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CRÓNICA ROUBADA: Spanish toy chain challenges gender stereotypes

Crónica de 22 / 11 / 2015


Spanish toy chain challenges gender stereotypes with non-sexist Christmas catalogue
In the catalogue, boys are showing playing with a baby doll while girls ride motorcycles challenging stereotypes about what toys children should play with


By James Badcock, Madrid5:00PM GMT 04 Nov 2015
A Spanish store chain is challenging gender stereotypes by showing boys playing with what are typically marketed as girls’ toys and vice versa.
Among the gender-neutral photographs in Toy Planet’s catalogue is a sequence showing a boy in a plaid shirt putting a dummy into a baby doll’s mouth before lovingly kissing its cheek.
Boys are also shown in the catalogue using pushchairs while another joyfully brushes the blond locks on a hairdressing set.
Models of both sexes are photographed enjoying a Bosch toy toolkit, girls ride motorcycles and play with Meccano robots and a boy uses a plastic iron.


Learning to knit
Girls are shown enjoying remote-controlled model dinosaurs and Star Wars lightsabers are something both sexes can wield.
Toy Planet, which has 200 stores across Spain, started to make a conscious effort to challenge gender stereotyping through pictures posted on its social media accounts. The response was so positive that last year the company decided to follow a gender-neutral policy through its entire Christmas catalogue.
“We were hoping that other [stores] would join our initiative, but so far we’re not seeing that happen,” said Ignacio Gaspar, Toy Planet’s general director.
But the move has attracted praise from the Britain-based Let Toys Be Toys campaign which wants toymakers and publishers to stop pigeonholing products on the basis of gender.


“We think it’s great to see images of boys and girls playing together in the Toy Planet catalogue. We know that many boys play with dolls or cuddly toys, and girls with cars or construction, and it’s really important to see this reflected. If children know that they can play with any toy it gives them greater freedom and helps develop a range of skills,” said a spokeswoman for Let Toys Be Toys.
Mr Gaspar said that Toy Planet would not give up on its commitment to non-sexist catalogues and advertising.

“This is still an unresolved matter in the industry. We would like to see more companies joining us.”

After a campaign in the United States, McDonalds announced last year that it would be changing its policy to ensure that children were given the choice between the different toys given away with a Happy Meal instead of automatic assumptions being made based on gender

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