Recently, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the announcement of a product launch for LEGO for a line of toys targeted specifically at girls called LEGO Friends. Traditionally, LEGO has made few steps into gender-based marketing and when it has, those products have been short-lived. I wanted to look more thoroughly over the products and see how they line up with the current binary displayed in children’s toys.
Over the past week, I have come across a few blog posts from people who have either noticed positive interactions for gender non-conforming children or who have helped to break down the gender binary for children in the classroom to prevent bullying. Children learn so early on how gender affects the world, how it creates a line to follow in every interaction, in every choice. Society dictates from the moment of birth how children should be dressed, what they should play with, how they should react and think, all based on its sex at birth, and children learn within those boundaries. The only way to allow children to escape the binary is to walk ourselves outside the constraints society sets or to educate them about gender outside of the rules reinforced in their everyday lives.
For the last post of 2011, I went back through every Exploring Gender of the past year, trying to find the most important and impactful. In looking through them, I found a trend. As the year progressed, my posts became less personal and more geared toward events and their impact on the community at large. Anecdotes will always be a part of these articles, but if you wish to hear more personal stories, please tell me in the comments or message me on the site. I am always willing to answer any questions, tell my stories, or hear suggestions for future articles.
Grinnell's College, Iowa decided to propose dormitory room, bathroom, shower room or locker room without gender becoming the first of the state.
How many sexes or genders are there anyway, and how are they defined? I suspect there are at least 4 and possibly 8. It seems like we not living in a black and white dualistic world any more that is limited to just males & females. There are many shades of grey that make the world seem much more complicated.