Andrea G. alerted us to a Fisher-Price toy, called My Pretty Learning Purse, for children aged 6 to 36 months. Behold:
The purse comes with a dollar bill, a bracelet, a mirror, and a set of keys. It also sings songs about purple and pink.
With these props, a one year old can properly play “woman.” I felt this is an example of how we do gender and teach it to children, as young as a year old.
At least they’re admitting that femininity must be “learn[ed]?”
UPDATE: Jane, in the comments, linked to a Fisher Price product for boys that is very similar:
Get it! It’s a tool box and it includes keys, a screwdriver, a hammer, and a saw.
The play involved in each product is essentially identical (e.g., music, putting things in and taking them out), but the theme of the play is gendered. Do you think this is to please the parents or the kids?
NEW (Dec. ’09)! Monica C. sent along this page from a Target catalog featuring a girl playing with a kitchen and a boy playing with a tool set: