December 22, 2013

Feminism: Making children cry on Christmas since 1969

The Guardian reports a new triumph in the campaign to make it even harder for aunts and uncles to shop for toys their little nephews and nieces will like:
Meanwhile, the number of shops organising their toy departments into separate sections for boys and girls has fallen by 60% in the past year, following pressure on retailers from shoppers and campaigners, it has been claimed.

In the Spectator, Ed West turns to an international toy expert for insight:
The underlying concern is that girls are being pressured into a certain sexualised, submissive and ultra-feminine ideal, one that is based on looks and shopping. 
The reason for this development is that we have become much freer and richer. American blogger Steve Sailer has made the point that in the Victorian era when all kids got for Christmas was a tangerine and a lump of coal there wasn’t much opportunity for gendered toys. 

The term that Camille Paglia came up with for the common denominator behind what little boys want in toys is "projection." I can recall as a kid finding pretty awesome the motto: "Strategic Air Command: Projecting American Power Worldwide."

Judging from the toys in my old Christmas pictures, I wanted to grow up to be Ramzan Kadyrov.

19 comments:

Glossy said...

Steve, for the Ramzan Kadyrov link, wouldn't it make more sense to link to the post where you included all those pictures of him? Regular readers will know what you mean anyway, but casual readers would get the point quicker if they see those truly awesome pics.

sunshinemary said...

Silly feminists. What exactly is wrong with organizing toys by sex? It's not like you can't just walk over to the next aisle if little Suzy wants a Nerf gun for Christmas.

stari_momak said...

We used to get tangerines in our stockings. My mother was raised by her grandmother; and as we were all kind of late kids, that puts us back into the tail end of the Victorian era.

Of course, we got decks of cards, Mastermind, Hot Wheels, and plenty of green army men too.

Titus Didius Tacitus said...

sunshinemary: "Silly feminists. What exactly is wrong with organizing toys by sex?"

They're not organizing by sex, which is an irrelevant, biologistic term. They are organizing by gender. Gender which is the arbitrary social creation of unfairly privileged and underprivileged categories or identities. If you use "sex" where you should have used "gender" you will fail your assignment, or at best be given the opportunity to do it over, and you'd better get it right next time, and you will be in trouble with your feminist professor. (Or if working for the government or on any capacity that requires conformity to feminist-influenced style manuals, you will be in trouble, and if it happens repeatedly you can expect to be fired.)

Through sustained and pervasive coercion, scolding and fear, as well as soul-killing bureaucracy and habit, your mind will be reshaped, and you will lose the capacity to use words in ways that would naturally suggest proscribed thoughts (like: "men and women are different sexes with biologically given natures"), thus leading you to a permanent state of preemptive "crimestop".

This is explained in 1984, which was based on leftist practice, and which the left still seems to use as a "how-to" manual, though with a growing list of perverse additions.

If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a Christmas toy - forever. And a child crying over it.

Felix M said...

Steve, you're making me nostalgic. When my niece was seven, I gave her a dolls' tea party set. And I gave my twelve year old nephew a Swiss Army knive. They were the most successful presents ever.

Anonymous said...

I think the feminists might be on to something. Ed "Big Daddy Roth" had a line of plastic models back in the 60s. Roth once held a contest where the grand prize was a overnight visit from the man himself. The winner was...female.

Growing up the in the 80s, I loved comic books. The letter pages of Marvel and DC books were an exclusively male domain. With age, disposable income, and freedom from a parent hellbent on enforcing her version of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, I can indulge a passion for hardcover collections of "Mad", "Eerie" and "Creepy" magazines, as well as the occasional indvidual back issue of Mad Magazine, National Lampoon, Playboy, etc.

What I find interesting about the letter pages of "Eerie", "Creepy", and "Mad" from the 60s and 70s is that letters from female fans are not as rare as the Hope Diamond. In any given issue, at least 1-4 of the letters printed would have been written by a female writer.

Anonymous said...

We used to get tangerines in our stockings. My mother was raised by her grandmother; and as we were all kind of late kids, that puts us back into the tail end of the Victorian era.

Uhh... we STILL get tangerines in our stockings.

Old School Christmas FTW.


Icepick said...

Judging from the toys in my old Christmas pictures, I wanted to grow up to be Ramzan Kadyrov.

You too, huh?

Hell, I 45 and I _still_ hope to grow up to be Ramzan Kadyrov.

Harry Baldwin said...

Here's a product of feminism: a five-year-old girl who doesn't want to get married unless she has a job first.

rob said...

I dunno if toy companies are run by total tards, and certainly companies have had stoopid strategies before. OTOH, toy store customers and users aren't the same. Egalitarian mom buys more toys than well-meaning but kid-ignorant uncles.

There's also the fact that boys don't want girls' toys, but girls will boys' toys. Therefore switching as many toys as possible to the blue team may improve blue sales without hurting pink sales.

Are computer/tablet/phone games still reaming dead-tree and dead-oil well toys? Companies that think they're going to die anyway will flail around trying nearly random new stuff.

But why stop with toy stores? Why not department stores. Separating women's and men's underwear is so caveperson! Don't you know that some men wanna wear women's clothes? You think chinks can't wear boxers!

pat said...

I commented a few days ago on this issue when you ran your childhood Christmas picture. But I may have been too subtle. Let me state it flat out.

Armed remote controlled flying drones are a new weapon employed by our military. But it is likely that 'killer drones' will be more useful to civilians with agendas that the military.

I'm no better than anyone else at predicting the future, but this one seems close to certain.

Let's say for point of argument that a random citizen wants to assassinate a public figure. Pistols are widely used by schizophrenics. Rifles are used close up by other schizophrenics and at longer range by political fanatics. Ten years ago Lee Boyd Malvo used a rifle as a sniper. I think were someone like him to do that sort of thing again today they would use a toy helicopter drone filled with explosives.

The crazy people who are roaming the streets because of the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act want to watch their victims die. This of course guarantees that they too will soon die. Those who are sane enough to plan and want to live become snipers, but a drone is safer yet.

FedEx and UPS are working on drone package delivery. The technology is ubiquitous. Let's say a neo-Nazi wants to kill some Jews. Just fly a toy drone filled with C4 and ball bearings to the Jewish Community Center. Or the Black Muslim Bakery. Or into the middle of a black teenager 'flash mob'. Or into a Tea Party meeting. It may be that in a few years no group with political enemies will dare hold an event outside because of the risk of drone attacks.

I doubt if the toy drones can carry much of a load, but Grant Imahara constructs large remote controlled drones on "Mythbusters" every other week. He always uses 'off the shelf' parts that he buys at toy stores. A used piper cub can be flown remotely for not very much money. Fill it up with explosives and you won't have to fly it yourself into a building. It provides a terrorist, a way that he can be a suicide bomber without the suicide.

Rand Paul worries that 'big government' is now capable of using drones to kill private citizens. True enough, but he should also worry that private citizens can now easily kill people in government too with the same technology.

Merry Christmas

Albertosaurus

Anthony said...

I'm going to be a little contrarian/conventional on this. There is now more gendering of toys than when I was a kid (born 1966), and I don't think it's a positive development. My girls really do prefer dolls and other traditionally girly toys, but they will play with Legos that aren't specifically marketed to girls. There are lots of toys which aren't really that strongly gendered (like Lego), but their marketing has become more so over the past 20 to 30 years.

I suspect that some of this is driven by a reaction against the incessant feminist hectoring to erase gender differences in children - people *want* their boys to be boys and their girls to be girls, and the toy marketers are giving them what they want, rather than what the kids want.

96246832 3766 said...

Further to the tangerine and lump of coal business, the modern obsession with "bringing out the best in everyone" has contributed to two paradoxical parental movements.

The first honors the fact that most kids are gender normal, so parents will be spending top dollar on pink tutus and dolls for their daughters, and macho toys for their sons. The second minor movement is made up of the noisy parents of gender nonconforming parents of boys who like pink tutus and dolls, and girls who like macho toys.

None of this happened back in the day of "shaddup and be happy with nothing."

The paradox of wealth is that when everyone gets what they want, it highlights the fact that most people are normal. So the exceptions get the attention.

sunshinemary said...

@ Anthony
There is now more gendering of toys than when I was a kid (born 1966), and I don't think it's a positive development.

I understand what you're saying and sort of agree, but it's not exactly that toys are more gendered, it's that toys aimed at girls have been slut-ified. Have you seen Bratz or Monster High dolls? Sickening.

We have five daughters and we buy them bow and arrow sets and BB guns above things like Slutz, I mean Bratz dolls.

@ Titus Didius Tacitus
I lol'd. Must I report for gender re-education camp, sir?

Actually, I wrote a whole blog post on the gender/sex lexical debate:

http://sunshinemaryandthedragon.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/on-the-gendersex-lexical-debate/

Anonymous said...

Rob said...

> You think chinks can't wear boxers!

They had a whole rebellion against Western attempts to impose them.

Merry Christmas!

Mr. Anon said...

"pat said...

A used piper cub can be flown remotely for not very much money."

I don't think that's true. If I'm not mistaken, very few if any general aviation aircraft are fly-by-wire, and implementing remote-control with a hydraulic system would be difficult. As would converting it to fly-by-wire. As indeed is the plane itself - a piper cub ain't cheap.

Anonymous said...

I would be one of those "kid-ignorant uncles", Rob. My toy buying for my nephews (no nieces) was predicated on how many pieces they had or how much noise they would make. The all-time winner was the "Indoor Golf" set!

wren said...

Glenn Reynolds put in a link today to JM Cremp's "The Boys Store," which claims to uphold "The Traditions of American Boyhood." They have a store in the Mall of America.

I notice that their website qoutes proverbs and also states: "Boys are unique! They play differently, they think differently, and they learn and develop differently. Boys’ adventures are an important part of their development and JM Cremp’s provides opportunities to create some of those great adventures."

I expect that there will be an effort to shut them down soon.

They do appear to have some awesome toys, too.

Anonymous said...

What I find interesting about the letter pages of "Eerie", "Creepy", and "Mad" from the 60s and 70s is that letters from female fans are not as rare as the Hope Diamond. In any given issue, at least 1-4 of the letters printed would have been written by a female writer.

That was back in the days when comics and related magazines had letter columns. By law they needed to have at least one text page in order to qualify for a special cheap postal rate. So publishers saved one text page for "lettercols", as they were called. Letters from female fans were very common in the 60s and 70s. One of the most prolific comic/mag letter writers was Irene Vartanoff, a real-life Georgian princess. Her father entered America after the Bolshevik Revolution, spoke at least six Eastern European languages fluently, and was employed as a translator by the State Department.