fueled the development and marketing of gender-based toys. Over the past 20 years, there has been a growth of “brain science” research, which uses neuroimaging technology to try to explain how biological sex differences cause social phenomena like gendered toy preference. 
That’s ridiculous, of course: it’s impossible to neatly disentangle the biological from the social, given that children are born into a culture laden with gender messages. But that hasn’t deterred marketers from embracing such research and even mimicking it with their own well-funded studies. 
For example, last year the Lego Group, after two decades of marketing almost exclusively to boys, introduced the new “Friends” line for girls after extensive market research convinced the company that boys and girls have distinctive, sex-differentiated play needs. 
Critics pointed out that the girls’ sets are more about beauty, domesticity and nurturing than building — undermining the creative, constructive value that parents and children alike place in the toys. Nevertheless, Lego has claimed victory, stating that the line has been twice as successful as the company anticipated. 
The ideas about gender roles embedded in toys and marketing reflect how little our beliefs have changed over time, even though they contradict modern reality: over 70 percent of mothers are in the labor force, and in most families domestic responsibilities are shared more equitably than ever before. In an era of increasingly diverse family structures, these ideas push us back toward a more unequal past. 
Elizabeth Sweet is a doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of California, Davis.

There are two orthogonal dimensions when it comes to how sex roles change as societies get richer, more technologically advanced, and more complex. The first is toward more flexibility because society can afford more flexibility and can exploit it more. 

The second, however, is toward more self-actualization, especially in fantasy / entertainment, which is a growing segment of the economy because we can afford more. And the great majority of people want to self-actualize along the lines of their sex. 

Consider explosions in movies. They used to be rather rare and perfunctory. Jimmy Cagney's "Top of the world, ma!" speech in 1949's White Heat had a huge impact because it was followed by an early example of the kind of fireball explosion that is standard today, as parodied [link fixed] in this year's 21 Jump Street.

70 comments:

IHTG said...

That’s ridiculous, of course

Oh god the sheer arrogance of it.

The left is totally PRO-SCIENCE, not like those creationist troglodytes, amirite?

robert61 said...

One assumes Ms Sweet does not have children. She is apparently interested in them, since her CV lists a paper on racial/ethnic differences in breastfeeding.

ray said...

Elizabeth Sweet, like her Fempire nation, is decidedly Sour, and the day will come again that children wish for an orange at Christmas

in some places, they already do

but Elizabeth Sweet and the Sisterhood know nothing of that, having long ago left reality behind, and having never had to imagine -- much less live -- with want


Anonymous said...

Another weirdo trying to deny differences between the sexes that have been around for all time.

"Such marketing taps into the deeply held beliefs about gender that still operate in our culture; many parents argue that their daughters and sons like different things."

Because they do like different things and always will.

I thought this woman would look like a hag, and I wasn't wrong. Looks like the stereotype of the harridan feminist Ph.D. candidate writing about something only she could get enraged about worked out!

http://sociology.ucdavis.edu/people/evsweet/portrait.jpeg

Anonymous said...

Someone keeps staring at me when I try to read your blog...

Oh wait..that's you!

Shouting Thomas said...

Elizabeth is not really so Sweet, is she?

Anonymous said...

Men should hope that women win the gender neutral battle. Imagine the fortunes husbands would save when they no longer have to subsidize their wives' jewelry, makeup, hair products, clothing and accessories.

Unfairly, when women no longer wear that camouflage, and when every women is dressed in a flannel shirt and Levi's - the natural beauties stand out even more! Fine symmetrical features, long eyelashes, smooth hairless complexion - the old and the ugly still won't stand a chance.

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth Sweet is a doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of California, Davis

Busy, busy, busy! Ms. Sweet is busy correcting and scolding everyone for not conforming to feminist theories developed before she was born. Theories developed by people with a serious axe to grind against the majority culture, by the way. Our bright and hard-working girls from uppper-middle class families go and get advanced degrees in this "gender-neutral" stuff and then set about on their task of making sure no one ever achieves happiness in this life. I mean happiness in the way Aristotle meant it: human flourishing. When are we going to stop doing this to ourselves?

Meanwhile the Walmart toy section is packed with toys that pander to cartoonish versions of masculinity and femininity. The girls' toys seem to be meant to create a new generation of shopaholic gangster molls and the boys' toys a new crop of MMA fighters. "If there was hope, it must lie in the proles, because only there, in those swarming disregarded masses, eighty-five percent of the population of Oceania, could the force to destroy the Party ever be generated.".

Maybe after the upper-middle class folks have fretted and worried themselves into extinction, a new governing class will rise from the toy department of Walmart?

elvisd said...

Elizabeth Sweet is a doctoral candidate in sociology
at the University of California, Davis.


Putting that at the beginning would save the reader time.

Anonymous said...

Oh I see. 70% of mothers are in the labor force, and therefore a racing car and a rainbow unicorn contradict reality.

She seems to be under the impression that toys are some sort of professional recruiting agency for children. Though to be fair, that's how I got started as the crime-fighting giant turtle I am today.

Steiner said...

Yet "feminists" never complain about gender segregation in sports teams and programs, we never hear demands for integration by gender in college basketball, to take one example.

Jeff Burton said...

I'll start with my bona fides: father of five boys, no girls. This is anecdotal, but a bigger sample set of boys than Ms. Sweet has ever encountered at one time, I'll wager. If I do not supply enough store bought toy weapons to my boys, THEY MAKE THEM. They make them out of wood, metal, cardboard, paper, legos, plastic, trash, sticks, rocks, and bones. None of them would ever be without a shank in a prison fight. And they avoid the pink aisle in Walmart and Target like a bio hazard zone.

And I never had to teach them any of this. From more than a few conversations with other parents, I gather this is not unusual.

Anonymous said...

Again I think what the world is more interested in is what the heck is Bill Clinton buying his mistresses for Christmas, G-5's or diamond mines in Congo....

slumber_j said...

"If toys were marketed solely according to racial and ethnic stereotypes, customers would be outraged, and rightfully so."

I love that "and rightfully so": how exquisitely timorous.

Sword said...

Error report:

As of the time of my reading, both links lead to the youtube snippet of the "Top of the world" explosion. Neither link leads to the "21 Jump street" snippet.

Anonymous said...

"Because children mostly got lumps of coal in their stockings. Seriously, poor societies tend to be less sex-differentiated in many ways than rich societies simply because they are poor."

Also because of estrogen mimicking toxins in the polluted soil and water.

Fernandinande said...

Here's a 1975 Sears catalog:
http://www.wishbookweb.com/1975_Sears%20C%20Web/index.htm

Scroll about 75% to the right to get to the toys: most of the ads don't show any kids, but...

Erector set, sports clothes, cars, boats, planes, archery, Tonka trucks, "games of skill": boys
Painting easel, furniture: both, more girls
Musical instruments: girls
Dolls: almost no kids shown
"GI Joe"-type stuff: no kids shown
Stuffed animals: both, mostly about 3 years old.

I didn't see a picture of a boy over about 3 years old playing with a doll (stuff animal), nor any girls pointing toy weapons.

slumber_j said...

"And nostalgia often drives parents and grandparents to give toys they remember from their own childhood.

"How does that make sense? You just said that toys were degenderized in 1975. Surely today's parents must be nostalgic for the Pat the Androgynous Action Doll that their aunt bought them at the womyn's co-op in 1975?"

Here's how that makes sense: In the minds of Ms. Sweet and her ilk, today's parents are (like all parents everywhere and always) stuck in a sort of steady-state 1964 of ultra-squareness. They're L7 for ever, Daddy-O, unlike e.g. Ms. Sweet. To the Ms. Sweets of the world, parenthood is now and forever will be gently pulsating with the background radiation of the Eisenhower Administration--no matter what the parents themselves have experienced in their lives, and no matter what they're like as a result.

Anyway, speaking as someone who lately has been buying actual presents for his 5- and 8-year-old son and daughter, I'd say I choose by trying to imagine what my children will in fact enjoy as they're currently constituted. That plus a little staying power is what I seek in the real presents. Then there's throwaway stuff like hairbands for the girl's stocking or whatever.

Are some of my choices determined by the child's sex? Probably, in that my daughter actively likes sparkly hairbands, and my son neither wants nor needs them at all.

The whole issue is just not all that mysterious and needn't be so unless you want it to be. I'm sure we all await Ms. Sweet's dissertation with bated breath.

Cul-De-Sac Hero said...

So, feminism doesn't really want to reverse the trend back to 1950's gender stereotypes, it wants to push that trend all the way back to the previous century when every child got androgynous oranges in his or her stocking. If they succeed in destroying the capitalist system, Maslow will come back into effect forcing gender roles to become more about survival and less about creatively achieving self actualization.

jody said...

Glad you picked up on this, my eyes rolled when I read the title. I knew what it was going to say, didn't bother reading it. The usual nagging by naggers.

Selester said...

"Because children mostly got lumps of coal in their stockings. Seriously, poor societies tend to be less sex-differentiated in many ways than rich societies simply because they are poor.

It's pretty much basic Maslow Hierarchy of Needs, with survival at the bottom and self-actualization at the top. In 1900, a nice Christmas present to find in your stocking was an orange. You and your sister both liked the oranges your aunt brought you in 1897 and you've been dreaming ever since about having another orange."

The Chinese have more recently gone through this- one of my Chinese colleagues grew up in a poor rural area of Hubei province, China- he said for their birthdays, both he and his sister were overjoyed when they would get an egg.

Anonymous said...

http://youtu.be/3dFdKjhgt3k

Anonymous said...

Steve,

Taking shots at feminists is like shooting fish in a barrel.

It is beneath you.

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth Sweet is a doctoral candidate in sociology...

...and pretty obviously not a mother.

Cennbeorc

Jeff W. said...

Two points about this article:

The first is that my view of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is that it is basically an attack on Christianity. Jews, of course, have been constantly attacking Christianity for 2000 years.

In a Christian worldview, obedience to God, faith in God, assurance of salvation, the daily walk in the Spirit (which is the Christian life) are at the top. And people can do these things even if their basic needs at the bottom are only partially satisfied. Christians can continue to praise God even if they are being deliberately starved to death. Maslow's self-actualization is selfishly motivated, and it is completely Godless.

The second point is what is the point of this feminism anyway? As I see it, it amounts to saying, "Women are not being aggressive enough in seizing jobs and property from the white goy male patriarchy. Step it up, womyn! Stop playing with dolls and thinking about having babies! How can the leftist revolution succeed in overpowering the patriarchy if you keep doing that?"

Anonymous said...

It might be possible to get boys to sit down to pee in more homogenous places like Scandinavia, but it is not going to be possible where there are large contingents of blacks and Mestizos.

Feminists might want to ponder that for a bit.

Anonymous said...

"Oh god the sheer arrogance of it."

More like the sheer ignorance.

Anonymous said...

Steve, I love it when you knock the stuffings out of "expert opinion."

Harold C. said...

"But by 1995, the gendered advertising of toys had crept back to midcentury levels, and it’s even more extreme today."

Now, if only the public could get its wits back regarding race, a lot of the problems of the country could be solved.

Farbar Beeston said...

Elizabeth Sweet is a doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of California, Davis.

And I predict Miss Sweet will cop that awesome doctorate, because she is one of those Leftist imbeciles who uses ALL of her intelligence for one thing, and one thing only: Rationalizing Leftist lies and fantasies.

Thorin III said...

Miss Sweet has a strange take on things- if more legos were sold after creating different gender lines, doesn't that mean that it was successful because of this, and also demonstrate that this is what people actually want?

Torn and Frayed said...

Why don't the feminists make the same argument about children's (or adults for that matter) literature. I was just in a book store allowing my twins (boy and a girl, aged nine)to choose what they wanted, and it was soon clear the shelves were mostly divided into girls and boys sections. But you never hear feminists complaining about this sexual literary apartheid. Why don't these woman warriors denounce Nancy Drew and call for writers to create gender-less youth fiction, like the Hardy Kids or something?

RomanCandle said...

My sister hated dolls, hated pink, hated make-up. Instead of having tea parties, she would tag along with me and my buddies.

She'd be the perfect example of blank slate, gender as social-construct thinking excerpt for one thing: my sister is a lesbian.

Charles said...

"That’s ridiculous, of course: it’s impossible to neatly disentangle the biological from the social, given that children are born into a culture laden with gender messages."

-If that's true, then how can she be so confident that culture/social factors are the dominant reason for children preferring gender specific toys; And if she can't then why is she making such a fuss about it?

Power Child said...

The Cagney example was poignant.

Cagney's first love was dancing, but we remember him as a badass tough guy rather than a tap dancer.

NOTA said...

"I reject your reality and substitute one of my own."

For what it's worth, my midwestern childhood in the early 70s was not notable for its un-gendered toys. A zillion plastic toy soldiers, a BB gun, one of those cool modern slingshots, all kinds of racecar sorts of toys. So I think the nostalgia for an earlier, ungendered age is as reality-based as the rest of the article. My sister, who was and is a complete tomboy, wound up with a zillion Barbies and pretty pony sorts of toys. (I think her favorite Christmas present ever was, a few eyars back, when Dad and I went in on buying her a handgun.)

Auntie Analogue said...

Feminists are quintessential social engineers, control freaks - perfect exemplars of the Puritopian busybody who simply can't and won't resist tinkering with and directing other people's lives. They are finger-wagging neo-nuns bound and determined to impose from the top down their New Discipline in place of everything and anything that they deem to be of the Old, and therefore by definition bad, School. As children feminists were the little know-it-alls bossy ones who connived to dictate rules and kinds of play in every sandbox everywhere in the land: they're the self-appointed schmucks who take it upon themselves to rain on everyone else's parade: in their lockstep devotion to their New Religion feminists are the mirror-image of the very theocrats of whom they claim to be the antithesis.

Mr. Anon said...

And yet this woman, Elizabeth Sweet, is a member of the group that unironically calls itself the "reality-based" community. How long, one wonders, can feminists carry out their war on nature.

Mr. Anon said...

"Over the past 20 years, there has been a growth of “brain science” research, which uses neuroimaging technology to try to explain how biological sex differences cause social phenomena like gendered toy preference.

That’s ridiculous, of course:"

"Brain Science" in "Quotes". Hey, don't be dissuaded that girls and boys are absolutely no different by all that icky masculine science stuff, done by those icky men with their icky x-ray machines and computers and such.

Anonymous said...

penis envy

Mr. Anon said...

There are a lot of women in engineering nowadays, which is probably one reason why the field is declining. My observation has been that most women simply do not have the aptitude to be good engineers. How many women ever build or fix anything on their own time? How many women are actually interested in machines and their inner workings?

heartiste said...

"Taking shots at feminists is like shooting fish in a barrel."

There are a lot of fish in that very big meagaphone-shaped barrel, and they get fed nicely by the cathedral gatekeepers. There can't be enough mockery aimed their way.

fnn said...

We need a list of the 10 zaniest NYT stories of the year.

Farbar Beeston said...

@Auntie Analogue

Love your post. You nailed it.

Anonymous said...

IMAGINE walking into the toy department and noticing several distinct aisles. In one, you find toys packaged in dark brown and black, which include the “Inner-City Street Corner” building set and a “Little Rapper” dress-up kit. In the next aisle, the toys are all in shades of brown and include farm-worker-themed play sets and a “Hotel Housekeeper” dress.


Sounds awesome to me.

Anonymous said...

...and what about 'machinery' type toys? - a firm favorite for hundreds of years. Do they get the coveted 'gender neutral' status or not? I mean a working replica of a Gresley Pacific locomotive or a scale model of the SS Titanic is just that - a replica (although fascinating to a certain type of mind) of an actual utilitarian sexless, gender neutral inanimate object, a miniture of a man-made artifact, in fact, an artifact that was designed and built to do a job and do a job only.
For whatever reason, girls sem to be uninterested by replicas of machinery, does this mean that they should be banned or that girls should be 'encouraged' to play with them?

Hacienda said...

Elizabeth Sweet is a doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of California, Davis.

------------------------------

Yet another data point among millions that the university system is a massive scam.

Mr. Anon said...

"In fact, finding a toy that is not marketed either explicitly or subtly (through use of color, for example) by gender has become incredibly difficult."

So why should pink and blue affect girls and boys differently. Perception of color is, presumably, sex-neutral (I object to the bogus po-mo feminist term "gender" - the correct word is "sex"). So do girls and boys have different preferences in colors? That would have to be the case for such subliminal advertising to work. How come Ms. Sweet doesn't wonder about that?

Anonymous said...

The ideal gender-neutral present: a stick. Point it at someone and it's a gun; wrap a scrap of cloth around it and it's a doll. No built-in bias, all the choice of the recipient.

Ever get the impression that radical feminists are all sad, obsessed, unattractive women who want to share their neuroses with everyone else?

Anonymous said...

Heartiste said:

"There are a lot of fish in that very big meagaphone-shaped barrel, and they get fed nicely by the cathedral gatekeepers. There can't be enough mockery aimed their way."


This reads like something Ziggy Stardust Bowie would say.

Oh, the media monkies and their junky junkies will invite you to their plastic pantomine... throw their invites away.

Kylie said...

"The Cagney example was poignant.

Cagney's first love was dancing, but we remember him as a badass tough guy rather than a tap dancer."


Ditto George Raft. Not as good an actor as Cagney but a much better dancer.

George Raft Dancing

He really swings into action at the 2:25 mark.

Anonymous said...

My favorite toy as a kid was my Alamo set.

Never lost.

Didn't take prisoners either.

goatweed

Anonymous said...

I´m a boy and have always been fascinated with the girl´s Easy Bake Oven. Never had the courage to ask for one though (damn gender roles). Luckily I could play with my sister´s when no one was looking...

ray said...

There are a lot of fish in that very big meagaphone-shaped barrel, and they get fed nicely by the cathedral gatekeepers. There can't be enough mockery aimed their way.


hear hear Heartiste

the feminist barrel rules the West's governments and schools K - Doctorate (the proof in this very article, the waste of national resources on Doctor Sweetcheeks and her Degree in Hating Males)

the feminist barrel rules over the laws of the Western nations, rules the families of the West, and aside from the internet, uses the Media as their personal mouthpiece and propaganda machine

you people better wake up real quick before the last of the fem-chains have been padlocked around your countries

you are already essentially enslaved by Ms Sweet and the SSisterhood, and that -- and not guns, not immigration, and not the economy -- is the beast that ALREADY has taken over your once "free" countries, where not long ago fatherhood and masculinity were seen as positive, not something to be destroyed and replaced by The VagiVillage

Snippet said...

It is fascinating and creepy the way liberals treat evidence that they are flat wrong as a reinforcement of their prejudice that conservatives are stupid.

Snippet said...

>>> I´m a boy and have always been fascinated with the girl´s Easy Bake Oven. Never had the courage to ask for one though (damn gender roles). Luckily I could play with my sister´s when no one was looking... <<< In the early 70's, I was in a day care with a boy who wanted a Barbie for Xmas. He got it. No big deal. There are boys who want girl toys and girls who want boy toys, but they are statistical anomalies. this is a smartypants way of saying, they are not normal, and therefore aren't going to be influencing the marketing of toys as much as normal kids will. By the way, "normal" doesn't mean, "superior." It just means the way most people are, which is what you need to understand if you're trying to make a living selling stuff.

robert61 said...

Mr Burton: re your five non-gender-whipped boys, thank you for your service. In the end, we may end up with the totalitarian boot on our faces for all time, but it won't be your fault.

DCS said...

A few years ago, while spending time at a lakeside resort in Northern Minnesota I observed a group of children ages 5 to 10, both genders, engaged in play. Most of the boys had picked up a stick and used it in the course of playing. None of the girls did. Evidently I missed the toy marketeers instructing the kids in gender-based games.

Corn said...

It's funny Steve used oranges as an example. My dad was one of 7 children of a Midwestern farmer. Growing up in the 1940s and '50s, it was considered a treat to get oranges as stocking stuffers.

Glaivester said...

MAGINE walking into the toy department and noticing several distinct aisles. In one, you find toys packaged in dark brown and black, which include the “Inner-City Street Corner” building set and a “Little Rapper” dress-up kit.

Of course, that stupidly assumes that the colors that attract a person resemble their skin color.

In reality, the “Inner-City Street Corner” building set and a “Little Rapper” dress-up kit would be packaged in purple or in red velvet with gold and diamond trim.

ben tillman said...

Feminists are quintessential social engineers, control freaks - perfect exemplars of the Puritopian busybody who simply can't and won't resist tinkering with and directing other people's lives.

Puritopian? Nah, it's tikkun olam, which the Puritans picked up through their connections with the Dutch Jewish community 400 years ago.

Anonymous said...

"I´m a boy and have always been fascinated with the girl´s Easy Bake Oven."

I used to play with my sister's barbie. The butt-kicking babe(now where did that come from?) lording over the evil GI Joes. My sister didn't take it kindly that her precious doll was decapitated and the good Gi joes celebrated by playing football with its blonde head.

Derek Brown said...

Thinking back on it, I wonder if creepy crawlers and all those slime making toys weren't an attempt by Hasbro to target boys disappointed that they couldn't play with easy back ovens.

Anonymous said...

jeff w:"Two points about this article:

The first is that my view of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is that it is basically an attack on Christianity. Jews, of course, have been constantly attacking Christianity for 2000 years.

In a Christian worldview, obedience to God, faith in God, assurance of salvation, the daily walk in the Spirit (which is the Christian life) are at the top. And people can do these things even if their basic needs at the bottom are only partially satisfied. Christians can continue to praise God even if they are being deliberately starved to death. Maslow's self-actualization is selfishly motivated, and it is completely Godless."

ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

I dunno.

I am still surprised at there being no boys playing at being the dad to an imaginary son...

Women develop their nurturing interests over time, but men aren't without those interests... so...?

Elizabeth Sweetie said...

Mr. Sailer, your macho readers can't stand the opinions of a sweet american princess who succeeded despite the staggering discrimination reigning in this country.

To forget their rudeness, so out of place in this holiday season, I just bought cute toys for my colleagues' kids.

Anonymous said...

Auntie is spot on except for "finger-wagging neo-nuns". I did 12 years with the nuns and they seemed to instinctively know how far to push the boys in class.

And it didn't hurt that they were able and willing to cuff us around when necessary.

kaganovitch said...

ben tillman said...
"Feminists are quintessential social engineers, control freaks - perfect exemplars of the Puritopian busybody who simply can't and won't resist tinkering with and directing other people's lives.

Puritopian? Nah, it's tikkun olam, which the Puritans picked up through their connections with the Dutch Jewish community 400 years ago."

Tikkun olam is an artifact of 19th century reform judaism, I would wager it would have been entirely foreign to 17th century dutch burghers of the mosaic persuasion

Anonymous said...

The toymakers, they know their business. It took me a painfully long time to realize that they kept coming out with new types precisely because I had to buy all of them for the purposes of having all of them.

Fun said...

Puritopian? Nah, it's tikkun olam, which the Puritans picked up through their connections with the Dutch Jewish community 400 years ago.

http://takimag.com/article/the_men_who_taste_jews_in_their_sandwiches_jim_goad#axzz2FwYfcnBt

n/t.