That brought me back to my own childhood, growing up in the eighties and playing with Lego untill I was at least twelve. no-one ever said to me that playing with Lego was something for boys and I never thought that untill this picture emerged. The message now made about this old advertisement is that Lego was genderneutral back then. And that Lego now, with their new line of Lego for girls, gives out a wrong signal. I find it extremely tiring and frustrating to read the responses from people on the internet about the protest of other people on the sexist implications of the new Lego. Because, as usual, the feminists are said to be overreacting (and said a lot more aggresive and rude then that) and of course girls like pink and purple more, that’s a biology thing; it’s definitely not sexist or in any way an example of stupid stereotypes that the new female figures all have long hair, walk around in barbie-outfits and their activities are limited to loungen around the pool and shopping with friends or sitting in their sweet little house.
I don’t mind that Lego wants to make different colored Lego, fine! I know lots of boys who also like purple and green and pink. I would have liked it to build a purple spacecraft when I was a kid. Or a racecar, or a hippie house. Whatever. It’s just color. But it’s not just that anymore. It’s part of a marketing strategy. That strategy is a succes, because lots and lots of people really believe that it’s a biological fact that girls like pink and boys don’t. They don’t think for one second that they themselves have anything to do with this ‘preference’ of boys and girls for certain things. It’s all just nature.
My frustration grew after reading people comments on the old advertisement (it reminded me again never to read comments about feminist issues on the internet if you’re in a good mood, it will ruin your day). Some people wrote that the girl in the picture was too much of a tomboy and why did Lego use a child that was definitely supposed to look as a boy and dressed as a boy? I was flabbergasted. Isn’t she the most adoring little ‘girl’ you have ever seen? How can someone see her and see a tomboy? Is she not feminine enough by these persons standards to pass as a girl? No wonder I don’t pass as a girl most of the times…not that I’m trying to anyway.
This whole genderpolicing (that’s the decent name I give it, the other not so decent one is gendernazi’s…) is making the world so hard for kids. They can’t like what they would like, they can’t choose what they maybe would like to choose, they are not free to choose, because every minute since they were born they are bombarded with the results of our own created genderrules and regulations. I admire parents, caretakers, educators, all who are aware of this and who try to change it. (and change the world with it I hope) Like for instance the parents of Riley. She’s the 4 year old girl who said all these clever things about the whole gender based marketing and who they put on You Tube, with worldwide succes. It’s great and shows there’s always hope for change. Even the angry feminist in me believes that after seeing her…