Sun, Dec 23, 2012 - Page 14 News List

Toy firms buying into drive to end gender divisions

Major retailers are beginning to develop gender-neutral toys like baby dolls for boys as calls for an end to toy ‘apartheid’ grow

By Emma Charlton  /  AFP, PARIS

Pinkstinks uses Twitter and Facebook to name and shame bad practice — and often gets its own way, like recently when British supermarket chain Sainsbury’s removed the “boy” and “girl” tags from doctor’s and beautician’s outfits.

The group has logged messages of support from all over the world, including every country in South America.

“We were first to verbalize what was actually bothering quite a few people,” Moore said. “As a culture, we are obsessed by gender, but it didn’t used to be like this.”

She added: “If you go back 20 or 30 years and look at toy catalogues it’s fascinating, you see pages of toys for children — not for boys and girls.”

Moore, like many campaigners, believes the core driver for splitting the market into his and hers is purely economic: you get to sell twice as much.

“I have no doubt there are differences between boys and girls — I can see it in my children and my nephews. But there is growing evidence that suggests the differences are fairly minute,” she said. “It’s just so boring, apart from being damaging.”

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