« Philip Roth’s Complaint; Popular Culture...and You and Me | Main | Mark Twain Meets Nicholas Tesla; When Worlds Collided »

March 19, 2014



"But I’d guess that if a little girl showed up to that school with a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles lunchbox I’m sure some of her classmates might look at her a little funny too."

Why yes, girls ARE being bullied--sometimes to the point of suicide--both by boys and by femme girls who consider them insufficiently stereotypically "girly!"

Where's the national outrage when a girl is bullied for wearing a Star Wars T-shirt and instead of punishing the bullies, school officials tell her to not wear "boy shirts" to school?

Where are the fundraisers for the girls who attempt suicide after years of being bullied for being more interested in science and technology than makeup and boys?

Fauxminism at its finest: boys who break gender stereotypes are heroes, girls who break gender stereotypes are "rejecting their femininity" and "femmephobic" and "men with boobs."

Kim Vandenbroucke

Sadly there are tons of other examples of being bullied based on using a product “for” the opposite gender. One being the little girl being bullied for wearing “boys shoes” and her teacher suggested her mother bedazzle or put glitter on them to stop the bullying – much to the astonishment of her mother. Gender-based bullying absolutely goes both ways and I think it’s traumatic for both genders (and their parents).

Our industry, as well as the clothing, entertainment, and many other industries, market products toward a certain gender and we are seeing and hearing more and more about the unintended consequences of these marketing strategies. We know how marketing influences consumers – maybe it’s time for our industry set and example and strive to make some changes at the top.

Elizabethe Payne, PhD

We at QuERI are working to address the issue by pushing for pre-service education and professional development opportunities for teachers and other school professionals on gender policing, the gender binary in curriculum and classroom management, and to examine their own biases. Gender policing is bullying and we have written a good deal about this. Most teacher education programs do not require courses in diversity or multiculturalism and many educators enter the workplace having never considered how their own biases (on race, language, gender, sexuality, etc.) could impact children.

Paul G Flear

Excellent point ! I admit I have read 'Girls' Annuals/Comics, more out of a sense of curiosity than anything else. And found the stories (even some of the features) Interesting ! And in the case of the stories, Very Enjoyable.
There is a 'middle ground' such as dolls. Give a girl a 'barbie' it is a Doll, give a boy a 'Action Man' (or similar) It's a Action Figure!
So sad that we Live in the early 21st Century, yet to some we still live in mid 20th Century !

Brian Torney

I'm not sure the situation is so clear cut - gender marketing does negatively impact kids who happen to have product tastes across the "line" but My Little Pony is an example of a modern brand that happily endorses all takers. It is not unusual for an MLP fan to be male - heterosexual, homosexual, whatever. The TV show does strong numbers with male audiences and Bronies has spawned gatherings and even a comic book series. Yes, the toys are sold in the girl aisle and that could be remedied with retailer support, but the brand itself has shown a lot of love for all audiences.

I'm not saying these biases don't exist, but I am saying we need a larger societal acceptance of gender role variations across the spectrum. The bigger problem here is that those children's guardians and teachers failed them in every way. Not bringing a lunchbox a kid likes isn't a solution. It's only serving to amplify the problem. If we teach acceptance it will lead to more acceptance.

Karen carr

In the 1970/ toys and clothes were not gendered as they are now. It doesn't take generations to change. It take protest.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

TWM_Home of the friday blog_200x400