Mattel has perpetuated stereotypes about girls and boys in segregating
the types of toys directed to specific genders, i.e. Barbie and Hot
Wheels. The latest twist is to mold future technology users based on
further perpetuating stereotypical gender based interests.
It has always bothered me that individuals, corporations, and other
institutions have failed to realize the benefits of inclusion. Why
market a toy to only half of the children market? From a financial
standpoint, if a product could be presented that appealed to both
gynders, they could double their potential sales. From an educational
angle, developing assertiveness and finger dexterity of both gynders
would benefit the children in their youth and adulthood. From a career
prospective, encouraging learning about designing (cars, clothes,
houses...); encouraging action (riding bikes, playing sports, ...) and
so on, means the child will seek a career that suits their talents and
not be limited by gender stylized limitations (career tracking).
Posted below is a brief summary (from Feminist Majority
about Mattel's Aug. 3, 1999 press release.
"Mattel to Market Gender-Specific Computers"
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