Thursday, October 8, 2009

Toys and gender roles in Sweden

We should all be as courteous as Swedish children -- a group of sixth graders criticized Toys R' Us for portraying boys as active and girls as passive in their advertising. The money quote on the childrens' quest to eliminate stereotypical gender roles is student Moa Averin's contention that "guys want to be princesses sometimes."

The kids took their case to the Reklamombudsmannen -- a regulatory agency which monitors marketing and advertising in Sweden. The agency issued a public reprimand of Toys R' Us for the 2008 Christmas Catalogue.

In 2008, Sweden's Trade Ethical Council Against Sexism in Advertising argued that Lego catalogue advertisements showing girls in a pink room and boys in a blue room was sexist as well.

Now whether Sweden is more sensitive to issues of gender identity than the rest of the world or just overeacting is for you to decide.

Photo by bfishadow.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is a hot topic even in the AFOL community and in particular with the FFOL's. For many years, I think LEGO has been a stereotypical 'boys toy' which I don't really agree with. Now the question is how do we get girls (and also the parents of girls) to buy into the fact that LEGO is for everyone. I think that's the struggle we've been dealing with for years now. It's certainly getting better with the release of 'gender neutral' sets like the Cafe Corner, Green Grocer, Christmas Toy Shop, Carousel, etc. We're seeing more female Minifigures, which is great! But yeah...more marketing to girls and their parents would be good. And yes...sometimes boys want to be princesses too. :-)