Cycle of Gender Identity Essay Sample
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Cycle of Gender Identity Essay Sample
In my English class last week we read an article, “Guys and Dolls No More” in which Elizabeth Sweet argues about the extreme use of gender stereotyping within children’s toys. Sweet explains the difference between toy advertisements in the past and the advertisements of today, saying that in the 1970s, toy advertisements showed nearly no overt expression of gender, but by 1995 the gendered advertising of toys had moved slowly back to 1950s levels, and it’s even larger today. She also tells us that how parents force children to pick gendered-typed toys, how children use to be influenced by peer pressure and homophobic culture.
She stated that this “self-reinforcing cycle” of parents buying these toys and children playing with these toys that push the recognition of gender inequality farther into the future. Lastly, Sweet says toys are being marketed and sold by gender in a way that is more intense now than previously, and this is pushing us back towards an “unequal past” because as a society, the use of gendered toys generates and maintains the inequality between boys and girls. After I had finished reading her article, I wondered if she was correct – should we separate toys according to gender? I think this is a very controversial question that needs to be explored.
First, some experts argue toys shouldn’t be separated by gender because it will have a negative impact. In the article, “TITLE A” Author X argues that in the world of toys \”young girls are cast in caring roles and boys as go-getting protagonists. I don\’t think that\’s healthy.\” She claims that in Lego’s new line of toys, boys are offered scientists, construction equipment, and war toys, but girls are offered a heart lake and included a salon, a vet, swimming pool and convertible car. Author X mentions the Lego designer, Ellen Kooijman who was hired to radically alter the designs of Lego’s for girls to make them less stereotypically. Unfortunately, Lego changed her designs by adding to the figures lipstick, and one was given a sports car and a pink scarf. Such toys, Author X believes, can banish an image of women doing serious jobs.
Author X also says David Robertson, a former employee of Lego tells us that company is too focused on boys and needed to adjust to offer the kind of characters that girls are drawn to. He says. \”If you believe Lego is a healthy toy for kids to play with, why not make different stories that appeal to different people?\” By saying this he means to state that kids should be able to play with any Lego toy without any judgment about it, but Author X suggests that our primary concern with Legos comes down to marketing and the way that girls and boys are so rarely shown playing together with the same toy the way they do in real life. Ultimately, Author X shows the reader that by telling girls what toys they should be playing with, rather than letting them choose, we are making them focus on domestic and appearance concerns rather than ones about career and success.
Similar to Author X, in the article, “Title B”, Writer Y argues about how gender has been socially constructed by society, which has allowed for the formation of gender stereotypes. In this article, the author explains how we hear that blue is for boys and pink is for girls starting at a very young age, which leads children to show a preference to toys associated with their gender identity. Author Y also notes that gender norms and values have been reinforced in any child leaving their toy store which represents gender expectations through the use of labeled toy aisles. Moreover, the author talks about the toy advertisement where it shows boys are playing with action figures and guns, while girls were dressing up with their Barbies.
These advertisements describe how girls as weaker and inactive, while boys are shown to be controlling and powerful. Social roles have been promoted, and development has been influenced by these gender specific advertisements. Even though toys are one of the main sources of social and cognitive development, it can be harmful according to gender prospects, Author Y says. Finally, the author points out that toys are a crucial part of children development, but if a girl just plays with a glitter toys then how they can develop their problem-solving skills that a construction kit for boys will? Overall, this article argues that gendered toys are only reinforcing the stereotypes many of us already have about the work and lifestyles of men and women.
On the other hand, in the article, “Title C”, Author Z talks about Target getting rid of all gender designations and labels for children’s toys and bedding. The writer argues that removing such labels are a reaction from disgruntled, progressive customers at the detriment to most of their shoppers, who want gender labels in the store, stating that Target is simply “jumping, on the winding, zigzag gender line” in which being the gender of choice is OK. Also, the writer says that “No matter what the gender label are, boys will start to play with Legos and have Superman bed sheets and girls will have Barbie dolls.” The writer claims that gender being neutralized by society is bad as gender is part of god’s creation and sex being an integral part of being an image bearer of god.
The writer states that development will say that gendered designed toys only serve to reinforce gender stereotypes, but according to bible, “Every person’s sexuality was planned and designed before the foundation of the world by a God who loves each person, as he made him or her to be, male or female.” However, god has created boys and girls not just to play with toys, but he has created them for a better purpose and store could change it. Even though Author Z believes that no store can change gender, he ultimately thinks that removing such labeling is silly and unnecessary.
Finally, after doing my research, I found out that there are so many issues of gender identity in your society and how people, including parents, judge little boys and girls by their toys. I think that every child should have the right to choose their own toys because some may like dolls and some cars or other stuff. Moreover, I think that men and women are not the same, toymakers are just catering to that difference, at the same time I think that toy marketers are just wanted to sell their products, and selling products shouldn’t be more important than helping children to play with whatever they want.
In addition, I feel that all people should let children to get what they want because until they are young enough they wouldn’t know anything about gender or its stereotypes. This research has helped me to answer my question but has created more questions than I had before, such as: if we remove gender labels from toy stores, what will be the ultimate outcome for our society? and Is our society moving towards greater understanding and acceptance of gender differences? I think I should figure it out some answers about this questions before making any assumption.