When my son Webster was about 2 years old, he inherited a large fully equipped bright pink doll house. He was not yet conditioned to associate the color or the function with a traditional toy for girls and he loved it. His play involved putting out fires in the building, Spiderman fighting Venom on the roof, and rescuing the dolls from dinosaur attacks. Meanwhile, girls visiting for playdates had tea parties, put the dolls to bed, and made dinner in the kitchen. Fast forward a year or so to Webster sitting in a sandbox playing with a boy a couple of years older than him. Webster picks up a pink shovel and his play date quickly points out that pink is for girls and thus initiates the beginning of the end for the pink doll house.
There were no girl Lego box sets when I grew up and it never occurred to me that this should hold me back. I built from imagination and I was certainly not alone in doing so. I drew from my one big container of Lego parts the same way I encourage my son to build today. So yes we should absolutely push for change and I support and salute those who do; in parallel though let’s not allow ourselves to be “boxed” in because if you really want to be a dragon slayer, there is already a dragon slayer set waiting to be customized by you and your magnificent imagination.
"I think the key is for women not to set any limits."
— Martina Navratilova
(This post was originally published on Professional Women's Perspectives - Gender observations from a working life)
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