One day, I’m going to get into an argument with a parent in a toy section of a store. I’m going to hear a parent say to their little child “you can’t have that; it’s a boy’s/girl’s toy.”
Generally, I get the most upset when it is a parent talking to a little girl. I mean, have you seen girl’s toys today? Some of them aren’t bad (NERF has the Rebelle line, Monster High is somewhat cool, albeit still very “Barbie,” and I do have a soft spot for My Little Pony). However, the majority of girl’s toys are either soft toys, like dolls and stuffed animals, or they are play-acting, like kitchen or doll-house things. Boy’s toys are so cool by comparison. They have articulation. They transform. They are of action heroes who save the world by taking on the bad guy instead of ponies who maybe save the world with the power of friendship.
I heard a mother say to her daughter “You can’t have that toy, it’s a boy’s toy” about Power Rangers one day. Power Rangers! Power Rangers almost always have a girl character. She’s usually in yellow or pink. How can it not be OK for a little girl to have an action figure of a girl character? The same goes for many other action figures: Black Widow from the Avengers (plus a ton of other Marvel women, like Storm, Jean Gray, Kitty Pryde…); Wonder Woman of DC fame (plus Batgirl, Catwoman, Poison Ivy…); and even Hit Girl from Kick Ass. Why can’t a little girl play with action figures? Why can’t she play with a Batman toy, a NERF gun, a Supersoaker, a WWE toy, or Legos? Why should her world be pink? Why should her brother’s world be blue? I have no problem with girls or boys actively choosing stuffed animals over action figures, or a kitchen playset over a castle. The key word there is “choosing.” All children should be given the opportunities to pick the toys they want to play with, regardless of gender, toy color, or type of toy.