Girl’s Toys

I’ve been getting a bunch of articles on gender and toys like this on facebook:

http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2014/02/11/boy-toys-girl-toys-and-other-cuckoopants-gender-assumptions/

http://jezebel.com/how-to-tell-if-a-toy-is-for-boys-or-for-girls-494034840

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26064302

And, you know, despite a lot of the PC and gender neutral phrasing, the takeaway sort of ends up being “we should be getting girls to play with boys toys.” Sure, sure, all the articles will pay lip service to “how boys should be allowed to play with dolls”, etc. But, at the end of the day, we usually see pictures of girls in the articles, not boys. We are usually talking about the negative effect these toyed gender divisions have on girls, not boys.

On an unrelated maybe related note, apparently people are far less empathetic today than they used to be.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-me-care/.

So… in a world of reduced empathy, our number one priority is teaching our female children how to be engineers?

I remember when goldie blox was blasted all over the interwebs, to much acclaim.

http://www.goldieblox.com/

These are toys aimed at girls to get them excited and into engineering.

But, do we really need more engineers? Why do we want female ones specifically? Why? Do we look at the pie chart of how many women there are in technical fields and say “zomg, this slice is too small! My OCD requires that the male, and female sections are exactly even!”

Wait! But Money! POWER! We need women to have these things just as much as men!

But why? Why do we need this? Our technology has enabled us to build drones that we fly into Afghanistan to kill people. Our technology has trapped us to our computers, desperately posting our lives to facebook to show off to our friends. Our technology has produced millions of useless, time wasting, computer games that we use to numb the permeating dissatisfaction and alienation we feel in our lives.

I don’t want women to become engineers. I want women to save the fucking world.

We are headed for a dark place. We already work longer hours, have fewer vacations, have less time for our loved ones than ever before. Adults have fewer close friendships than they did 20 years ago. Why do we want to send more women into this abyss? I want women to be there to help pull men *out* of it. I want wives to be telling their husbands “your e-commerce site isn’t as important as your son’s first words.” I want women to empathize with families in Iraq, and say “we cannot fight this way anymore, it is wrong.” And, I say this *as* a female engineer.

I remember at my first job, I would go on walks and cry in the bushes. This is where my feminism had led me? To a barren cube in a company full of single morbidly obese men? If I became like them, unhealthy, and unhappy, this would be a success? Because I was one of the few women who “could” do it? It is not enough for women to emulate men, because men have seriously fucked up this world. If we are trying to copy this, the materialism, the selfishness, I can only conclude that most women really lack faith in their own abilities. You think our daughters should aspire to be just as successful as men? As the wall street bankers who stole billions from the working class? As the internet billionaires who are contributing to increasing the income disparity, and pushing down the living standard for the everyone else? These men have failed to be even decent HUMANS, and this is how you want your daughters to turn out? Does money really mean that much?

I think what women really need is respect. Respect for raising kids, for being nurses, for being teachers, for caring. The people who devote their time and energy to taking care of other people, either the young, the old? Those are the ones we should be idolizing. What toys did they play with as a kid?

And, for whatever it’s worth, I was pink-barbie-cabbage patch kidded up to the max as a kid, and I still ended up an engineer. Just, hopefully, one with a perspective on larger society.

 

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