Kids Cleaning Toys - Good Role Playing Or Feminist Mistake?
I recently saw an article on the Huffington Post, and it was called 14 Worst Toys For Girls. It listed as one of the 14 toys the My Cleaning Trolley Set, which is also pictured above.
The commentary on the HuffPo article for this toy states, "What girl doesn't want to grow up and clean toilets?"
This statement made me mad for several reasons.
I know people have lots of different beliefs about how to raise daughters, and the place of women in society and I am not trying to start a big firestorm here.
Instead, my point is -- who doesn't grow up and have to clean toilets?
The statement from the article seems to suggest that cleaning our homes is work that we should not aspire to, and instead that it is just for lowly people, those that can't do better, and not us.
However, unless you are very well off most people do clean their own houses, so why would you belittle a large proportion of the population? And why are those who could afford to have someone else clean their house somehow better?
The statement also seems to suggest there is no intrinsic value in cleaning our homes.
Granted we hire people to clean things in this society for low wages, but that does not mean it is not valuable (and it doesn't make it right!).
Further, since cleaning your home is one way we care for our families, and ourselves, I think it is very worthwhile activity.
Finally, we are training our children to grow up to be productive adults, aren't we? And let me be clear here -- I am talking about boys and girls.
To the extent that the toy is designed only for girls I think that is wrong, because everyone in the home should participate in cleaning it, including both parents and children of both sexes.
(There are clearly some blatantly sexist versions of these cleaning toys produced, such as those which are all pink, like the one to the left, which suggest that the toy should only be played with by a girl. That's not cool, in my opinion.)
If most adults have to clean their own toilets, and children learn at an early age that cleaning is not valuable work they will resent doing it as an adult.
Instead, isn't it appropriate to allow children to model appropriate and normal adult behavior through toys. After all, that is what baby dolls are all about, or play tools, aren't they?
OK, enough of my rant.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this matter.
Perhaps you disagree with me, and agree with the HuffPo article.
I want to hear both sides of the debate! Just be respectful of other people's beliefs please!Second photo courtesy of Amazon.com