The bullshit of gender-coding, cont’d

Nate DiMeo writes an open letter to the toy company Melissa & Doug, care of two of their merchandise characters:

Dear Abby and Emma (the girls in my daughter’s magnetic dress-up doll kit from the toy company Melissa & Doug),

[…] I’ve decided it’s time for you two to get jobs. Because, now that [our daughter] knows that pants don’t go on your head, all she’s learning is fashion — which super-cute top goes best with which skirt. But, I figure work clothes are different. A firefighter’s clothes are functional. She needs gloves. She needs a helmet. A doctor needs scrubs, maybe one of those old-timey head mirrors. Work clothes would inspire imaginative play and prompt questions beyond do these jeggings make my wooden butt look big?

But guess what, Abby and Emma, Melissa & Doug don’t make work clothes for you. They do for these two bigger, girl dolls. But their clothes won’t fit you. And yes, ballerina is technically a profession. I’m less sure about princess. There is one of the larger dolls who does have cool work clothes. His name is Joey. So, Abby and Emma, you can’t be astronauts. And you can’t help our daughter dream about being a scientist or a police officer either. Sorry girls. And — while I know there is more to parenting than purchasing — if you do talk to Melissa & Doug, if they maintain some sort of  magical, Geppeto-y psychic link to you two, can let them know that there’s more to being a girl than just being girly.

Heard on the radio program Marketplace, and posted here at the request of my daughter, who nodded vigorously as she listened and now insists that this be included in “our permanent records.”

More on gender-coding bullshit here and here.

(Image via The Baby Habit)

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