Gendered toy-ad remixer


40 Responses to “Gendered toy-ad remixer”

  1. Steve Collins says:

    Just spent a little while playing with this. The extent to which many of the possible mashups line up in timing is great fun (if not necessarily surprising, since they all work with the same format). Definitely going to spend so time with this in my sociology class on Monday!

  2. bazzargh says:

    The pirate/barbie remix is genius (in both directions, but especially with the puppy saying “The treasure’s ours!”)

  3. gerardwhelan says:

    needs a better name. the transgender blender ? gender-blender?
     (“This is called gender identity disorder, or GID, also known as gender identity confusion, gender dysphoria, transgenderism”)

  4. dioptase says:

    The page seems to think that 64-bit firefox isn’t an “advanced browser.”  Could my browser have some sort of cultural prohibition of the mixing of the sexes and isn’t sufficiently advanced enough?

    At least it didn’t put a veil over the girls toys.

  5. Mordicai says:

    Probably the best link I’ll click today.

  6. cinerik says:

    I’m particularly enjoying the Betty Spaghetti /Tonka remix…

  7. Tim Hurst says:

    What’s the big deal? Boys and girls typically like different toys and different ways of playing.  

    • taintofevil says:

      Somewhat true, but there’s a lot more overlap than these commercials would suggest.

    • marilove says:

      And you don’t think society’s gender expectations/pressures (which includes commercials like this) doesn’t have anything to do with it??

    • Cefeida says:

      Except a great deal of that is not the kids’ own preference, but social pressure, which starts with the pink and blue aisles in the toy store.

      Because of commercials like that, boys and girls are taught at a very early age that each gender has its own appropriate toys, and that crossing over is not acceptable.This only limits their choices, and reinforces very harmful gender stereotypes such as ‘boys should care about cars but not babies’ and ‘girls should care about clothes but not science’. 

      Have you ever seen girls get mocked by their peers for liking boys’ stuff? Or worse, parents telling their sons ‘That’s a doll, that’s a girl’s toy, don’t play with that’ ?

      That’s exactly why gendered ads are a bad thing. Their message is: your gender determines what you can do.

      • chgoliz says:

        My girls actually refused to go to large toy stores where there would be entire aisles of that ghastly pink.  I didn’t blame them: it’s really quite overwhelming.

        One thing I noticed that I’ve never heard talked about: girl-gendered toys have a tendency to be made from cheaper plastics than boy-gendered toys.  You can *smell* the difference between the aisles.

      • Susan Carley Oliver says:

        “Have you ever seen girls get mocked by their peers for liking boys’ stuff? Or worse, parents telling their sons ‘That’s a doll, that’s a girl’s toy, don’t play with that’ ?”

        Or a presidential candidate telling a young boy not to use a pink bowling ball?

    • chgoliz says:

      Boys and girls Individual children typically like different toys and different ways of playing.

      There, fixed it for you.

    • Tim Hurst says:

      But think about it… these companies are spending millions of dollars on advertising.  Don’t you think they are going to research what sells their products the best?  The reason there is a difference between “boy commercials” and “girl commercials” is based on market research.  The data by and large, says that boys like guns and girls like dolls.  Are there exceptions? Absolutely, but if I am trying to make money selling toys, my marketing strategy is going to be based on what is going to make me the most profit.  Do some parents pressure their kids into fitting into these “gender roles”? Yes, but the reason there are these “roles” is because boys and girls generally have different interests in the first place.

      • marilove says:

        “Yes, but the but the reason their are these “roles” is because boys and girls generally have different interests in the first place.”

        Source, please! Or are you just making assumptions?

        This just isn’t true.  Our choices and preferences don’t exist in a vacuum. Marketing and media has an effect on us. ALL of us. You are not immune. I am not immune. And children certainly aren’t immune.

        Additionally, the parents usually make buying decisions for young children. And parents start the gender-split VERY early — buying pink stuff for girls, and blue stuff for boys; or dolls for girls, and toy trucks for boys; starting right at birth! Actually, usually this starts before the mother has given birth.

        And you don’t think it has any sort of effect?!

        You may want to do some research on how the media and marketing effects us and our choices.

      • Cefeida says:

        Well, sure, but our lives shouldn’t be ruled by marketing strategies! Advertising is all about convincing us that we need to buy lots of crap in order to conform to some ideal, and that is usally divided by gender. Want to be a perfect woman? Buy cosmetics and high heels! Want to be a perfect man? Buy cologne and a fast car! 

        This strategy relies on the division of gender roles that feminists have been fighting against for a very long time now, the very same division that kept women in the kitchen and told men they could never cry. That is the reason we have gender roles- and it’s a very bad reason. 
        But advertising will hold on to the roles at all costs, because once you admit that conformity to any one clear gender is irrelevant to our worth, that people are different, and that there is no product that will make us more of a man or more of a woman, you can’t market that ideal anymore. You can no longer pit the sexes against each other for profit.

      • Lol, if I were you I’d do a bit more reading into this before forming an argument, cause you’re way off.

    • Yes, and this is why.

  8. Kludgegrrl says:

     It’s a bit chicken or egg-sh.  As the parent of a young boy, I do believe that there are innate differences in many children as to what kinds of toys/games they enjoy.  Moreover, there seems to be a degree of gender difference in these preferences, some of which may precede the effects of socialization. 

    HOWEVER, the role of socialization is *very* strong.  Moreover I observe a huge amount of overlap in “innate” interests among play options (for example, make believe role-playing games are very popular among boys and girls, as is tag, as is sand…). 

    I do not bewail that many boys are interested in playing with vehicles and many girls like dolls.  I bewail that almost all toys are identified as belonging solely to one or the other gender, marginalizing anyone of the “wrong” gender who happens to like them.  And I shudder to see how awful and limiting the gender stereotypes for BOTH are!  Girls apparently care about little more than shopping and looking pretty.  Boys like violence.  Neither conceptualization of the interests of individual children is laudable.

    • marilove says:

      Exactly.  EXACTLY.

      And while it’s perfectly fine to let your child choose his or her toy preferences, it is NOT OKAY to tell them their choices are wrong because they are the “wrong” gender. It’s also silly to completely ignore the societal expectations/pressures that come into your childrens’ toy choices.

      Gender expectations/pressures exist everywhere — on tv, on the radio, on the play ground, at play dates, among other adults…

  9. Tim Hurst says:

    It is the classic ‘nature’ vs ‘nurture’, and I think some are giving nurture more credit than it is due.

    Kludgegrrl, I was just thinking the same thing about the chicken or the egg. 

    So the question is which came first, ‘Gender Roles’ or ‘Pressure into gender roles’?  Historically, you would have to say that gender roles existed before societal pressure to fit into them.  Today we do have societal pressure to fit into gender roles, but that surely doesn’t negate the fact that gender differences somehow came about naturally; but some people here are acting like there would be no innate difference between the toy preferences of boys and girls, which I find laughable.  As if I need scientific research to say that boys and girls are different or would be different without societal influence? 
    But since you demanded a study, here you go. 

    “Sex differences in rhesus monkey toy preferences parallel those of children” Janice M. Hassett, Erin R. Sieber, Kim Wallen Hormones and Behavior Volume 54, Issue 3,
    August 2008, Pages 359–364

    With the advent of modern media it is harder to distinguish where these gender roles originate, but in my opinion you’re giving the media too much credit.  It is like saying that Playboy exists because television teaches boys to objectify women, and has nothing to do with raging male hormones and the way men’s brains are wired.  Or that women only nurse their newborns because they were taught to like dolls as children.

    Cut the toy companies some slack, they are just marketing what sells.

    • marilove says:

      ” Historically, you would have to say that gender roles existed before societal pressure to fit into them. ”

      Really?  Are you sure about that?  Sources, please.  Or are you making assumptions based on feelings, again?

      There’s no real way you can prove that.  So this “Historically, you would have to say…” idea is bullshit.

      Societal pressures ALWAYS existed.  Even in caveman days.  It’s just the way things are with social/community creatures such as ourselves.

      “but that surely doesn’t negate the fact that gender differences somehow came about naturally;”

      Evo psych bullshit.  Again, sources please.  Man, you keep making a LOT of claims without anything to back up your claims!

      “It is like saying that Playboy exists because television teaches boys to objectify women, and has nothing to do with raging male hormones and the way men’s brains are wired. ”

      Did you REALLY just say that men are wired to objectify women?!

       Really??? More evo psych bullshit.

    • Cefeida says:

      Okay, so at first I was sympathetic, because you were saying something I myself might have said years ago, before I started to consider what gender really meant and what limits society set upon us based on it. Most people who have never felt challenged have no reason to think there’s anything wrong, so I wasn’t too shocked that you’d claim the ads were okay.

      But now you’re saying things that deserve harsh criticism. Think  for a minute. Men’s brains are wired to objectify women? Really? Do you realise that that is the excuse of every abusive male and rapist, ever? ‘We men just think with our penises, we can’t help ourselves’. How little credit can you give your own gender? Or, should I say, how ridiculous an excuse can you come up with in order to absolve your own gender from any responsibility?

      It’s not nature, it’s sexism and male domination, which we should be trying to eradicate, and not promote in early childhood!

      I will not argue that women are not better suited to nursing children than men, because men simply don’t produce milk. However, a mother’s physical role does NOT excuse a father from showing interest in his children. And by interest I mean doing every single thing the mother does, short of the birth and breastfeeding. The idea that a man cannot, does not want to, and doesn’t even have to be able to properly care for a child, is an absurd and demeaning notion. To market baby dolls EXCLUSIVELY as girl toys reinforces this, and that is wrong. That’s just one example. Similarly demeaning is your suggestion that a man cannot control his sexual impulses.

      You can blame caveman days for their division of roles, but that was all about survival. The thing is, the more humanity evolves, the less sensible that kind of gender division is, and today, I’d say it’s criminal to still place any value in it. It no longer holds any benefits, but only causes harm.

      So, no, I will NOT cut the toy companies any slack.

  10. Unfortunately it’s enforcing it’s own views of gender. I can’t play a Girl Video with another Girl Audio. Boo.

  11. bopeterson says:

    Some companies seem to try to make a change. The latest catalog from Swedish toy store Leklust at shows girls and cars, boys and toy kitchens and a boy or a girl in a spider man suit pusing a doll pram. At least a step in the right direction.

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