Episode 109: Life In Plastic, It’s Fantastic: Toys & Gender

No one in the history of Christmas has ever truly wanted nothing from Santa but their two front teeth. No, no, no, kids want toys. The modern contract between parents, children, Santa, and his army of elves is centered on this basic truth. But which toys? Should kids get only wholesome, politically correct playthings? Should boys and girls receive different toys? Do they want different toys? Join us this week as we try to get to the bottom of the gendering of children’s toys. Using Barbie as a case study, we will discuss the way certain toys acquire a reputation for being bad for kids, and the common arguments for and against different types of play. We will explore her less than innocent origins and the years of controversy that she has left in her hot pink, glittery wake.




Meet Bob, “The World’s First Openly Gay Doll” From 1977 – QUEERTY

The story of Gay Bob, the controversial 1970s doll that would be just plain offensive today – PLAID ZEBRA

Controversial ‘Gay Bob’ Doll ‘Comes out of the Closet’ – The Tennessean

Girls Are Pink, Boys Are Blue: On Toddlers And Gender Roles – Jezebel

When Did Girls Start Wearing Pink – Smithsonian

Are Gendered Toys Harming Childhood Development? – The Guardian

Infants prefer toys typed to their gender, says study – City University of London

Gender specific toys: do you stereotype children? – BBC News

Influence of sex stereotypes on children’s exploration and memory: A competence versus performance distinction. Developmental Psychology

Delusions of Gender – Cordelia Fine

Toys Are More Divided by Gender Now Than They Were 50 Years Ago – The Atlantic

5 Reasons NOT to Buy Barbie for Little Girls (It’s Not Just Body Image!) – Dr. Rebecca Hains Author, professor and speaker | Children’s media culture, media literacy, and media criticism

Students React to Lammily Doll

Average is Beautiful – Lammily Doll

Kids React to FAT Barbie (Lammily Doll)

Buzzfeed Presents: Kids Review The New Barbie Bodies

Vintage Barbie Fashion

20 Weird, Insane and Extremely Disturbing Barbie Dolls – iO9

The 14 Most Controversial Barbies Ever

15 of the Most Controversial Barbie Dolls Ever – The Mommy Files – Amy Graff – SFGate

27 Shocking Things that have Been Done to Barbie – Refinery 29

Mattel’s Diversity, Content, Retail Efforts Have Positive ROI Impact

New Shapes and Colors Don’t Change the ‘Barbie Effect’I

Time – New Barbie Cover Story

Barbie And Body Image – Mirror Mirror – Eating Disorder Help

Barbie Lead Designer Blames Moms, Not Doll’s Crazy Proportions, for Girls’ Body Issues – TIME

The Barbie Doll’s Not-for-Kids Origins – TIME

Women Inventors – Ruth Handler

They Made America – Ruth Handler – PBS

Meet Lilli – The High End German Call Girl Who Became America’s Iconic Barbie Doll – Messy Nessy

Ruth Handler – Washington Post Obituary

Barbie’s Careers – TIME Magazine

How President Barbie has changed over the years – Washington Post – July 2016

Inspire the Next Generation – She Should Run

New presidential Barbie has a running mate, too – USA Today – July 2016

American Girls Aren’t Radical Anymore – The Atlantic – Amy Schiller

Even more terrible things are happening to the American Girl doll brand than you thought – Washington Post – Alexandra Petri

The Making of an American Girl by Aisha Harris – Slate

Penn State -Children and Media the Consumer Culture of Bratz – Sydney Megan Jow – 2015

Why the body positive Lammily doll is anything but – Nikki Gloudeman – Huffington Post

Ruth Handler New York Times Obituary

The Culture Trip – History of the Barbie Doll

Unapologetic Defiance – The Post Feminist Barbie – Paul Mullins

Mattel apologizes for horrific Barbie book ‘I Can Be a Computer Engineer’ that implies girls can’t code – GeekWire

Barbie, Remixed: I (really!) can be a computer engineer. – Casey Fiesler





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