Gender roles.... :/

Tasha - posted on 01/27/2010 ( 21 moms have responded )




Hi!! :)

I have a one year old daughter and I have been doing a LOT of thinking. When I go into the toy department, it seems like I am bombarded by all kinds of cooking, dolls, pretend cleaning things, ect. I was talking to my mom about it, and she told me "she better get used to it, it's her lot in life!" That really made me sad to think that all she thinks she is going to accomplish is being a houswife. :( :( :( Then when my husband and I were shopping for her birthday presents with my mother in-law, my husband wanted to get her a lightsaber (he is a HUGE starwars geek!!) :P and she said the same type of thing!!! :( :( :( Am I going across the grain to think that I should encourage my daughter to play with other toys other than dolls and tea sets??? My brother got upset when my nephew came over and played with my daughters teapot. Really??? Come on!!!!! :( :( :( what do you moms think??? Would you ever by your daughter a toy car?? Or buy your son a teapot??? I am curious to think what other moms think about this..... :)


Shelagh - posted on 01/27/2010




I totally agree - I would suggest you make sure your daughter has a range of playthings - a few of the stereotype things, but also other stuff - sport related things, or gardening, or toy cars. I worry when I go into toy shops about the sheer amount of pink in the 'girl's' department. Because both boys and girls pick up on this colour-coding at such a young age, it makes it harder to buy a child toys of the 'other' gender. You might, for example, be happy to buy your son a tea-pot - but a bright pink one might be a different matter! My son used to play with his big sister's toys, and particularly enjoyed pushing the doll around in the doll buggy - I used to tell him he was playing Daddies, which seemed a perfectly reasonable thing to do if girls are expected to play Mummies. And my daughter had cars, dinosaurs, and a football. I wouldn't allow either of them to have toy guns.

It saddens me that your Mum (who I'm guessing might be in her 50's or 60's or thereabouts, and therefore lived through the liberation movement of the 1960's) still sees 'being a housewife' as the only realistic future for her grandaughter. Such a shame.

Ev - posted on 05/09/2013




My daughter is 23 and has one of her own. Though for my grandchild's first birthday she got a tea pot set from me, my son who is 16 and her uncle got her a block set made of wood. And for her first Easter he got her a couple of Nerf guns she will play with when older.

I have bought my daughter Hot WHeels cars, boy toys, and other more boy related things. I even bought her an outfit out of the boys department to match her was a baseball sort of outfit. I had their pictures made together in them.

Gender worries at the age of one is a bit much. She is going to become what she is going to become no matter how many cars or dolls she has.

Niketa - posted on 10/27/2012




Hi, My name is Niki Bhatia and I am the author of a childrens book, PINK IS JUST A COLOR AND SO IS BLUE. It is about letting go of our old gender stereotypes about colors (pink and blue) and toys kids choose to play with. The main character is a little boy who is not too athletic and his best friend is a feisty little girl who is "tomboyish". Our ultimate goal is to assure that our kids grow upto be confident, productive individuals, without placing so much emphasis on color and toys when they are sooo young.Toys are just a means of exploring and learning about the big world. We need to teach kids and parents to be more open minded....

Amanda Jolene - posted on 01/27/2010




Oh we have a bunch of cars for our daughter to play with and she love them. Our oldest is just about 3 and she is a girlie girl, but she loves playing with cars, trucks, we even got her a toy golf set and she likes her bowling set, too. Don't gender control your kids... find out what they like, personally. Every child is going to be different in what he or she likes. They are finding, through studies that boys who played with dolls when they were younger are more likely to be nurturing and compassionate as adults. I don't know about you, but that is a quality I looked for in a husband and my husband played with his sister when she played Barbies...

Nicole - posted on 01/27/2010




When my youngest daughter was just walking her favorite toy was a spoon and pot. She'd sit in the driveway and fill up the pot with dirt. She is 6 now, and while still very much a tom boy, she loves dress up and baby dolls. I have a 13 year old daughter who's thing is to color her hair and wear (what I would call) strange clothes... but she's confident and happy. My son, now 12.. the first toy he ever asked for was a baby doll. He never did play with trucks and such. He is now in football and into video games and such. I believe (stictly my opinion) if we allow our children to explore every possibility, they will blossom into the people they are supposed to be. So buy her the light saber and the football. buy her the teapot and baby doll.. then stand back and watch her grow into whatever she will.


View replies by

Rachel - posted on 01/27/2010




my daughter loves her toy cars and her baby dolls! Dont play into the whole gender role thing let them be who they be. take the child to the store with you and let her pick out her own toy... many grandmothers areold fashion but the world is changing she oculd be a wonderful housewive or a fire fighter or secratary of state :)

Sharon - posted on 01/27/2010




My oldest boy never wanted anything girly.

My younger boy wanted a doll - my husband bought him GI Joe.

My daughter has never cared for dolls and doesn't play the typical dolly type things either. They all do and have played with their stuffed animals.

I think tea parties are fun but my kids were never into it. My own tea & coffee times are rituals and pure enjoyment for me, I thought they'd get into but they never did.

My daughter has a custom made lightsaber, she picked it out and designed it, her big brother helped put it together.

For me - they can have whatever they want. Their father has different ideas. My son totally enjoyed his toy vacuum cleaner.

Leanna - posted on 01/27/2010




i have a son who is nearly 8 hes a boys boys whos loves tipical boys toys.but when he was 2 he played with my friends little girl who had all the girls toys i ended up buying him a hoover that year which he loved go out and buy what ever toy u like its your daughter and theres nothing wrong with what u want to buy them,its your descion

Nikkole - posted on 01/27/2010




my little brother for the longest time carried a baby doll around with him. his dad wasnt to happy with that, he told my mom he would grow up to be gay. He did not turn gay but if he did i would still love him, He played football in high school and did track. He has a girlfriend and is in the army. I dont see any thing wrong with a boy playing with a doll or a tea pot, or a girl playing with a truck. me and my friends would play football with the guys, and we turned out ok. Im going to let my little girl play with trucks and footballs.

Isobel - posted on 01/27/2010




I have one of each, and they are only a year and a half apart...they share a room now, so there's pretty much just a pile of "toys" not yours or mine, boys or girls...they play with whatever captures their imagination at the moment. I also love the fact that they take turns playing each other's games...they compromise

Erin - posted on 01/27/2010




i have 3 girls, for the most part our playroom is very pink and it does have alot of dolls, tea sets and dress up clothes, but we also have toy trucks and my girls love building projects like do it yourself bird houses and the love to go fishing,i see nothing wrong with them having toys designed for boys if those are the toys they are interested in and my hubby feels the same way.

Natalie - posted on 01/27/2010




I also grew up with a younger brother and he used to play barbies with me or house and i used to play with his cars with him.... see no problem there. I think that's great for raising well-rounded adults

April - posted on 01/27/2010




Provide a variety of different toys for your child regardless of the typical gender the toy is designed for. When she shows an interest follow it. I occasionally have purchased a toy or craft for my kids that they may not have thought of asking for just to broaden their horizons. My son had a couple of dolls and my daughter has a couple of trucks and swords.

JL - posted on 01/27/2010




I let my children play with want they want to play with. My daughter never enjoyed playing with baby dolls or the pretend cleaning stuff. My MIL kept buying babydolls and realistic vaccums for her because that was in her opinion what little girls play with. I kept them around and she never played with them. She had no interest in them. We got rid of all of the baby dolls but one and kept one of the fake vaccum cleaners because my son likes to play with them sometimes. My daughter and son play with eachother's toys and they ask for things that are not considered socially specified for their gender, but so what I just want them to be happy. Gender is a socially constructed ideal. My daughter has a remote control car and my son has a baby doll.

La - posted on 01/27/2010




I let my daughter play with anything that she wants to. We try to get mostly gender neutral toys in general. She does have a baby doll that she likes but she also enjoys playing with race cars.

Natalie - posted on 01/27/2010




I think it's perfectly fine to let kids play with whatever they wanna play with.
My daughter is 2 and she is a typical girl, she loves her dolls and feeds them, has a stroller etc. But she also has cars and unisex toys.
Her and my 4 year old son have a play kitchen that they share.. they both love it!
Also, my son has a bear form build-a-bear. He calls him baby bear and he also has a stroller for him.
I don't see anything wrong with it.
I teach them both pretty much the same things.
Just like my son just started having chores. He loves to vacuum or help me cook

Amanda - posted on 01/27/2010




i think you are right :) there is nothing wrong with a little boy playing with dolls or a little girl playing with trucks! growing up my brother and i took turns playing between trucks/match box cars and barbies. we both grew up fine! (although he is gay..... but i am CERTAIN it's not because he played with barbies;). when i look at toys for my son, i don't really pay attention to which gender they are aimed at. for his 1st b-day we bought him shopping cart and just bought him a pot and spoon with veggies and ((gasp)) a pink potholder! i also would like to get him a play kitchen at some point.

Deb - posted on 01/27/2010




Buy you r daughter a wide range of toys and let her play with what she wants. When my 7 yr old was younger he had baby dolls, strollers, kitchen sets ect. He played with them just as much as he played with his cars and action figures. Don't let other people put your child in a gender box. She can grow up to do anything (not just be a housewife).

Lisamarie81m - posted on 01/27/2010




I can tell you that both my sons had a doll thanks to my mom buying them one when they were born. Also my son has a tea set and they love playing tea party. I also babysit a girl and she has all sorts of toys, cars, legos, dolls, A variety of toys is a great idea. I know when my sister was born I was 17 and bought her a baseball outfit for a boy because I was not going to buy a frilly girly outfit. Take what they say with a grain of salt. and buy what ever toy you want for your daughter.

Sara - posted on 01/27/2010




No, I think the best thing you can do is encourage a wide variety of interests in your daughter's life! I buy my daughter stuff that is marketed towards boys, like cars and trucks. She loves that stuff! I want to support her in whatever her interests are...I would like to think if I had a son, I would do the same!

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms