Dear Lego Company,
My name is Charlotte and I am 7 years old and I love Legos but I don’t like that there are more Lego boy people and barely any Lego girls. Today, I went to a store and saw Legos in two sections. The pink girls and the blue boys. All the girls did was sit at home, go to the beach and shop. They had jobs but the boys went on adventures, worked, saved people and had jobs, even swam with sharks. I want you to make more Lego girl people and let them go on adventures and have fun. OK!??
This was an actual letter written by a seven year old girl to Lego. While Lego is absolutely not the only company guilty of manufacturing and marketing needlessly gendered products, they are an excellent example of a company that contributes to the gender binary and gender stereotypes. It can be argued that gender itself is a social construct. Given that, the “blue” aisles and “pink” aisles present in the Target’s of the world are nothing but arbitrary standards for how bodies should fit into definitions of “male” and “female.” For example, by having female Lego characters only shop, go to the beach, and cook, young girls are socialized into thinking careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) are only available to men. Similarly, by having toys marketed toward boys being only about adventure and physical strength, young boys are conditioned to believe that a career as a stay at home dad, or even a chef, is emasculating and frowned upon. Even more problem arise when looking at the LGBTQI community. For those whose sexual identity may not be in line with the societal definitions of gender, they are eliminated from the blue/pink binary entirely. The tradition of gendering children’s toys is counterproductive for all parties involved (except for perhaps Lego itself) and it is an institution that needs to be changed.