Thursday, May 17, 2012

Feminists and Legos

In an earlier post, I talked about LEGO's past and current girl targeted sets and what I thought of them (mostly positive). It looks like not everyone appreciates them as much as my daughter and me, though. In this article, a Brooklyn based feminist group has set up a meeting with LEGO to protest how the new LEGO Friends sets "hypersexualize" girls and set up stereotypical female past times and such. Really? Come on. Toys meant for girls such as dolls have been around for as long as toys have existed, and these people are going after Legos? My only problem with the original girly LEGO sets were that I thought they were too dumbed down. However, these new sets use the same pieces as regular sets and are built in much the same way. The only difference is the LadyFigs and the color scheme. As far as girl toys go (having two daughters, I've been down the pink aisle many times) the LadyFigs are far tamer than other things to be found by little girls (Bratz, anyone?). Yes, they're cute, but they don't have the huge bust line and excessive makeup that are the usual hallmark of modern dolls and figures. As for the feminist groups' argument that the sets themselves reinforce gender roles? Sure there are sets for bedrooms, horse stables, and cute little houses, but there are other sets for vet offices, a bakery, a flying club, an invention workshop, and a design studio. These sets imply that girls can own their own businesses, fly planes, go on adventures, and be vibrant active members of society. I appreciate that the LEGO Group is being gracious in actually meeting with this SPARK group. I think it shows maturity on their part. But my prediction is that in the end, they will listen to their consumers and fans who are snatching the Friends sets off the shelf.


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