Hugzilla Blog Top 10 Sexist Toys for Girls: 2014 Edition

It’s that time of year again. The Christmas countdown has started and it’s time for me to wade through countless tonnes of plastic pink crap in search of the most glittering examples of sexism and stereotype currently available in toy form.

The usual disclaimer applies: this is NOT a judgement of the individual choices we make as parents and consumers, but I do think it is valuable to step back and look at these things from a wider cultural and societal perspective. And, more importantly, because I like to take the piss.

Each one of the finalists will receive the much-coveted “Hugzilla Award”, in recognition of their efforts for the Promotion of Casual Sexism and Outdated Gender Stereotypes.

hugzilla award

If you are keen to check out last years finalists they can be found here at The Top Ten Sexist Toys for Girls: 2013 Edition.

1. Baby Jogger Stroller PLUS Barbie Coffee and Cake Set

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The pressure to be a “yummy mummy” these days starts well before a female has given birth. Or had sex. Or reached puberty.

Every little girl needs a jogging pram, so she can run down to the beach for a brisk “Mums and Bubs” yoga session before meeting the other yummy pretend-mummies down at Starbucks for a skim-milk babycino and a low-fat chia seed muffin (if she’s feeling naughty). It’s important that young girls don’t let themselves go. Why walk when you can run? That’s just lazy.

2. Fisher Price Brilliant Basics Stroll Along Walker (ages 9+ months)

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Correction: The pressure to be a “yummy mummy” these days starts well before a female has learnt to walk. Or stand up by herself. If you can lean on a walker without falling down, you can damn well push a baby around.

Product suitable for 9+ months. I mean, seriously, the kid hasn’t even been out of the womb longer than she was in it and already she is being trained for childbirth. Barely upright and we’re already saddling her with a baby. LET HER LEARN TO WALK ON HER OWN, FFS. The “male” equivalent of this product does not include a doll. Just balls. What do men love more than anything? Playing with their balls.

And people think social conditioning is bullshit.

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3. Graco Room Full of Fun (3 years +)

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Huh? Room Full of FUN.

What GARBAGE are we teaching our girls?

Look at her beaming SMILE. Look at those TWO babies.

THIS IS NOT FUN. THIS IS THE PLACE WHERE FUN GOES TO DIE.

Chronic sleep deprivation is not “fun”. Shuffling around like a zombie in the middle of the night with a baby that is screaming so savagely you half-expect a demon to come flying out of its mouth is not “fun”. Being on perpetual call to creatures that reward your attention by exploding with mucus and vomit and faeces is not “fun”.

This toy should be re-named “Room Full of Where the @#$% is Daddy?”

4. Princess Temperature Tester AND Princess Potty

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First of all: yes, this is a real product. Don’t raise your eyebrows like that. It serves a VITAL and much under-rated function, because one should NOT dip one’s esteemed royal elbow into a tub full of fetid bathwater. That would be common, and unbecoming of a princess. And anyway, little heirs to the throne should only bathe in high-fat nubian goats milk straight from the udder, and thus at optimal temperature. Speaking of thrones, every little monarch needs the austere dignity of a bright pink potty to make her royal deposits. 

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“Her Royal Highness The Princess of Poo was safely delivered of a medium-soft bowel movement at 4.24 p.m. today. Her Royal Highness and her bowels are both doing well.”

5. My Pretty Learning Purse (6 – 36 months)

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My Pretty Learning Purse contains all the things a scholarly-minded six month old might need to further her early infant education: keys, mobile phone, hand mirror and credit card. In between a repetitive series of inane giggles it squeals things like “Pink park!” and “Let’s get ready!” and “Let’s go shopping!”, before piping out a jaunty anthem that ends with the line “Yesterday was purple but today it’s PINK!”

Schooling young girls, one trip to the mall at a time.

 6. Just Like Home Housekeeping Set (ages 3+)

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The “pink” version contains enough equipment for your daughter to establish her own commercial cleaning business. The “blue” version features a broom and dustpan, so your son can sweep the kitchen in sixty seconds and then spend twenty minutes making sure the entire household knows he did it, before retiring to the couch with fatigue. There’s some serious social meta-data right there.

“Sweeping and scrubbing will make her feel so grown up!”

Lies, all of it.

“Sweeping and scrubbing will make her feel so resentful towards her malingering husband and his lonely broom!”

7. Nurses Play Set AND Surgeon Play Set (ages 3+)

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This pink, flowery costume comes with everything a nurse needs to “mend sores, soothe headaches and diagnose all sorts of grandma illnesses”.

Because vagina.

On the other hand, our young male surgeon is dressed in blue and will “enjoy performing delicate operations on Uncle Bob”.

Because penis.

8. Fairy Town Train Set (ages 3+)

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Why on earth do girls need a pretty pink train set specifically marketed to them? It’s not like they are going to be operating them with their genitals. I mean, seriously, what is wrong with all the other wooden sets already on the market, with their gender-neutral primary colours and their otherwise-identical components.

“Sorry, I have a vagina so everything I touch from now on needs to be pink”.

9. Little Glamour Gift Set (ages 3 months+)

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The failure to properly introduce glamour in early infanthood can lead to troubling deficiencies, specifically relating to the development of man-less spinsters with upper lip hair and an unhealthy obsession with social justice issues.

The good news for parents is that glamour can be absorbed through the gums via these specially designed teething toys: featuring a plastic diamond, handbag and a mirrored heart, it will also encourage timely development of the duckface pout your baby requires for those first tentative selfies.

10. Bruin Beauty Set AND Totally Me Cosmetic Case AND Shimmer and Sparkle Pampered Pedicures

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Speaking of glamour, it is important to teach our girls from a young age that their god-given beauty is NOT OK and that the true essence of womanhood is the obsessive pursuit of adornment, grooming and body modification. Girls need to learn that they aren’t good enough in their natural state, and that various parts of their body will need to be plucked, primped, combed, teased, waxed, filed, clipped, tanned, lacquered and slathered in coloured goop before they are deemed acceptable for public display. And it needs to start as soon as they are old enough to stop eating the lipstick.

If you are keen to check out last years finalists the can be found here at The Top Ten Sexist Toys for Girls: 2013 Edition.

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52 thoughts on “Hugzilla Blog Top 10 Sexist Toys for Girls: 2014 Edition

  1. My son has a pram because there is nothing like it for ‘boys’. He loves pushing the dog around in it at break neck speeds or filling it with blocks and pushing it at a wall just to see how quick all of the shit will fall out. He didn’t want a pink one, not because of any sexist reasons but because, and I quote ‘Pink is a shit colour mum’. So for heaven’s sake I wish they would change the damn colours of the toy prams.

  2. Oh. My. God. I can not believe this! Whilst I’m an aficionado of pink…duh… and I wouldn’t have minded a fairy train set when I was a little girl, the rest of it is bollocks. My only daughter (after four boys) shunned dolls and didn’t like pink so none of this stuff ever appeared in our house. Thank you for bringing this to my attention in your usual brilliant style. It’s disgraceful.

  3. You had me at “this is the place where fun goes to die” Oh yeah! My little dude just turned one and guess what, I gave him a dolls house (a ‘gender neutral’ one!). I can feel the confusion radiating from random facebook friends, but suck it, him and his big bro love it.

  4. Yes, it’s very interesting to see people’s reactions. The same happened when I bought my boys a “gender neutral” kitchen from the Salvos. I swear, the little old lady serving me almost fainted when I told her it was for my sons.

  5. I read the heading wrong – I though it said the “Sexiest Toys for girls” and was going to be all about Kit Harrington. That just shows how my brain works. The good news (in our household) is that my 7 year old is growing out of this pink shite and is starting to enjoy story lines where girls solve mysteries and generally kick arse. There is hope!

    • One of my other friends made that mistake too. LOL. Errr, no. I remember being utterly obsessed by the Trixie Belden mysteries when I was a wee lass, so it’s nice to know that books like that still exist for girls.

  6. One of my girlfriends recently bemoaned the fact that all tea sets were pink. Her son wanted one and she couldn’t find anything more gender neutral… but in the end she decided he liked pink so #whatevs.

    It’s SO true though!

  7. Love it! While it shits me the way toys are marketed either for girls or boys, and there is no crossover, my eldest absolutely LOVES anything pretty or pink. It’s her new obsession. And she has decided that she will only wear dresses from now on, not for any reason other than they are pretty. She makes an interesting site in her sparkly dresses, stomping around in boots and jumping off structures taller than her and just generally being a ruffian! People expect she’s a gentle girly-girl coz of the dresses, but not this one!

    The Princess potty though, the plain pink and white one, not the Disney one, would actually be perfect for us because we have a book about potty training called Princess Polly’s Potty, and while PP doesn’t pick the pink one, it does have a crown on it exactly like that one!

    • A lot of that comes from their peers too. About 6 months ofter my eldest started preschool, he came home with all these very definite ideas about princesses, and how princesses behave. Basically trying to tell me that I was a princess and that all girls were princesses .LOL. Until then he’d never seen a single princess movie or read a princess book at home, but only six months at preschool and he’d earnt himself a PhD!

  8. So funny…. I try to be gender neutral with my boys. My littlest has a baby doll HE LOVES. But it was impossible to find one that wasn’t very pink with those weird, huge, almost come-hither eyes. I find the best gender neutral toys come from Aldi. Those Germans are probably onto something.

    • LOL, I was the same with my boys too – kitchens, prams, dolls etc It was great until my eldest turned 4, and it seemed like overnight he up and decided he was going to use them all as weapons. He got that testosterone surge and it was so bizarre!

  9. Oh, puke. It just keeps getting worse, doesn’t it? My son loved pink when he was little and we even had a ‘pink’ party for him when he turned four. This linking for pink didn’t last though, as he soon realised it wasn’t a ‘boy’ colour. Social conditioning sucks.

    • Yes, it amazing how much all of this is enforced by their peers, even at three years old. My son came home from preschool with all these notions about all girls being princesses, and pink being for girls and all sorts of other nonsense. We’d play together and he would insist that I had to be princess because I was a girl. I had NO other option in his mind, even when I’d tell him I wanted to be something else. I don’t care so much about pink this and princess that, but when it becomes the ONLY option for girls, that is what makes me angry.

  10. I can’t stomach shopping for toys or games for my three-year old daughter. The boys get variety, imagination and engineering in their toys… smattered with a little gratuitous violence and heroics. The girls, they get pink. Retina searing aisle upon aisle of neon pink. There’s pink housework. Pink plastic child rearing. Oh, and dolls that dress like whores. In pink.

  11. I see no basic cookery set for girls! How the hell are they ever going to learn to have a piping hot meal on the table when their man returns home from the pub after first having spent a hard day at work. Shame, toy makers, shame. Next thing you’ll be telling me is that the junior girls make up kits have stopped production.

    • LOLOLOLOLOL! Fear not, my friend. There were a million and one hot-pink cookery sets and make up kits to rival the ones seen backstage at Fashion Week. Alas, so many worthy products were unable to make the final cut, but rest assured, supermarket shelves are straining under the weight of this shit.

  12. Great post, and close to what I wrote on Sunday! What great minds we have. Yes you know my view on gender stereotype toys but think we’re fighting a losing battle! xx Thanks for linking (and sorry for my tardiness I’m out of the country – sounds exotic doesn’t it? It’s not x

    • I have a 48-hour amnesty on comments for fabulous international jet-setters so you’re safe. Sometimes it does feel like a losing battle but reading the experiences of other people who are trying to tackle this head-on within their sphere of influence is incredibly heartening too. We’ll keep chipping away at it from the margins, and leave our mark that way 🙂

  13. My now 9 year old went through a stage of wearing princess dresses daily until she was nearly 5. This overlapped her love of Ben 10 from 4-6, but she wouldn’t wear her Ben 10 shoes to kinder or calisthenics after she was told “they’re boy shoes”. Grr. Now she shuns all things pink and girly, loves Dr Who and Star Wars, and is generally shaping into a well-rounded geek like her mother. Her little sister has never been girly. At 3 she was telling people she was a boy, this changed when she realised her boy cousins had something she didn’t. She was ok with that. She would wear Superman and Batman costumes and tell people off for calling her Super Girl or Bat Girl because “I’m Superman!” No costumes with frilly skirts in this house LOL – have you seen those? Now she’s 6. At her birthday party last year she got monster trucks and cars, this year she got a skateboard and basketball. Yep, her friends know her well 🙂

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