After reading an awesome article via Bitch Magazine (Mom and Pop Culture: Beyond Pink and Blue Toys – BitchMedia), I got to thinking. It’s apparent to me, being the mother of a young boy, that the media markets through gender stereotypes. I consider my own holiday situation.
My sister purchased a full kitchen play set for my son. Set in neutral colors of white and brown, my son will have a full kitchen range to cook and play. Before finalizing her purchase, she called me to see if this was okay. I was thrilled. Just a week prior, I had seen the same kitchen set in a catalog and had considered making the purchase myself.
I informed my sons father that my sister wanted to get my son a kitchen for Christmas. He gave me the expected pause. My sons father is a “mans man.” Whatever that means. Yes, he was hesitant about this gift, unsure if he wanted his son playing as a chef.
But why not? My father was a cook. Bobby Flay, Iron Chef Morimoto, Michael Simon, Guy Fieri, Aaron Sanchez, Alton Brown, Anthony Bourdain, Wolfgang Puck…the list goes on.
After expressing this to my sons father, he agreed it was a reasonable gift. The funny thing is…if my son was not my son but my daughter, the explanation would not have been necessary. Because little girls are expected to have such toys.
Bottom line, my son is getting the kitchen. Along with books, clothes, and toys that were purchased with no thought of gender in mind.