A campaign to stop parents buying gender-specific toys for Christmas has been rejected by Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
The ‘No Gender December’ campaign aims to stop parents buying stereotypical toys for girls and boys this Christmas — for instance, dolls and princesses for girls and action figures and monster trucks for boys.
Greens Senator Larissa Waters supports the campaign, because she believes marketing toys to boys or girls in “starkly separate aisles of pink and blue” reinforces a “belief that men and women are somehow very different”, which she says “ultimately feeds into really serious problems like domestic violence”.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has come out against the campaign, which he has dismissed as political correctness.
“Let boys be boys, let girls be girls,” he told The Today Show.
“You wonder why the parliament is difficult when you have people like that with the balance of power in the Senate.”
Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi has also rejected the campaign, saying it will lead to unhappy children “across the country”.
Bernardi, well known for his conservative views, said Senator Waters is “clearly stuck in an outdated 1970s gender war”.
“Children should be allowed to be children,” Bernardi said. “To say giving a boy a truck or a hammer is somehow leading to domestic violence and gender pay gaps is simply bizarre.”
While the Prime Minister wants to let boys be boys, the No Gender December campaign is urging parents to let toys be toys. The group says stores like Ikea, with its gender neutral marketing of toys and kids furniture in an array of colours, is an example of how to do it right, while the Toys R Us approach — to specifically label toys for boys or girls — is an example of how to do it wrong.
“It’s 2014, women mow lawns and men push prams,” says Julie Huberman, who founded the campaign with Thea Hughes.
“But while we’ve moved on, many toy companies haven’t.”
The No Gender December campaign asks parents to pledge that “there is no place for gender stereotypes under my Christmas tree”.
Last week, seven-year-old Maggie Cole became an international viral phenomenon when she expressed her displeasure with a US supermarket’s gendered advertising.
— Karen Cole (@karlou) November 22, 2014
What do you think? Is it political correctness gone mad, or do the No Gender December campaigners have a point? Let us know in the comments below!