About Time: Toy Catalog Flips Kids' Gender Roles

Swedish company lets girls wear blue, boys play with dolls
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 27, 2012 1:53 PM CST
About Time: Toy Catalog Flips Kids' Gender Roles
An image from the Top Toy catalog in Sweden.   (Top Toy)

Swedish retailer Top Toy has put out a catalog this year with images of girls shooting Nerf guns and boys, gasp, playing with dolls. It's long overdue, writes Sarah Ditum in the Guardian. "The amazing thing is that gender roles for children have become so calcified that such petty things can be presented as radical," adds Ditum, who doesn't buy the notion that boys and girls naturally prefer the toys that society decrees for them.

"It's not innate sexual difference that makes girls and boys play either side of the pink-blue divide—it's adults constantly impressing on their charges that one group of toys is right and the other is wrong." Parents can't keep their kids safe from the "gender sorting hat" forever, but letting them play with the toys they like is a good start—and a good lesson. "Eat it, patriarchy," writes Ditum. Read her full column here. (More Sweden stories.)

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