Wednesday, October 24, 2007

I Want It So Bad My Teeth Hurt

Have you seen this Rose Petal Cottage thing from Hasbro? It is my Barbie Dream World, all in one pretty little house.

Here is the outside.

This is the inside. See how neatly everything stacks together?

This is me having coffee with my friend.

When I saw this a few months ago, I drooled. This is my dream toy. It would have been the only thing on my Christmas list back when I still believed in Santa. Hands down.

I tried to figure out a way to justify buying this for my two boys, but it just screams "Girlie Pink Girlie Chick Toy". And my boys aren't so into the Girlie Girlie toys. So far they seem to be most drawn to balls, books, trucks and drums. And the drums, they are so loud.

But if my boys wanted it, I would run to the store for it. Because I dont think there is anything wrong with boys playing with girl toys and girls playing with boy toys.

You heard me, I said "Girl Toys" and "Boy Toys". And I meant it. Because try as I might to expose my kids to all toys, gender-free, my boys just seem to like the "Boy" stuff more. Just like my sweet nieces, all of whom grew up in houses filled with their older brothers "Boy" toys at their disposal, wanted nothing but Barbies, Baby Dolls and Princess Dresses. And no, its not the result of gender marketing, because these girls also had to watch their older brothers "Boy" shows, where the commercials all leaned heavily toward Nintendo, Play Station and all matter of motorcycles and cars.

My dear Sherry wrote about the fuss some people are making about the way marketing of the Rose Petal Cottage seems to want to throw girls back into the 50's, making meatloaf and ironing tablecloths. Presumably this will also make any boy who plays with it (gasp) Gay and way too interested in whether his slipcovers match his drapes.

My take on this is that if all it took to make my boys gay, or throw one of my nieces into a Doris Day frenzy, was one silly toy, I would have to seriously questions how strong a foundation we are providing for them in their real world. The world where, try as I might, I cant stack my sofa on top of my washer and my chairs on top of my dishwasher, and close it all up and tie it with a pretty pink bow when I want to go kick ass on the soccer field. Which is exactly where you will find my nieces, when they aren't playing princess.


sherry said...

Absolutely, 100% SPOT ON, sister.

And, I thought of another thing, too. Alpha Mom, the site Alice is being PAID to write for is a perfect example of marketing on gender lines!!!! It's not Alpha Parents, it's not Alpha's ALPHA MOM.

Chapping...getting worse.

Seriously, though, when are Sharpie and I hosting a visit from you? Soon, I do hope. :)

Sharpie said...

****standing - clapping****

Excellent, and I almost lost my soda when I read "make any boy who plays with it (gasp) Gay and way to interested in whether his slipcovers match his drapes."

Fucking Perfect.

K said...

My son would totally love that. For some reason, the gender marketing message has totally passed him by. He has an older sister and has not yet figured out (even though he is 5) that it is not cool to play with dolls. He regularly plays with trucks, weapons, balls - all the traditional "boy" stuff, but easily switches right over to the traditional "girl" stuff to play with his sister and her friends.

We got an invitation to the local Nutcracker Ballet today. I almost cringed because it said "for the girls in your life.' My son *loves* the Nutcracker. He goes gaga for the MouseKing sword fight, especially. He likes the music and the costumes and the whole experience.

MrsGrumpy said...

My son's favorite toy as a tot was his sister's castoff Little Tikes kitchen. His sister's favorite toy was her father's old Erector (they were way better back then) set. This is an excellent post and if I could, I would run out and buy that Rose Petal cottage for you.

Girl said...

My son would shave his mohawk for that and we are pretty attached to the hawk. I hate the "gender" battle. I have two boys and a girl. My oldest being the girl kind of pulls the boy around by his ear. He loves trucks, he loves "Boy" things but he loves him some Barbie too. Gah.

I also think though, these kind of toys, would it kill them to be a little more "neutral" so we wouldn't have to have these questions? The last time I checked real houses weren't pink, well the majority anyway.