Toys Cause Gender Socialization Too!

It is clear to see these days walking down the toy aisle that there is a clear divide among two main genders: boy or girl. I can remember, as a child growing up with a brother and no sisters, that it was the same way at my home. I had my dolls, like Barbies and Brats, where my brother had his “manly toys” such as Nerf Guns and video games. I always wanted to play with his nerf guns but he would tell me that I would get hurt or that I am too girly to participate. Recently, however, I noticed while shopping for Christmas the other day, that the Nerf gun company has caught on to the gender divide in the toy industry and began to make pink Nerf guns that are advertised to girls. Everything to do with the gun, down the bullets that go inside, has to do with pink and flowery things. Even a pair of pink shaded glasses is included for safety, which I have never seen before on any other Nerf gun set. I guess the company is implying that girls ready are going to hurt themselves with this toy without the proper protection. This is, unfortunately, what many companies have been doing with their toys in effort to improve their sales, and I am surprised it took so long for Nerf to catch on. Girls make up basically half of the market so it is about time they start advertising to them too. However, I think that companies should not divide these two genders, and instead begin advertising their products to boys and girls. No pink and blue separation, just a mutual item that could be enjoyed by everyone. On the other side however, if colors like pink and blue were not categorized to genders through social construction then there would be no issue to this. As soon as a kid is born, or even before they come into this world, they are being adorned in colors that represent their genders. Parents dress their kids up, decorate their kids rooms, and even purchase toys that match up with the social norms they are familiar with. Overall, I do not think that this product is a bad idea, but rather society, especially parents of kids, should not divide genders with basic things like colors for their children.nerf-guns-for-girls

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