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AIBU to think that dolls shouldn't just be for girls?

(33 Posts)
goldengirl Tue 02-Dec-14 16:27:54

My little GS has just turned 2 and as he enjoys playing with a doll when he's at our house [as well as cars, bricks etc] I thought I'd buy him a little boy doll.

I visited 3 well known shops and found plenty of dolls dressed in pink - even in the PINK section of one shop [no dolls in the BLUE section] - but eventually found an anatomically correct boy doll dressed in blue BUT the box was PINK, had a picture of a little GIRL cuddling it and on turning the box over I found words saying how much little GIRLS would enjoy cuddling this doll!!! [cant remember the exact words except for GIRL]. I bought the doll but removed all packaging before I gave it to him.

In today's society with gender equality and all that and men more involved with their children, I am amazed that some children's toys are still very much gender biased.

What do you think?

grannyactivist Tue 02-Dec-14 16:42:30

My ex-brother in law was horrified when I bought my eldest son a pushchair for his doll. (A cabbage patch baby doll called Chantelle that he cadged from his older sister and renamed Sam - now played with by my grandsons.) I think if perhaps such toys were marketed in a gender neutral way he would still have been perturbed, but maybe it would have influenced a more enlightened attitude in the next generation.

hildajenniJ Tue 02-Dec-14 16:54:20

My cousin had a dolly when he was a little boy. He used to push it around in a pushchair belonging to his older sister. As he grew older he graduated to bikes and go-carts etc. as most little boys do.
On a different tack, when my eldest GS started school he went uniform shopping with his mum. He was very disappointed to learn that he was expected to wear trousers at school, he wanted a skirt and tights like his big sister! smile

TriciaF Tue 02-Dec-14 17:15:37

What about ActionMan? we bought him for our 2 boys back in the 60-70s.
The girls had Tiny Tears, so I suppose we were promoting sexism. shock

NanKate Tue 02-Dec-14 17:29:20

I was rather shocked when my GSs other grandparents bought the youngest a dolly in a pink outfit and a small pushchair.

I stand corrected he often zooms it round the room.

absent Tue 02-Dec-14 18:32:35

I have a heap of toys in my house and they include a buggy, which happens to be pink, and a rather dilapidated baby doll of indeterminate sex. My youngest grandson (getting on for three) often plays with it and sometimes the other younger ones do too. It never occurred to me that it was a "girl's toy". If little girls are encouraged to play at being mummy, why shouldn't little boys play at being daddy? He also loves to play with what he calls the big house – a three-storey dolls' house.

merlotgran Tue 02-Dec-14 18:39:07

DS loved his Action Man.

Wherever you went in our house Akshie would be there.....Dangling from the bannister, tied up with baler twine, face down in the tray of the baby's high chair or propped up on a radiator after he'd fallen in the bath.

I rather missed Akshie when DS outgrew him.

vampirequeen Tue 02-Dec-14 18:40:06

I hate the idea of different toys for boys and girls.

apricot Tue 02-Dec-14 18:44:40

Don't all little boys have a doll's buggy? I bought one for my only grandson and he got a dolly when his baby sister was born.
He threw out the dolly and put a bus in it. I think he's destined to be an engineer, after his fascination with my rotary whisk, but he'll be a good parent because his daddy is.

rosequartz Tue 02-Dec-14 18:53:00

DS used to like Action Man. He and DD used to play 'Sindies and Action Men' hmm

One of the advantages of different-sex siblings is that they have a choice of toys to play with. vq I think toys have become more gender-orientated since my DC were small. Even Lego comes in pink for girls these days!

Ana Tue 02-Dec-14 18:54:26

No, not all little boys have a doll's pram or play with dolls. A lot of fathers still get very uncomfortable about the idea...(probably some mothers, too!).

tiggypiro Tue 02-Dec-14 18:56:47

I bought my GS a doll's buggy when he was nearly 2 as he always wanted the one another child had. It cost £1.50 in a market in Beijing and he had a choice of colour - either pink or very bright pink. He chose the former and pushed 'Blue Ted', a ball or car around in it until the wheels dropped off. No doubt I shall be back to the market to get another for his little brother on my next trip.

glassortwo Tue 02-Dec-14 21:03:14

I hate boys/girls toys, but if you want a baby boy ELC used to do the baby doll in both genders.

ninathenana Tue 02-Dec-14 21:38:55

DD bought our youngest DGS a doll when he was two, because he always wanted to bring home the one from mother and toddler group. It came with a bottle (now lost) which he loved to 'feed' to baby.

trisher Tue 02-Dec-14 22:17:21

I think that most people have got past the idea of girls' toys/boys' toys but for some reason advertisers and toy makers haven't. My 2 year old DGD loves her dolly and soft toys but has wild times playing with the train set which used to be her big brothers. There are many crashes and lots of the engines need fixing or so she says. We shouldn't limit a child's development by denying them access to any toys because of their gender.

Nonu Tue 02-Dec-14 22:58:48

I could not imagine my G/S playing with dollies, just seems an alien concept.Just would not happen , they would not be the least bit interested.

But then what do I know ?


rosesarered Tue 02-Dec-14 23:27:46

I wouldn't have thought to buy my son a doll or buggy when he was little, but because our 2 daughters [slightly older than him] used to push dolls about, he took the wooden bricks out of the wooden 'cart' and put a battered pink panda in it, and pushed that about proudly, and all 3 of them went off happily into the garden pushing their offspring.He also liked the dolls tea set come to think of it.6 ft tall rugger player now and would be embarrassed to be reminded of all that! So, no I don't think toys need to be branded as for boys or girls really.If he hadn't had sisters but maybe a brother, no doubt he wouldn't have hankered for anything like dolls, and would have wanted their cars and trains.I don't think parents should worry about what they like to play with when young.

thatbags Wed 03-Dec-14 07:19:00

Check out Umedoll. Children's drawings made into dolls. Completely gender neutral and great fun.

thatbags Wed 03-Dec-14 07:19:38

Nothing to do with me, btw, I just came across them on FB and think it's a great idea.

goldengirl Wed 03-Dec-14 15:54:39

It wasnt so much the doll but the packaging that annoyed me the most - pink with a girly girl on the front and only girls mentioned in the blurb on the back

I agree that some parents might baulk at their son being given a doll, but luckily my DD is very open minded.

My DS' girls enjoy cars even though they are girly girls.

Nonnie Wed 03-Dec-14 16:26:57

I wanted to buy my gs a teaset because he loves to play make believe but all John Lewis could offer was very pretty pink ones. I have to say the male assistant agreed with me that it was odd.

My sons all had dolls and a baby buggy and 2 of them have turned into excellent fathers and the other is a good uncle.

I loved playing electric trains when I was a child.

Marelli Wed 03-Dec-14 17:19:24

My 4-year-old great-grandson asked for a Barbie. He'd seen the DVD's of Barbie and her friends and decided he would like to have one of his own so my granddaughter bought him one. He's played with it along with his Batman and Spiderman and all his 'little-boy' toys. No comment has been made about Barbie being only for little girls and Barbie has been stuck in digger lorries along with Batman etc. grin

Wheniwasyourage Wed 03-Dec-14 19:22:24

DS had a doll which he played with now and again. He was really a soft toy man rather than a doll one though, and breastfed his teddy when his little sister was born.

rosequartz Wed 03-Dec-14 22:18:58

I remember being most put out when I was about 7 or 8 because my DM gave my brothers' Hornby train set to my male cousin. She was surprised when I said that I would have liked to have played with it.

The toy world seems more gender specific now than it ever was. Lego seems designed for girls or boys, Disney princesses everywhere and quite aggressive toys for boys!

I see no reason why boys shouldn't play with dolls and doll buggies. Most parents would think it quite reasonable for girls to play with male-oriented toys but some parents (perhaps mainly fathers) feel uncomfortable if boys want to play with female-oriented toys.


rosequartz Wed 03-Dec-14 22:19:13

try again