It’s my last day today, as far as Beeline tells me. I wanted to point out that a lot of my work these past 4 months has involved deciding if a toy is for “Boys” or “Girls” based on archaic, 1950s gender roles that are not relevant to today’s society. Seeing women at Amazon discuss as much on the amazon-women email lists re-emphasizes that my thinking is not wrong, or too progressive for retail.
Our rules for assigning gender to toys are so archaic, it makes me quite sad. Anything plush is for girls, anything babydoll is for girls, anything vehicular or engineering or science is for boys, unless its pink. Toy stoves and kitchens are for girls, according to Amazon, even if the manufacturer is marketing them unisex. I don’t know who to talk to about this so I’ve emailed everyone I’ve talked to who is involved in toys merchandising decisions. I do hope Amazon becomes more progressive in regards to its non-fact-based gender labelling (that does not appear on site in so many words, but does appear in sales guidance and the Holiday Toy List, for example), and that going forward Amazon is not part of the problem that discourages women from science and engineering and math, and discourages men from child rearing and fundamental life skills like cooking and cleaning. It’s time to enter the 21st century seeing as Amazon is a forward-thinking tech company. I think many customers would thank us.
Subject: Let toys be toys – non gendered toys in stores
They are starting to show up in news articles.