I’m sure we’re all well aware of the fact that certain career fields are dominated by men and that there is a big push to get more women into them. For a long time it has remained a mystery as to why this is. Finally, I am happy to report, that we now know the reason why there are so few women on average entering STEM fields. There aren’t enough little boys playing with Barbie dolls, and somehow this is causing women to not pursue careers in STEM.
PARENTS are being urged to buy their little boys a Barbie for Christmas this year as part of No Gender December.
Good Education Group chief executive officer Chris Lester is supporting the grassroots campaign, which is encouraging parents to avoid buying their children gender-marketed gifts.
Except that’s not what they’re doing at all. On the contrary, they’re outright encouraging parents to buy gender-marketed gifts, only for children of the opposite gender of that which they are marketed to.
Look, if a little boy chooses to play with Barbie dolls because that’s the toy he wants to play with, I really do not care. Let him play with them if he wants. However, this stupid ideology of trying to force them to play with them whether they have an interest in them or not, is just fucking dumb. Why do insecure adults feel this need to project their own insecurities onto innocent children? Why not just leave the kids alone, and let them play with the toys they want to play with? If they want to play with toys that are specifically marketed towards their gender, then just let them do it, rather than forcing them to play with toys marketed towards the opposite gender.
“Kids should be free to decide which toys interest them, without being informed by gendered marketing that something is ‘for them’ or ‘not for them’,” a statement on the No Gender December website says.
This statement just comes off as incredibly hypocritical when you’re running a campaign to encourage parents to buy specific toys for their children, without taking into consideration if the child is interested or not.
In a blog post, Mr Lester said the movement correlated with the perception that STEM (Science, technology, engineering and maths) fields were dominated by men and avoided by women.
Maybe because at large, they are. There are no legal barriers that prevent women from pursuing careers in these fields. They have the same rights and opportunities available to them to pursue the career of their choice as men do. Many women do pursue careers in STEM, and perform just as well as any of their male colleagues. Others pursue it and don’t do so well. Then there are other women (the majority) who choose to go into other areas which are dominated by their gender, such as nursing, teaching, social work, etc.
The point is, all of these women (economic background aside) have the same freedom to pursue the career they want as men do. If they simply choose a non-STEM related career, then what’s the problem? Why not respect their right to choose? Isn’t it funny, how feminists are always talking about a “woman’s right to choose” but if a women at large are making choices they don’t approve of, it suddenly becomes a problem and “something needs to be done”?
“Just as toy stores typically separate ‘girls’ from ‘boys’ toys, workplaces tend to be sharply divided between ‘pink’ and ‘blue’ jobs,” he wrote.
You know what else are “blue” jobs? Mining, waste management, sewer pipe cleaners, lumberjacking, etc. Why isn’t there a big campaign to “end the gender discrimination” in all of these sexist jobs as well? Why are they only talking about the gender imbalance in the STEM fields, but not in these areas too?
Earlier this month, the Institution for Engineering and Technology warned that gendered gifts could be turning young girls away from careers in technology and engineering.
So let me see if I understand this correctly. The toys that little girls play with is discouraging them from pursuing certain careers when they get older. So the solution to this, is to force little boys to play with these same toys instead, and this will somehow solve the problem? Call me a sexist bigot or whatever the current buzzword is, but isn’t the logical conclusion to this scenario, that making boys play with these toys will only discourage them as well? Surely, if the toys have that much of an impact on a child’s future career choices, then the solution is to encourage little girls to play with toys that are marketed towards boys, so that they’ll develop the same confidence as boys to pursue these careers, rather than encouraging little boys to play with girl’s toys, and ending up turning them away from these careers as well. If I didn’t know better, I’d guess that the real purpose of this campaign isn’t about helping little girls, but rather about psychologically harming little boys.
The IET found boys were almost three times as likely as girls to receive science and maths toys for Christmas.
Maybe they just have more of an interest in these things on average. Unless you can cite evidence that these things are forced upon boys against their will, and deprived from girls who are interested in them, you can’t say for certain that this is a problem. I can only speak from anecdotal experience, but when I was a child, I would have much preferred a children’s Chemistry set to a tea party set, and it isn’t because I was brainwashed by marketing. It’s because that sort of thing genuinely would have appealed to me more.
Mr Lester said there was a new wave of toys specifically being marketed as gender-neutral to encourage more girls to explore their interest in STEM.
“It might not be a quick fix but getting behind No Gender December is a good start to redressing this imbalance,” he said in his blog post.
“That means that the best present for your daughter this Christmas may not necessarily be a nerf gun, but rather a ‘Jewelbot’, a ‘Roominate set’ or ‘Goldieblox’,” he wrote.
I have absolutely no issue with this. If a little girl finds these gender-neutral, STEM related toys appealing, then more power to them. It certainly seems like a fairer solution than forcing little boys to play with Barbie dolls against their will.
The No Gender December campaign started in 2014 by advocacy group Play Unlimited.
Sweden did this whole “Gender-neutral toys” thing first…
…And anyone who is a regular reader will know what a great success Sweden is right now.
Good luck Australia.