1. Toys like army men promote aggression in boys and can lead them to abuse women later in life.
According to an article in The Conversation, those little green plastic soldiers promote a violent culture where women are treated like lesser beings — and can even lead to “behavior such as domestic violence.” “Maybe Santa should rethink what he’s putting in the stockings of our young men,” the article warns.
2. Instead of “gingerbread men,” give “genderless organic vegan gingerbread figures.”
Obviously, giving “gingerbread men” to guests at your holiday party would be incredibly insensitive to people who don’t fit into traditional gender stereotypes. Instead, serve “genderless organic vegan gingerbread figures” like these from Organic Food & Wine Deli in Australia.
3. Fight against sexist “princess culture” by giving girls one of these books about environmental activist, “gender-nonconforming” princesses.
A company called “Guardian Princesses” publishes a series of books featuring liberal activist princesses — like Princess Ten Ten, the “first ever gender-independent princess” who boldly fights both gender norms and the horrors of fossil-fuel dependency, because clearly that’s what elementary-school girls are talking about on the playground.
4. Stay away from science or construction-related toys in “pink packaging” because that tells girls they’re not “competent” and can even keep them from having careers.
Sometimes, construction and science toys come in pink packaging — and that’s clearly offensive because it suggests that girls are “less competent than boys at building so they need to be enticed into it” with “pink packaging,” at least according to Australian organization Play Unlimited.
But that’s not all. Pink packaging, PU warns, can hinder girls’ “educational and career aspirations,” “occupational opportunities,” and even keep them from living their true identities. Of course, the fact that PU believes something so insignificant as the color of a toy package could be enough to keep a girl from succeeding at life says plenty about its own view of female “competence.”
5. Giving a man a beer-related gift is sexist because it shows that you think all men like beer and how mean of you!
In a piece titled — wait for it — “Secret Santa sexism: why are we so keen to reinforce gender roles for adults at Christmas?” a contributor who identifies herself only as “Glosswitch” says that too many people just get dudes something “beer-related” and doing so is like saying he’s nothing more than a “blank-faced man who likes booze and crap jokes.” She brags that she is “trying to cross-stitch a map of Cheshire for a grown-up male relative,” even though she doesn’t even “know if he wants a cross-stitched map of Cheshire.” Nonetheless she’s doing something different so she can “give him something that shows I’ve put in time and effort.” I suspect her “grown-up male relative” probably needs a drink right about now.
6. Give the “traveling man” in your life a shawl! And if you don’t think men like shawls, you’re sexist.
Another good gift for the men in your life would apparently be a “really beautiful shawl,” because “Let’s not be sexist, shawls are useful for men, too.” (At least according to this post on Stuff.co.) Now, if you were to use the shawl to wrap up a six-pack . . .
7. The new, anatomically average Barbie is also offensive because she’s still too pretty.
People have long complained about Barbie setting unrealistic standards of beauty with her body shape, so designer Nickolay Lamm created “Normal Barbie,” a doll which matches the proportions of the average 19-year-old woman. You can even buy stickers to give her acne, freckles, cellulite, moles, and more! Tracy Moore of Jezebel, however, says that the doll is still offensive because she is still just too pretty. She quotes an excerpt from an article written by Haley Goldberg of the New York Post, which explains that the doll is bad for girls’ self-image because its hair and eyebrows remain too nice. Moore herself writes that the doll needs “splotchy skin” and “discoloration,” and that the acne stickers aren’t realistic enough without “another sticker set of makeup that goes over the acne sticker, thus creating that kinda gross makeup-on-zit look.” And unsurprisingly, she also goes here: “What about periods, could we get a doll who has a period?”
— Katherine Timpf is a reporter for National Review Online.