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Let Toys Be Toys @LetToysBeToys
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How childhood gender-stereotyping damages boys: a THREAD for #InternationalMensDay
In recent years, the toy industry has heavily segregated toys for boys & girls with the latter becoming VERY pink #InternationalMensDay
Little boys who naturally adore pink in the early years of their life now often reject it at the point when they realise it is seen as a colour for girls #InternationalMensDay
To be ‘like a girl’ is still commonly used against boys in a derogatory way: you run like a girl, throw like a girl, scream like a girl. It means weak #InternationalMensDay
Children regulate each other and adults regulate them too. Boys who are drawn to the kinds of toys targeted heavily at girls can be made to feel less of a boy #InternationalMensDay
We talk less to boys. We read less to boys. We discourage the expression of emotion in boys. The #nomoreboysandgirls experiment found that by age 7 the boys had less vocabulary for all emotions except anger #InternationalMensDay
Between the ages of 20 & 49, British men are more likely to die from suicide than from cancer, road accidents or heart disease. Little boys who are taught that boys don’t cry grow up into men who can’t ask for help #InternationalMensDay
Here’s the words of TV toy ads (2015) featuring boys: the language used again & again to capture what boys are apparently made of #InternationalMensDay
Look at the words of TV toy ads (2015) featuring girls & take note of all the elements boys are missing out on #InternationalMensDay
If you are a boy even love & friendship are taboo. Think about adult birthday cards & how commonly the pink ones celebrate friendship. Have you ever seen a card targeted at men do the same? #InternationalMensDay
The toy industry skews boys’ & girls’ perceptions of each other by emphasising difference rather than everything they have in common. If they can’t like the same things they must be some kind of different species #InternationalMensDay
Our 2015 TV toy ad research found boys shown as the villain in mixed groups: chasing girls with a spider, trying to steal their secret diary. Never the other way around #InternationalMensDay
The same 2015 TV toy ad research found such ads rarely show girls and boys playing equally together, apart from with board games! Why not encourage the idea that it's great & normal for boys & girls to be friends? #InternationalMensDay
Society needs boys to grow up and become compassionate fathers, caring friends & kind citizens but our 2016 catalogue research showed that the toy industry mostly refuses to show #caringboys #InternationalMensDay
Our 2015 Toy Ad research found zero ads showed boys with dolls. Would it really be so abhorrent to show a boy, in his bedroom, comforting a baby doll? #InternationalMensDay
Contrast the toy industry's attitude to boys & dolls (nay) with our 2016 catalogue research which found they are totally fine with showing boys as aggressors (yay) #InternationalMensDay

guns/war toys graphic
Over in the adult world, there is still a significant gender division of household labour. Our 2016 catalogue research showed boys were only half as likely to be shown with household toys. As those boys grow up could they…possibly…maybe…be connected? 🤔#InternationalMensDay
Our 2016 catalogue research also showed that the toy industry likes to depict arts, crafts & musical toys as girls’ domain. So boys are watching, listening & getting the message that those things are not for them #InternationalMensDay
If we want men to contribute to society as capable housekeepers, loving dads, & expressive artists, why can’t we bear to see little boys learning all these things through childhood play? #InternationalMensDay
This is something practical that you can do, starting today: tell every child you know there is no such thing as 'boys toys' & 'girls' toys'. Same goes for TV programmes, books, magazines etc #InternationalMensDay
What else can you do? Read with boys; seek out books in which girls are the protagonists & caring boys are not the butt of the joke. Teach all kids to value kindness & empathy in themselves and others. Treasure boy/girl friendships, they are important #InternationalMensDay
Use your consumer voice. Let the toy industry/book publishers/media know we don’t want kids to believe that only half of all the cool things in life are theirs to enjoy #InternationalMensDay
Give boys the freedom to grow up without judgement, without having to contort themselves into anybody else’s idea of what it means to be a man #InternationalMensDay
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