BY Andrea Stopa
on Feb 11, 2014
This 1981 LEGO ad featuring this adorable red head and a very feminist and very true message about children, creativity, and leaving the whole gender stereotype thing at the door, has recently blown up a lot of news feeds:
LEGO was selling "Universal Building Sets," and saying specifically with this image that being a builder, creator, or inventor, is never gendered.
Unfortunately, the reason this ad has resurfaced with a vengeance is because LEGO doesn't ... Read More
Don’t you just hate it when all the boys get to swim with the sharks and the girls get left behind standing stiffly on the shore? Let me explain: while LEGO manufactures male figures all dressed and ready to go on riveting and imaginative adventures, the females are often stuck twiddling their non-opposable thumbs.
But thanks to vocal adult and child collectors, that’s beginning to change; after all, the company recently released a ... Read More
Barbie’s place in adolescence and constructed femininity has baffled psychologists and feminist alike: on one hand, she’s a patient confidante onto which girls might project their hopes and aspirations. But she also espouses limited and damaging views on female roles, bodies, and sexuality. She sends conflicting messages, passively listening to you for hours while remaining inhumanly cold. As girls, we intuitively pick up that Barbie is ... Read More
As children, many of us turn to our toys to navigate our developing identities. Sometimes, our dolls serve as surrogates; we parent them the way we see our children parenting us, and we identify with them. Photography operates similarly: as teens, we might dog-ear or collect magazine images that appeal to our expanding sense of self. Since so many dolls and photographs in mainstream fashion magazines present a grossly limited definition of femininity, it ... Read More
Pink is for girls, and blue is for boys. Girls want to be pretty; boys want to be smart. We’ve heard this nonsense before, yes? Well, it seems like companies are finally catching on: 1950s gender norms and prejudicial limitations should stay in the past. The present is about empowering children to dream and play however they wish! That’s why Goldie Blox is basically the best ever. A biting response to all the toys that teach us that brushing our ... Read More
It is no exaggeration to say that I am obsessed with Hello Kitty. My bedroom is saturated with stuffed animals and wall decals. The first thing I see every morning is an image of Hello Kitty on an airplane adventure, the words “It’s a wonderful day... Hello Kitty” flying alongside her.
But not all of Kitty’s days have been wonderful; like the rest of us, she has faced her fair share of criticism. The Japanese Kawaii aesthetic ... Read More
BY Amalia Graziani
on Sep 09, 2013
There are few things I love more than household items that have the capacity to arouse confusion and discomfort in unsuspecting guests (taxidermy animals and memorial pet portraits, anyone?). Which is why the bizarre intergalactic creatures of MadKnits bring me immense joy. Born from the creative mind and talented hand of Kaitlin Juarez, these fabric monsters hail from Providence, RI. They are hand-stitched, one-of-a-kind, and expertly detailed. MadKnits are ... Read More
LEGO has produced many scientist figurines in the past, but alas, they are most often stereotypical stock figures: they have unkept hair, broken glasses, and look completely crazed. They are also mostly male, and while there have been lady LEGO scientists, they seem to be scientists in name only, never wearing a snazzy professional outfit or having a special area of expertise.
On this historic day, the toy company has finally given the ... Read More
BY Daisy Becerra
on Jul 08, 2013
It’s like my entire feminist life has led up to this one, darling moment.
In 2012, Stanford University student Debra Sterling founded GoldieBlox, Inc.—a startup with one awesome mission. As an engineer, Sterling wanted to give girls a toy that would stir up their interest in story-oriented building, a luxury boys are given with Legos. In a world where girls start losing interest in science as young as age 8, Sterling’s big idea seemed to be the ... Read More
BY Hallie Marks
on Jun 14, 2013
Who IS that girl?
We know all about how kids’ toys are divided by gender in really icky ways. Why can’t a boy use an Easy Bake Oven? Why aren’t girls playing with those trucks in the commercials? And the issue goes far beyond surface advertising – “boy products” often encourage building, activity, and adventure, while “girl products” usually emphasize appearance and foster skills like nurturing and cooking. These are all great ... Read More