Oh, the controversy.

Lego, builder of kiddo worlds has attempted expand their market to those little ones with vaginas by offering the "Friends" line... This features the first lego figures with boobs, big eyes and lipstick. This in and of itself is unnecessary, but I suppose to some, understandable. Women do after all have the sexy curves that (iconically boxy plastic?) men don't. I'm not exactly sure if that needs to be highlighted in adolescent and culturally malleable girls toys though... Discuss. The part that frustrates me the most is the activities that these feminine Lego friends do, and only do: dressing up, girl chatting in cafes, meeting at the beauty shop and taking care of animals (cats an' horses people. cats and horses). I don't think the point is that women don't enjoy these things. I for one, love dresses, coffee, purple hair, and cats. The point is that this offering of female culture within a giant cesspool of action and masculinity is so heart shaped, pink, and frivolous that little girls grow up believing that this is the option available for them. 

When you Google "lego girls feminism" like I did you will most likely get a list of articles from Fox News and poorly written rants from people that love Fox News talking about how the movement "seems to oppose any expression of traditional, old-fashioned femininity, but why? Shouldn't parents have the option of purchasing toys that express traditional masculinity, traditional femininity, and everything in between?" I say YES! Exactly! Choices! The pluralization of choices though, insinuates that there has to be more than one... I would love to see the "everything in between"! Please make them! Exclamation point!

Above is the HIGHLY informative and factually solid rebuttal to Lego's girlcentric offerings. If I were you, I would watch it. I already have a crush on Anita Sarkeesian. One of those write-her-name-all-over-my-spiral-bound-Lisa-Frank-notebook crushes.

And, Lego, quit with the insulting video tutorials for girls featuring dumbed-down visual instructions on how to put 3 pieced Olivia together while the boppy song "We Can Do It" plays in the background... give them the same .pdf instructions like everyone else. Our genitals and our brains are completely separate anatomical parts. I promise.

Links I Love + Honest to Blog Favs:

Kat shares about her un-published posts.
What we think about how we look is relative.
Kaelah re-dedicated herself to blog honesty.
I want to make DIY pencils!
and the OHMYGODAWESOME compilation of HOT SEXY all sized chicks in bikinis!!!!!. I feel like that photo montage probably deserves a whole post after my plus size swimwear rant. Maybe I'll highlight it again later.

Well, Its Memorial Day Weekend and I am on a full blown vacation with my Him in the fancy outskirts of Phoenix. I was debating nixing the internet use on this trip, but as I was sipping coffee on a balcony I read a magazine article about the Lego shenanigans and I couldn't resist doing some research. I've been living in a bathing suit with sunglasses glued to my head and I think its time to make a mixed drink and take another dip in the pool.

Ciao baby!


  1. Okay, I watched, and mostly enjoyed, both videos. But it seems to me people are talking at cross purposes when one group (such as Anita Sarkeesian) argues that society unwillingly reflects the products available to them, and another (such as myself) believe that products merely reflect society. And even if what she believes were absolutely true, I simply don't believe it's the business world's obligation to shape our children's personalities at their own expense. I don't understand how she can simultaneously give examples of LEGO's past gender-neutral and girl-tweaked (i.e. Paradisa) ad campaigns, but then say that LEGO isn't trying. Decades ago, after featuring girls and boys in their gender-neutral ads, it became clear it was predominantly boys buying their product; so, the next obvious move, as a business, would be to market to even more boys. What toys, o' Militant Baker, did you play with as a child that turned you in to the well-rounded person you are today? I, for one, was playing with my sister's My Little Pony set shortly before G.I. Joe grabbed my interest. And while I became neither a stableboy nor a Marine, perhaps it was my exposure to both that made me the fem-positive-sure-I'll-see-a-lady-doctor-maybe-even-ask-her-to-fix-my-car person I see myself as today. That, and my dad not bursting in to my sister's room to rip Gem Blossom from my hands. Which is my final point: in the end, it can only be family/teachers/smart members of society who challenge these gender stereotypes by, either, not buying this kind of stuff, or having a frank discussion with young people about how it may limit their thinking.

    1. Mr. Dodge, you make a stellar point. And the truth (in my humble opinion) is that you are absolutely right! In an ideal world this case would be up to the consumer to create equality. Why SHOULD businesses ("capitalist organizations engaged in the trade of goods to consumers") bow to the minorities preferences? The profit margin there is minimal if it exists at all... But within that previous sentence lies the problem. "Minorities". It is the minority that has found something wrong with gender stereotyping at a young and (obviously) cognitive compliant stage. Here in lies the fight. You say (correct me if I'm paraphrasing wrong) "Well, just offer a variety of toys and let your child choose!" and she says "There isn't a variety. What about the parents/guardians that impetuously purchase these toys and because there is no transition between the overtly masculine and decidedly feminine and they assume that this is just the way the world is". My Him sneeringly laughed at this video and said "It's funny when you're a man. Lego's not the only one who does this".

      I SAY (and you can quote me) "If. Only. In a country where the gender ratio is male to female 49.1 : 50.9* (pretty much 50/50 with a wave to the ladies) and women STILL get paid 77 cents to every mans dollar** we have some serious ground to cover. The consumers have fallen into the rut of unjust tradition. If this tradition was equal/fair/safe/kind it wouldn't be a big deal, but it's not. SO what do you do when you go to the consumers and they don't get it? What do you do when because the consumers don't get it the companies wont change it? You rock the boat. You rock it so hard and dramatically that both the consumers at home AND the companies have no choice but to listen. In times of comatose purchasing where no one has the gumption to think critically you have to severely disturb the status quo to see any neurological activity at all.

      We are in such an extreme situation socially (you know whats happening to Arizona women's health options)that because there are only a handful of people demanding equality they must swing the pendulum HARD in order for it to get to the other side and come back to the middle where it belongs. You HAVE to make a big deal out of the little things because this second class citizen bullshit is too big and been around too long to change it all at once. To quote "What About Bob?": "Baby steps..."

      To those that say "there is no war on women" and "give the feministhags a fly for their ass and tell them to stfu": The numbers say otherwise, and lord it's easy to ignore what doesn't affect you.

      And MAN "what toys did you play with as a child?" is a killer question. I played with barbies. Lots of them. But I chopped their hair, took their eyebrows off with nail polish remover, dislocated their necks and made them pregnant instead. Guess I was just born to piss people off:)

      Most importantly Mr. Dodge: you're fuckin rad.



  2. Check out this video:

    As long as we have children like the one in the video above, maybe one day this will change!

    1. I love that video:) What a radical and adorable girl:)

  3. So I just clicked on the link to see the instructional video. Olivia's picture captions says "It's easy, or at least we can figure it out."

    WHAT THE HELL?! Are they implying that girls can't do something easy and we can "figure it out". Screw that, I'm going to go build a lego car.

  4. I have nothing substantial to contribute to this discussion, but I just wanted to tell you that I love your blog. Keep the dream alive. 'kay bye.

  5. when i was a kid, i asked for Legos for Christmas. i desperately wanted the Robin Hood playset (treehouses and outlaws!). i got the pink and purple Dollhouse set. i was terribly insulted and disappointed. one cannot build cool robots or spaceships with pastel pink blocks (hot pink, maybe, but not pastel). and the specialty blocks that came with the Dollhouse set were flower shaped, so they could not be used for anything other than, well, flowers. and so i stole my brothers' Legos. because even when i did build dollhouses, i wanted to make my houses look like the ones i saw in the neighborhoods, and those houses were not pink and lavender.

    i was not a tomboy, for all that i did play a lot of the same games my brothers played, but i did not want pink and purple toys (well, not after i left the My Little Pony & Lady Lovely Locks phase). and it was frustrating for me because when i expressed interest in something that was not girly, when i asked for a pocketknife for Christmas and got Hollywood Barbie instead, i had to say "Thank you" for the gifts given, even when i hated them. and seeing my little brother get a pocketknife instead that Christmas was a bitter blow that i could not express without sounding ungrateful. (oh, but how ungrateful i was! i hated Hollywood Barbie, with her bleached blonde extra-big hair and pink pink pink dress, hated her so much from the very beginning that she was the villain in every single story i ever told with my dolls.)

    and these seemingly harmless gifts are not something that i've ever forgotten. not just because i hold a mean grudge, but also because the initial emotions behind my reactions to the girly toys were so strong. in my childhood naivete, i had assumed the toys i had wanted were more or less gender neutral toys (what do you mean, most little girls aren't in love with Robin Hood?). i had wanted the pocketknife so i could learn to whittle. i'm not sure where i got that mad idea, but there it was. and i didn't conceive of it as being boyish at all until i got the Barbie instead. i have no idea if my family even consciously knew what they were doing, but even as a kid, the message was loud and clear. boys get the cool stuff. girls are polite about being disappointed. there were roles, and if i wanted something out of my prescribed gender role, i wasn't going to get it.

    in some strange way, however, holding on to my resentment over getting girly pinkness for Christmas ended up saving me. i never forgot that it wasn't what i had wanted. and i never saw what i had originally wanted as being wrong. in my selfish, stubborn little head, the grown-ups were wrong. so i was going to deal with it, because kids just have to deal with grown-ups, but i was going to buy and do whatever i wanted when i grew up, no matter how boyish it was. and when i grew up, i was going to let my little girl get whatever she wanted for Christmas.

    1. That is just beautiful.

      This topic just brims with complexities and I THANK YOU for sharing your thoughts! I learn so much from what others bring to the table.

      JR's question about what toys I played with as a child really struck a chord because it caused me to look back towards my VERY traditional gendered rolled childhood (I grew up in a strict Mormon household) and realize that sometimes with extreme circumstances comes extreme change. So, in a way, it was because the pink and purple were SO prevalent that I realized that I needed to fight for my right for equality. IE: if it weren't for the myopic teachings that consumed my adolescent life, I probably wouldn't be the critical thinker I am today.

      I see this thread in your story too. :)


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