Play fair activist Anabel shares her letter asking Toys R Us not to divide toys by gender. To send your own see links & resources for a template letter - & send it to us if you’d like to share it too!
Dear Toys R Us,
I’m writing as a supporter of the Play Fair Campaign by Zero Tolerance and White Ribbon Scotland.
I am 23 years old, but let me take you back 18 years. I had just started kindergarten and during playtime instead of running towards the barbies or kitchen accessories- I was much more interested in the cars and Lincoln Logs. Both of those toys are deemed to be “boy toys.” I was prevented from playing with them and this was quite the shock. I do not think that children should be limited to certain toys because that hinders their development. All children deserve to be encouraged to explore who they are and gain various experiences. This is why I am a supporter of the Play Fair Campaign.
Play Fair is about stopping gender stereotypes in children’s toys and media. Separating toys in ‘girls’ and ‘boys’ sections is limiting what children become interested in, and stifles their ambitions. For girls, this means that they are often steered away from science and sport, for boys, this can mean they are seen as inferior for liking feminine things. Women make up more than half the population, but they are discouraged from achieving greatness; this is wrong and the world needs to wake up. I shop at your store quite often, but I cannot continue to stand by and let my eight year old brother or my godsons, or my younger cousins to be influenced by gender; so I will be boycotting Toys R Us until you change your ways!
Other toy shops are beginning to recognise the error in their ways. As you may be aware, the Let Toys Be Toys campaign has had success in convincing stores like Tesco to ditch blatant sexism within their walls. I hope that Toys ‘R’ Us will soon follow in removing gendered displays, especially the ‘girlz’ section, in order to show our children that they can be whatever they want to be.