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Boys can do housework too

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vacuum cleaners for girls only, disney store, boys do housework tooTell your local Disney Store that housework is not just girl’s work.

As a mum with a 6 month-old son I am very aware that many toys and children’s clothes are gendered.

There are already brilliant campaigns out there fighting to get this changed, such as Let Toys Be Toys and Pink Stinks which try and tackle this by targeting products “that prescribe heavily stereotyped and limiting roles to young girls”.

However, while I was on a recent trip to Birmingham’s Disney store I was shocked to see that not only were the toys gendered in the obligatory pink and blue fashion and separated, with the boys’ toys on the left hand side of the store and the girls’ were on the right, but the a certain type of toy was being aimed at young girls:

In among the princess costumes and soft toys were some bright pink vacuum cleaners.

A recent survey found that 8 out 10 married women still do the majority of the household chores in comparison to their male counterparts.

Meaning we have not progressed very far since the 1970s.

And with children being socialised through gendered domestic appliance toys it is easy to see why.

After seeing this toy I went in search of vacuum cleaners or any similar house cleaning devices in the boys section – and I could not find a single one.

Instead their section was filled with outfits of star troopers and star wars paraphernalia.

So while our girls are being trained in housework, our boys are being taught they can go to the moon.

Don’t get me wrong, I think teaching our children to do domestic chores is an important part of preparing them for adulthood.

However, children do tend to want to copy their parents, so we should be setting examples that both mummy and daddy do an equal share of housework – or at least that is what we aim to do in our house.

But I think it is important that if we are going to have domestic appliance toys such as vacuum cleaners and irons then they had better be in pink and blue.

If you are as annoyed about this as I am, then please feel free to email your local Disney Store calling for them to produce a vacuum cleaner in blue too.

And while you are at it, ask them to change the pink and blue divide too.

Thanks.

  1. I work at Disney and I’ve had this question put to me – I personally don’t believe in gendered roles like this. And my answer to ‘why are there no hoovers for boys’ is alwasy met with the same answer – this hoover is also for boys. It doesn’t say ‘girls hoover’ on it, and I have sold many of this for young boys. The reason it is pink is because it is a Minnie Mouse hoover and Minnie’s favourite colour is pink. That’s it. When people come in and point to it and say ‘where are the hoovers for boys?’ I point at it and say ‘this one is for boys too. When I expalin why they have to then realise that the only reason they thought it was for girls is because it is pink. That’s a stereotype they are bringing themselves, not the product. Minnie’s favourite colour is pink, that’s why pretty much all of the Minnie toys are pink. And boys play with them all the time

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