INaction Heroes for Girls?

beth beck:

I can’t stop playing this new GoldieBlox video featuring toys for girls. All I can say is: it’s ABOUT TIME!!

The goal of GoldieBlox is to build games that inspire future female engineers. Here’s what their website states:

“At GoldieBlox, our goal is to get girls building. We’re here to help level the playing field in every sense of the phrase. By tapping into girls’ strong verbal skills, our story + construction set bolsters confidence in spatial skills while giving young inventors the tools they need to build and create amazing things.

In a world where men largely outnumber women in science, technology, engineering and math…and girls lose interest in these subjects as early as age 8, GoldieBlox is determined to change the equation. Construction toys develop an early interest in these subjects, but for over a hundred years, they’ve been considered “boys’ toys”. By designing a construction toy from the female perspective, we aim to disrupt the pink aisle and inspire the future generation of female engineers.

We believe there are a million girls out there who are engineers. They just might not know it yet. We think GoldieBlox can show them the way.”

All you who are looking for gifts for girls this holiday season, look no further!

Originally posted on Bethbeck's Blog:

In the mid-1990s, I accompanied a small team from NASA to the New York City Toy Fair to explore ways to shape NASA’s brand through product licensing. The delegation included NASA’s current Deputy, Lori Garver, who was the head of NASA’s Policy and Plans at that time. (The old Code Z, Land of Misfit Toys…for those of you around NASA at that time.)

On the trip, Lori posed this question:

“Why doesn’t NASA have more female executives?”

We’ll get back to that question later.

We met with brand management and licencing experts, and toured the toy fair. My first time at this event, I was surprised to discover the toys were separated by gender: toys for girls on one side, toys for boys on the other.

Toys for Girls: Wall-to-wall dolls. Barbie dolls. Big dolls. Little dolls. Doll accessories. Our host was quick to point out the new features for…

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1 Comment

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One response to “INaction Heroes for Girls?

  1. I saw the ad, too. I get the idea but I think that’s thinking in the wrong direction. In my opinion, the problem isn’t the toys, it’s the notion that you can only buy “girl” toys for girls. The perception that “girls” like only one type of toy is as flawed as thinking that boys will be emasculated if you buy them a baby doll.

    There shouldn’t be, in my opinion, toys for girls vs. girls for boys. Or at least no stigma in buying boy toys for girls or girl toys for boys if that’s what interests them, gets their creative juices flowing, keeps them entertained and promotes growth. We could always do that (I did for my daughter when she showed interest and some in case she showed interest).

    The problem isn’t the toys, its the attitude that girls (and other children) or are capable of or only like only certain things. It’s the predetermined limits and preconceptions we impose on our children that makes them believe math is beyond them before they have a chance to find out for themselves or precludes them from considering technical fields early on. That’s why I never even considered I couldn’t do complex math. No one ever suggested I couldn’t so I didn’t hesitate to try. [I'm an engineer in the space industry]

    If we don’t change that thinking, those stereotypes (that GoldieBlox claims to tap into), all the toys in the world won’t change things. I think the ad does challenge that thinking, but it’s got to be bigger than switching one set of girl toys for another under the tree. We have to believe, really believe, our girls can do math and science as well as boys, that being poor doesn’t preclude the opportunity for education, that certain races aren’t capable of education excellence.

    Children don’t need to be encouraged to think creatively, learn or try new things. They come with that tendency built in as long as no one kills it.

    We just need to not get in their way. IMO.

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