“Let’s change the game …Because playing, like driving, should not be influenced by gender stereotyping.” So says the caption on Audi Spain’s ad which was launched just last month.
The ad depicts a closed toy shop, focusing on an aisle where one side is pink and the other side is blue. Within the video, a Barbie-like doll abandons her pink carriage to drive a blue sports car, where she passes a beefy male doll sipping tea in a pink cafe. The ad ends with a young boy finding the doll in the car, asking his mother if her could have the pair, to which the mother replies, “but darling, they don’t go together, do they?” The ad fades to a close, but not before the young boy retrieves the barbie from the shelf, despite his mother’s observation.
Before you could say “No Gender December”, a columnist at The Huffington Post got wind of the ad, and published an article entitled “Awesome Ad Proves There's No Such Thing As Girl Toys And Boy Toys”. The relentless push of gender ideology into every aspect of life is coming from those who would prefer to use children as political pawns, instead of letting our kids be kids and innocently enjoy Christmas and other special occasions.
It used to be the case that such blatant assaults on gender only came from fringe activists pushing a radical agenda – now government and businesses are getting in on the virtue-signalling.
Earlier in 2016, the White House hosted a day-long summit on the dangers of boys’ and girls’ toys in reinforcing gender stereotypes. Valerie Jarrett, one of President Barack Obama’s senior advisors, reminded attendees at the summit that “changing culture is not necessarily easy and doesn’t happen overnight, but we can do it if we work together.”
Evidently, governments are pushing companies to employ “anti-gender stereotypes” in an attempt to slowly change culture and eliminate the need for gender.
Hopefully, their plans will backfire, subverted by innocent children with childlike honesty who will vote with their feet, as pointed out by Christina Hoff Sommers in The Federalist. She employs the example of a pink Lego set marketed to girls, which was a huge success. Ironically, it angered gender activists but pleased millions of girl customers.
Nevertheless, the claim that gender and sex are independent is debatable, to say the least. As Sommers wrote:
“A 2012 cross-cultural study on sex differences confirmed what most of us see: despite some exceptions, females tend to be more sensitive, esthetic, sentimental, intuitive, and tender-minded, while males tend to be more utilitarian, objective, unsentimental, and tough-minded…. Among our close relatives such as rhesus and vervet monkeys, researchers have found that females play with dolls far more than do their brothers, who prefer balls and toy cars. It seems unlikely the monkeys are acting out a culturally manufactured gender binary.”
Sommers is not the only one to comment on this issue. Commentator Ben Shapiro shared how his daughter “loves trains, bulldozers and bicycles”, yet will never leave the house without wearing a costume based on one her favourite female characters (such as Mary Poppins). While research shows that children’s toy selection appears as early as nine-months old, Shapiro notes how gender ideologist blatantly ignore the facts to push their own ideas of gender on children:
“But the left’s desire to beat sex differences out of children is part of their generalized quest to substitute sameness for equality. In the end, they only end up hurting children whose parents are too foolish to ignore cause-driven parenting in favor of decent parenting. There’s nothing wrong with a girl wanting a truck for Christmas or a boy wanting a doll. But the left believes the boy must be pushed into wanting the doll for the sake of social justice. That’s stupid, crazy, and scientifically backwards.”
As Sommers eloquently put it:
“Children are not gender-neutral, and they famously resist efforts to make them so. If 40 percent of millennials think otherwise, that’s probably because they haven’t had kids yet.”
What do you think? Do children need gender-neutral toys to thrive?