Winter Competition 2013

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We are extremely excited to bring you the competition “A toy for Everyone” which is intended to raise awareness on the importance to stop gender biased toys for our children. 

The competition is very fun and simple: Children in primary school age should draw a toy that they believe that would be enjoyable for both boys and girls to play with. The winners will get their drawing turned into a real soft toy made by an amazing Edinburgh-based  artist. How cool is that?

The competition closes on November 30th!

To get started just download and print the form and drawing space posted below, or follow these links to download the two files:

1. Entry form

2. Drawing page

** Note** When printing the “Drawing Page” make sure that the “Fill” and “Portrait” options are enabled.

We will be posting more insights on our prize and more information on the exhibition that will feature the entries from all our participants!

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Understanding the complexities of gender

Women are subjected to gender stereotyping at any stage of their life, and although we cannot defeat it overnight, we should acknowledge that preventing the developing of gender segregation among children is a crucial and urgent investment for developing a better society.

Gender is a something we all learnt when we were kids - What do we really know about it though? Check out this very interesting talk by Sam Killermann - really worth watching.


http://itspronouncedmetrosexual.com/2013/05/my-ted-talk-understanding-the-complexities-of-gender/

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Response from Toys R Us - what do you think?

Thank you for your letter regarding the Fair Play campaign which you support. I was interested to learn about the areas in which you feel we could do better.

Where possible we merchandise toys by product category, so customers can easily see the extensive range of toys we offer.  All learning toys, for example, are merchandised together.  The same is true for all categories, including sports toys, pre-school toys, construction sets, bikes, dolls, action figures and crafts. Ultimately, it is our intention to offer the widest range of toys possible to our customers and let them choose the right toy for their child irrespective of gender.

With regard to your observation on gender displays, this is not a conscious decision to use one gender rather than the other but merely to show the best graphic of a kid having fun.

As a commercial organisation, it is usually the sales response that determines the location of the product rather than other factors, such as social constructs.

Thank you for taking the time to bring this matter to our attention and I hope this explains our position.

Yours sincerely,

Dan.

Dan Barford

eCommerce Operations

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Love Jacky Fleming.

Love Jacky Fleming.

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This has done the rounds (if you haven’t seen it before, the top pic is genuine imagery from the Avengers Assembled film; the lower one shows what it would be like if it was the male characters who were overtly sexualised), but I came across it again in an article on ‘gender-flipping’ memes & started to wonder how we can use gender-flipping in our campaign. Can we gender-flip stereotyped toys & marketing? Any ideas?

This has done the rounds (if you haven’t seen it before, the top pic is genuine imagery from the Avengers Assembled film; the lower one shows what it would be like if it was the male characters who were overtly sexualised), but I came across it again in an article on ‘gender-flipping’ memes & started to wonder how we can use gender-flipping in our campaign. Can we gender-flip stereotyped toys & marketing? Any ideas?

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Activist Roisin’s letter to Toys R Us

Dear Toys ‘R’ Us,

I’m writing as a supporter of the Play Fair campaign by Zero Tolerance and White Ribbon Scotland.

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.

If children are divided at such an early age and pressured into stereotypical roles, is it any wonder that girls are more likely to experience anxiety, and boys are more likely to think violence is acceptable? In Scotland a domestic abuse incident is reported every ten minutes. I believe this is a sign that we need to pay attention to what message we are giving to children about gender roles.

Toy shops are beginning to recognise this; as you may be aware, the Let Toys Be Toys campaign has had success in convincing other stores to ditch sexism. 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.

See links and resources for a template letter & address to send your own.

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A supporter’s letter to Toys R Us

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.

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