As I’ve written elsewhere, I don’t object to pink. I like pink a lot, in fact. It’s a lovely color, but it’s not the exclusive province of girls. My sons like pink; in fact, my middle son is currently rocking a bright pink turtleneck. Are GoldieBlox not for them? They’d like a pink building toy, too. When my elder son saw the first GoldieBlox ad about a year ago, his first response was, “That’s sexist. Why is it just for girls?”
The GoldieBlox ad manipulates us with a feminist story, but it buys into the same old system. It’s a “girls’” toy, playing right along with the established dichotomy in the toy store. Sure, I can buy it for my sons if I like the toy, but the message of the commercial is that they’ll be playing with a girls’ toy.
What we need, rather than more gendering, are construction toys marketed to both sexes. The toys can be red, green and blue, and also pink, yellow and teal. As my middle son likes to say, “Colors are for everyone.”
Someday, I want to open my Facebook feed and find everyone excited about a commercial for an engineering toy that features girls and boys building together, without comment upon their gender. That would be truly revolutionary.
UPDATE: GoldieBlox has sued the Beastie Boys after that band issued an open letter supporting the message of empowering girls but accusing the company of copyright infringement for using its song “Girls” without permission (but with new lyrics) to help sell the product in the ad discussed above.