stereotypes have no place these holidays

The holiday season brings a myriad of catalogues and gift guides selling kids’ toys. Many toy retailers use gendered marketing which influences children and consumers alike, by sending strong messages about the appropriateness of their choices. Colour codes, labels and imagery all have a narrowing effect on our children’s perspectives. Tell me more…

Boy and girl with tree

stereotypes have no place these holidays

The holiday seasons brings a myriad of catalogues and gift guides selling kids’ toys. Many toy retailers use gendered marketing which influences children and consumers alike, by sending strong messages about the appropriateness of their choices. Colour codes, labels and imagery all have a narrowing effect on our children’s perspectives. Tell me more…

Boy and girl with tree
Girl playing with truck

No bullying over the rainbow

Gendered marketing informs children’s feelings about whether it’s socially acceptable to show interest in a toy. Some take this “knowledge” into the playground, where they quickly chastise any child who demonstrates an interest in the “wrong” colour or toy for their gender. Children also may be learning not to show interest in certain toys for fear of being teased. Tell me more…

No bullying over the rainbow

Gendered marketing informs children’s feelings about whether it’s socially acceptable to show interest in a toy. Some take this “knowledge” into the playground, where they quickly chastise any child who demonstrates an interest in the “wrong” colour or toy for their gender. Children also may be learning not to show interest in certain toys for fear of being teased. Tell me more…

Girl playing with truck

It’s 2015

Corporations’ interests lie in making money, not in childhood development. Don’t let them dictate your child’s interests, skills, perspectives… their future.
It’s time to bring gender equality to the world of toys and children.
Let’s create opportunities for kids to develop a broad range of skills, support them in discovering a whole rainbow of colours, encourage them to learn about themselves and each other, free from the limitations of gender stereotypes.
We’re raising individuals. Not gender stereotypes.

Raise your voice

Gendered toys

It’s 2015

Corporations interests lie in making money, not in childhood development. Don’t let them dictate your child’s interests, skills, perspectives… their future.

We’re raising individuals. Not gender stereotypes. Raise your voice

Gendered toys
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Global toy revenue

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Average yearly spend

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Children

0
Opportunity

VOICES OF SUPPORT


Dr Elizabeth Sweet

Lecturer | Department of Sociology
University of California, Davis

Dr Elizabeth Sweet

Dr Christia Brown

Developmental Psychologist
Author of Parenting Beyond Pink and Blue

Dr Christia Brown

Dr Michael Flood

Senior Lecturer in Sociology | University of Wollongong
ARC Future Fellow (2015 – 2018)

Dr Michael Flood

Dr Jennifer Shewmaker

Associate Professor of Psychology | Abilene Christian University
Author of Sexualized Media Messages and Our Children

Dr Jennifer Shewmaker

Dr Megan Fulcher

Associate Professor of Psychology at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, VA

Dr Megan Fulcher

Senator Larissa Waters

Deputy leader of the Australian Greens’
Spokesperson on the Environment and Biodiversity, Women, Resources, Mining and Coal

Senator Larissa Waters

Dr Koa Whittingham

Psychologist, Author and Research Fellow
The University of Queensland

Dr Koa Whittingham

Lori Day

Educational Psychologist
Consultant at Lori Day Consulting

Lori Day

Sally Richardson

National Program Director
Safe Schools Coalition Australia

Sally Richardson

Dr Deborah Siegel

Founder, Girl Meets Voice

Dr Deborah Siegel

Julie Huberman

Co-Founder – Play Unlimited

Julie Huberman

Thea Hughes

Co-Founder – Play Unlimited

Thea Hughes

TAKE THE PLEDGE


Show your public support for our campaign by using the link below to record your personal message about why you think it’s important to #GiveGiftsNotStereotypes.

Camera shy? Write a line or two for the Pledge Wall.

Add Your Voice!

THE VIDEO WALL

Here are the latest voices of support.
Want to speak out in support and join them?
Record your video here.

THE PLEDGE


"I pledge to support 'No Gender Stereotypes December' because I encourage every child's freedom to choose, to grow and develop, to be themselves without the limiting influence of gender stereotypes.

Gender stereotypes limit children's imaginations, perceptions and development, also perpetuating inequality. It sends an important message when we give gifts, not stereotypes."

THE PLEDGE WALL

The good people below have declared their support and taken the pledge:

Here's the latest heroes::
Desigan Tharmen Johannesburg South Africa

I pledge to support 'No Gender Stereotypes December' because I encourage every child's freedom to choose, to grow and develop, to be themselves without the limiting influence of gender stereotypes.

Gender stereotypes limit children's imaginations, perceptions and development, also perpetuating inequality. It sends an important message when we give gifts, not stereotypes."

08/09/2016 at 5:27 am
Eden Cox Melbourne Australia 13/07/2016 at 1:03 pm
Kylie Abplanalp Wellington New Zealand 01/06/2016 at 11:12 am
Paula Sanz Spain

I support No Gender December because if we want to break down gender stereotypes and advance towards gender equality we should stop teaching kids what they should be like from the moment they are old enough to grasp it. Let toys be toys, and let kids be kids.

16/05/2016 at 2:39 am
Taylor Gertner Michigan City United States

I pledge to support 'No Gender Stereotypes December' because i encourage every child's freedom to choose, to grow and develop. to be themselves without limiting influence of gender stereotypes.

07/05/2016 at 1:04 am
Elbert Rouse Norfolk United States 27/04/2016 at 2:40 pm
Katelynn Foust United States

By limiting our children's imagination, we are limiting humanities future.

13/04/2016 at 5:42 am
Barbara Astrini New York United States

As an illustrator and animator for a children's network, my goal is to make content that is accessible to all children, and not alienate half of our audience because something is gender stereotypical.

07/04/2016 at 1:34 am
Aimee Woods Hobart Australia

Children have the right to be themselves, completely and freely, without any pressure to adhere to any pre-determined rules.

22/02/2016 at 12:54 pm
Niharika Parashar India

Toys should be toys and they must not be restricted by gender typing.If we want adults who believe in equal choices and chances for everyone we must start young.

21/02/2016 at 7:31 pm
sam klim melb Australia

im 16 and i feel like ive personally been affected by such gender stereo types that are prevalent through childhood. i stuck to the "girls" toys my whole life, and only recently when i've been able to make my own life decisions, have i realized that i prefer the more male dominated career paths, and in the environment of math and science i feel a lack of confidence in what i do. i genuinely believe this is based upon biased attitudes that have stemmed from youth.

29/01/2016 at 8:19 pm
Craig Hillman Virginia United States

Great work guys.

31/12/2015 at 11:17 am
Crystal Smith Oakville Canada

When you assign gender to a toy, you’re assigning gender to the activity associated with that toy and, in the process, telling kids which behaviours and interests are “appropriate” for a boy or girl. Every gendered message–whether in a toy, book, TV show, or movie–is a piece of the puzzle that children assemble as they try to figure out where they belong in the world and what they are capable of. Why limit their options with arbitrary gender labels? Why not let them decide which path they want to follow?

Play is an integral part of a child’s intellectual and social development. Gendered labels cause more harm than good and do not belong anywhere near kids’ toys. For all of these reasons, I pledge to support 'No Gender Stereotypes December'.

28/12/2015 at 12:58 pm
Julietta Boscolo Surry Hills Australia

I was forced to buy a storm troopers drink bottle recently.
Not because I wanted to, but because I wanted to know my daughter she shouldn't be limited in her choices.

We were in the post office. My daughter, all of two years as of last week, picked up a doll and started talking to her about a display of drink bottles.
'This is Spider Man' she said, pointing to one decorated as she described. 'Albie' (a male friend) she told the doll, 'Can have this one'. 'Girls' she said pointing to a pink one with snow flakes 'Can have this one'. 'No, ' I told her. 'You can have any one you want, you don't have to have the pink one. Which one would you like?'

So I ended up having to pay $12.95 for a drink bottle. But my daughter, at the very young age of two, learnt that her choices weren't limited to what other people thought girls should have.

24/12/2015 at 10:20 pm
Annabelle Miller Australia

Finally, an organisation that has realized the inequality of childrens toys. I am twelve and every time I walk into BigW or Target I am told comercially what to buy as a girl, but thats not right. I want to play with swords and sheilds and lightsabers too. Why should my gender be stopping me from that? And of course the other way with the boys. The should not feel ashamed for playing with a dolls or a doll house! It's the 21st century and it took us this long to realise the problem of gender inequality. Gender specific toys are limiting to children.

24/12/2015 at 10:52 am
Caitlin Pringle Southampton United Kingdom

Gender stereotypes only offer a sadly hegemonised view of different people which seeks to alienate one from the other. Clothing, colours and toys should not be gendered.

23/12/2015 at 4:19 am
Clotilde Lehmann Roedding Denmark 22/12/2015 at 8:12 am
Julia Ven Frankfurt Germany 22/12/2015 at 7:08 am
Helen Kitto Kent United Kingdom

I'm raising three boys and a girl. Or four children, as they're also known. Contrary to some opinion, I'm not 'stopping' my girl liking pink. I'm also not forcing my youngest boy to wear fairy dresses. She just doesn't like pink or too many sparkles, he loves a bit of fairy role play. They are who they are. What I have done though is encourage gift-givers to go gender-generic, and that they feel comfortable playing with whatever they enjoy.
As my daughter said aged just five: "I like all the colours - there's more to life than just pink."

22/12/2015 at 4:21 am
Lyn Jardine Haddington United Kingdom

I want my kid to grow confident and creative. Imaginative play is crucial and it should be up to kids what and how they play. Adults, carers, manufacturers and retailers have a responsibility to facilitate choice!

21/12/2015 at 10:40 pm
Tina La Cock Reinbek Germany 21/12/2015 at 10:37 pm
helen cj Crawley United Kingdom

I try to provide different options to my daughter that bridge the gender divide marketers are so insistent in creating. But even as an avid supporter I often succumb to the pressure from retailers and peers alike. I will continue to offer her alternatives as part of my parenting philosophy.

21/12/2015 at 12:28 am
Ally Mores Melbourne Australia

I have a few very young cousins and I am already hearing stories about extremely gendered interests, playground exclusion, etc. I hate their entire personalities and life experiences are going to be limited by something as arbitrary as gender. Children's toys are a symptom of something much larger and this campaign is a super important conversation starter :) Pledging to attempt to broaden their horizons whenever i see them and discourage anyone giving stereotypes!

20/12/2015 at 11:49 am
Aimi Plant London United Kingdom

I want my children to grow up in a world that has no gender restrictions.

20/12/2015 at 2:52 am
Lily Smith London United Kingdom

Just toys for kids - its as simple as that! All power to this wonderful initiative :)

20/12/2015 at 1:36 am
Lucy Loveday London United Kingdom 18/12/2015 at 7:25 am
Amy Hearder Perth Australia

Rigid gender roles and stereotypes only harm children and attempt to force them into our binary-obsessed culture it's time an end was brought to the cycle of harm.

17/12/2015 at 1:46 pm
Josie Browne Banora Point Australia

I'm taking the pledge because this issue has been close to my heart since I longed for the trains, trucks and cars my male cousin was given every Christmas!

I'm not limiting my children's lives, thoughts, play, choices and options by buying into the divisive marketing strategies. I'm supporting anything that encourages my children to grow up as whole people, not half people, denying aspects of themselves that are human, and belong to us all. Words like nurture, ambition, tenderness and power should never be connected to one gender or the other - and that's what gendered marketing promotes - division on the artificial basis of gender. These words, these qualities, belong to all human beings. Let's not limit ourselves or our children from BEING, whatever their being consists of.

17/12/2015 at 7:36 am
kenichiro atari Tokyo chuo-ku ,akashi-chou Japan

Looking back at myself ,?what I am today may be the result of various restrictions and constraints from my parents as well as
surrounding environment. Thea’s effort is not aimed at educating children in a constraint (e.g.gender)?but let children work freely to find their own infinite potential. I feel that the adults’ role is to support this. Yes, we adult’s too, step freely together with children towards our infinite potential.
I wish that this movement ripples out to a wider circle.

16/12/2015 at 11:55 pm
Athanasia Price Brisbane Australia

We need to stop limiting the imaginations of children by shackling them with stereotypes.

16/12/2015 at 9:55 pm
Adrienne Simons Bellingen Australia

Because it matters. Inequality should not be passed on to the next generation.

16/12/2015 at 9:54 pm
Deniz Clarke Brisbane Australia 16/12/2015 at 8:10 pm
Duncan Alexander Melbourne Australia 16/12/2015 at 12:20 pm
Jill Braunstein McLean United States

Colors belong to everyone! I pledge to support "No Gender Stereotypes December" and "No Gender Stereotypes ALLYEAR LONG."

13/12/2015 at 1:29 pm
Julie Sissman New York United States

Don't put our children in gender boxes! Keep the world of opportunities open for each and every one.

13/12/2015 at 9:50 am
Sarah Mozelle United States

Thank you! Toys and colors and imagination and freedom of expression and exploration for all :-)

13/12/2015 at 4:04 am
Yuna Dream Big Friends Seoul South Korea

We LOVE this concept! We are making dolls of boys and girls, FOR boys and girls: http://kck.st/1POfuRK

10/12/2015 at 5:21 am
Annette Clarke Sandringham Australia

Let play be play.

05/12/2015 at 7:38 am
Anne Corbert Manchester United Kingdom

I live by these values with my three kids. I hope everyone else can take some of them on board.

04/12/2015 at 8:42 pm
Carrieann Rainey Belfast United Kingdom

Toys for all
Play, imagine and enjoy
Xxx

04/12/2015 at 6:40 pm
David Hewitt Santa Monica United States

Let's give gender stereotypes the flick.

04/12/2015 at 12:18 pm
Alex Mills Cranbourne Australia

Everybody should get on board this bus.

04/12/2015 at 10:16 am
Jo Debono Cranebrook Australia

This is so important for our society and our world. Gender equality must take prime importance at these early formative stages, and my pledge is to encourage this whenever tge opportunity presents.

04/12/2015 at 7:36 am
Deborah Siegel Chicago United States

I want my boy/girl twins to have full access to the range of human behavior and emotion afforded them - toy companies, don't box us in!

04/12/2015 at 4:27 am
Aaron Fraser Melbourne Australia

This initiative should be sponsored. Get that bloody message out there! Make people uncomfortable! Is anyone uncomfortable in a department store? Do they get to do that to you?

03/12/2015 at 6:53 pm
Autumn Garrod Asheville United States

Let kids be kids. I want girls and boys to be their own true selves-not what marketing molds them into.

03/12/2015 at 6:41 am
Gisella Belleri Brescia Italy 02/12/2015 at 11:45 pm
Helenr Rand Sunshine Coast Australia

Go, No gender December !!!

02/12/2015 at 8:05 pm
Bruce G Cairns Australia

We should have done this long ago.

02/12/2015 at 6:40 pm
Margret Schuller Sydney Australia

I support the 'No Gender Stereotypes December' pledge, because I strongly belief that stereotyping limits the development of both genders, restricts their imagination and creates in inequities

02/12/2015 at 6:37 pm


Share your thoughts on this. Start a conversation with friends or family about celebrating your child as an individual. Invite them to join you in declaring December stereotype-free.