Maybe it’s because it’s the end of the year and I’m tired, or maybe it’s because I’m working on a female tech site GirlGuides that’s got me quite irritated with this topic of girls’ science toys, which featured on Huffington Post recently.
I know that there’s a big divide in boys’ and girls’ toys, not only in colour, but in character (I also wrote about the dearth of strong female Lego characters here). But never did I stop to think that science for girls would also come packaged in glitter, pink and prettiness.
It says a lot about how we’re marketing science and tech to girls, based on restrictive assumptions, and I think it’s offensive to think that girls will only be attracted to science when it comes with bells, whistles and pink. Plus, surely kits where you can make your own soap and lip balm are setting low expectations of girls, and later as women? And while the toys below are all American, I see similar things on local shelves.
What do you think?
1. The lip balm chemist set
2. The bubble bath science lab
3. Princess-themed LEGOs
4. Photo-editing in the name of makeovers
5. The soap-making experiment
6. The perfume chemistry set
7. The beautiful goo lab
8. The manicure science kit