Emily Jashinsky has an interesting new article about a perennial gender-wars issue: gendered toy preferences. A lot of people seem to be mightily offended by the fact that, in every toy shop in every town, the girls’ toy aisle is predominantly pink, and is populated almost exclusively by dolls, princesses, and other stereotypically girly offerings. In contrast, boys get all the cool stuff like Lego(TM). No wonder more boys than girls become engineers!
But now there’s GoldieBlox, a construction toy designed specifically for girls. The manufacturers of GoldieBlox have high hopes for their new product. Their aim is “to disrupt the pink aisle and inspire the future generation of female engineers”. An ad for GoldieBlox recently went viral, garnering more than 7 million hits in less than a week.
But is it realistic to think we can re-engineer girls’ preferences so easily? And what’s so terrible about their preferences, anyway? New options are always good - but does the pink aisle really need to be disrupted?