The things we do to avoid gender stereotypes

BabyBoy and BabyGirl were recently given sets of magnets as presents. All animals, so not gender-specific, which I appreciated. But with nowhere for them to adhere to, I needed to go in search of a magnetic board.

(It was at this point that I should have cut my losses and conveniently ‘lost’ these toys in the pile for regifting. Oops.)

Magnetic boards, study enough to withstand two toddlers, are surprisingly hard to find. However, I eventually came across the Magna Junior toys – magnetic puzzles with a clever magnetic case that opens out so that you can both store and play with the magnets.

I loved this idea.

What I did not love were the two options available in my local toyshop:

A) Boys in Town – which includes a builder, doctor, football player and superhero

B) Dress-Up Girls – which includes a florist, baker, a girl holding a handbag and a girl holding a dog.

Are you kidding me? How 1950s is that?

Revolted, I restlessly prowled around the shop. But there was nothing else. And it was such a good idea to have a magnetic case. Reluctantly I took the ‘Boys in Town’ version to the till.

‘Can I see the case?’ I asked – I was hoping it was plain.

The lady took it out of the packaging. There, emblazoned across the front, was a picture of a boy and the words ‘Boys in Town’. Hmph. No getting away from that then.

My face must have spoken volumes. ‘It’s just a sticker’ the cashier said.

So indeed it was. With the result that I spent a good hour this evening removing the sticker (and all residue) from the front of the case, throwing out the packaging, hiding the ‘boy’ magnets that came with it….and debating whether to buy the girl version as well just so I can interchange the heads.

Hey, girls can be doctors and football players and builders and superheroes too.

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