Something that is really intriguing to me is the Barbie Liberation Organization and the response it garnered. The mom that was interviewed described the voice swapping as “kind of sick” while the so called toy expert, Joanne Oppenheim declared it as, “A terrorist attack directed at children… it seemed like a cheap shot.” This is especially surprising when seeing the children who were interviewed claiming they kind of like it and it makes the G.I. Joe seem less violent. It’s sad, but not surprising, that these adults want to stick by standard gender roles and feel that taking away gender roles is a supposed attack on their children, even while the children seem to enjoy the mix up. This issue still seems prevalent today. More recently, I think about the issues that arose when Target took away gender normative toy sections and just made one whole “toy” section. So many people complained about it because they feel their needs to be a distinct divide between gender, which to me is harmful and instills a sense that there is only one way to be a “boy” or “girl.” However, we need to promote that we’re all individuals with arrays of interests—it’s okay for kids to like an array of things, and it’s harmful when we force these expectations upon them.
To read more about Target’s transition and the responses, here is a Time article.