Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Gendered Toys

I really adore this comic strip. Growing up, I was close with my cousins, who are all male, and I remember that while I was always perfectly happy to play with Hot Wheels and swords, they all refused to play with “girly” toys like Barbie dolls and my collection of super awesome Sailor Moon wands (they SPARKLED!). Back then, I was mostly cool with it, because who wants to share their toys if they don’t have to? But it also meant that we never got to play the games that I wanted to play – I could pretend to be a knight if I wanted to, but none of them would ever dare pretend to be a Sailor Scout.

Why is it that girls can do boy things, but boys can’t do girl things? As a feminist looking back on all this, it’s obvious: because it’s okay for a woman to have masculine traits (to a certain extent, at least) but it’s not considered acceptable for men to be at all “feminine.” But kids learn from the toys they’re given and the games they play, and as this comic points out, “girl” toys often teach kids how to be nurturing – something which should be taught to all people, regardless of whether they’re male or female or anything in between. By saying that girls are the only ones who should be learning to care for children, it deprives boys of the opportunity to develop these skills, and enforces a culture in which women can be both nurturing mothers and hard workers, but men continue to view their role as being strictly that of breadwinner.

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