Video: Learning Gender from Ads for Toys

via Sociological Images blog, Anita Sarkeesian, of Feminist Frequency (full transcript available):

I recently watched afternoon cartoons on Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network and I was shocked to find a flood of highly gendered toy commercials. These ads not only market toys to children but it also promotes and encourages gender specific values that are very limiting to boys and girls in different ways. The values and skills promoted in these commercials can play a critical role in the socalization of youth and their development of emotional expression, conflict resolution, the confidence to pursue various careers and the ability to maintain healthy relationships as adults.

And of course, the very first comment I read at SocImages is a ‘splain-mock.

Categories: education, gender & feminism, media, parenting

Tags: , , , ,

8 replies

    • @hannah’s dad, thanks for the JG SexismWatch submission, always appreciated. I do however have a minor problem with how you let me know – that link is not on-topic for this thread about the gender binary stereotypes in toy marketing. I get quite anticipatory when I see someone’s left a comment on a post, wondering how they’re going to engage with the topic, and it rather sours my mood to have that anticipation deflated by an off-topic post.
      Next time could you FYI me stuff on an Otterday or a Femmostroppo thread, where diverse link-dropping rules the day?

  1. I was also reminded of the story about the girl who was being bullied for liking Star Wars toys, and the brilliant response from the online community.

  2. tigtog – thanks for this post and also for the link to the story of the girl bullied for liking Star Wars toys – awwwww to that link. I felt such a bittersweet mixture of sad and proud when I read about her.

  3. I am reminded of this video:
    I often wonder how I’m going to fare at countering sexist advertising and stereotyping when I eventually have kidletts. On the one hand, I don’t want my kids believing that their lives are limited by gender (or to one gender). On the other hand, I don’t want to be that mean parent who takes all the princess toys and GI-Joes.
    I’m getting a bit of practice at work, though. I find that toddlers are more than happy to wear dresses, play rough, build, cook, nurture, destroy, regardless of whether they have a penis or vagina.
    But then they get into the kidney room and suddenly it’s a swath of “boys toys” and “girls toys”, teasing those who don’t conform (yes, at 3,4,5 years old!). Suddenly the PMs are rough, the PFs are quiet. And suddenly “you’re a girl!” is an insult.
    When I say suddenly, I mean it. It happens within days of leaving my room. 😦

    • @PharoahKatt, your experience of toddlers mirrors my own (although I was never an early education worker), and isn’t it horrifically sad that one of the first “big kid” things they learn to do is to widen the gender gap?

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