My post calling out Goldie Blox for their, in my opinion, ingenuine marketing tactics ruffled a few feathers in the feminist world. There are many who believe that any attempt at changing the stereotypes is a step in the right direction. After watching part of the TED talk by Debbie Sterling, founder and CEO, I agree that she had good intentions. I just don’t think they were manifested by either the product nor the advertising campaign. I am not alone in my thinking. Besides the countless comments I have seen online regarding how the company claims to be shedding stereotypes for girls when in reality they are reinforcing the pastel/pink, princess/beauty pageant, toys for girls mentality, along with pitting girls who like pink and such against “smart girls” (their words), others are writing about the subject on their blogs. You can read some other thoughts on what I admittedly call pseudo-feminism, which is what I believe this to be – a company using the idea of feminism to sell a product (it all comes down to $$$) while conforming to the very stereotypes it claims to be sloughing off. Here are just a few:
- Stirrup Queens – Yes, I Saw the GoldieBlox Video
- Creative Kids Play – I Hate To Break It to You GoldieBlox, but You are Pink
- The Daily Dot – Tired of GoldieBlox Girl Power? Me Too
- Spacefem’s LiveJournal – Pre-holiday Thoughts on GoldieBlox, and Other Girly Engineering Toys
- Ms. Blog Magazine – GoldieBlox Ad Perpetuates the Fallacy of Pink
- Very, Very Fine – On GoldieBlox and the Benefit of the Doubt
- Reecca Hains – Anti-princess marketing and girls’ education: Mercy Academy vs. GoldieBlox
The ads are popular, I admit, but I’m not about to begin jumping up and down. Perhaps there is a need for a gentle persuasion amoung our society to initiate change in order for girls to be equal to boys. I don’t think a pink-washed (or pastel-washed), cheaply made toy with a horribly written story is enough. I won’t be jumping on the bandwagon, and if people think I am a sh*tty feminist because of that, they are entitled to their opinions. I have children now, and I want them to be afforded the same opportunities regardless of their genders.
Do you remember this ad from LEGO when LEGOs were merely marketed to children rather than boys (and more recently their girls’ line)? Neither do I. It was before my time, which just tells me that the slow, placating movement for girls’ equality isn’t working. We are moving farther away from breaking out of the stereotype. Sure, there is a place for products like GoldieBlox, just as there is a place for dolls (both my sons and daughters have them), capes, playsilks, and more. There is also a place for women and men who want to applaud small changes in society. That doesn’t mean that those of us fighting for change on a bigger scale by calling out companies who claim to be doing something they aren’t, are somehow damaging the feminist cause of equality for all. There is a phrase that says “mild-mannered women seldom make history.” The fact is, women seldom make history. I’m not out to make history, though. I just want to make certain that my children’s futures aren’t merely repeats of a discriminatory history. Forget the separte but equal cr*p.
So, consider me, or my brand of feminism, sh*tty if you like. I don’t care. I plan to continue calling out companies which put money over everything else. There is a need, and I have no intentions of being silent.