Search results for Lego


During November we divvied up the massive gender tag into 18 sub-categories to make it easier to search for specific types of gender posts.  For example, you can now browse all of our posts about masculinity by going to the “gender: masculinity” tag.  We hope this makes it easier to navigate the site.

In other words, we worked our asses off for you over Thanksgiving break, so go browse a gender tag right now!

And, your monthly reminder: we’re on Facebook and Twitter, if that floats your boat.


Last November we posted an analysis of the negative reactions to female body builders’ bodies.  It reveals the entitlement that many feel to be aesthetically pleased by women’s appearance.

And in November ’07 we featured an Orangina ad that Gwen says is “possibly the weirdest freakiest ad I have ever seen in my 34 years on this planet.” As reader Gis said in the comments:

AH! AH! AH! AH! WHAT?!?!  AH!  I can’t unsee this!

So, yeah, uh, check that out.  You might want to watch it in high quality on a full screen.  I’m just sayin’.

NEWLY ENRICHED POSTS (Look for what’s NEW! Nov ’09):

Remember that 1981 ad for Legos that everyone LOVED?  I found three more examples of vintage ads that seem rather devoid of gender differentiation.

Just last month we added material to our post on racial and ethnic themed college parties.  This month, we get to do it again.  This time courtesy of a University of Delaware party at which white people dressed up as Mexicans (triggering and NSFW).

We added another example to our collection of vintage illustrations of the argument that black people are closely related to apes and monkeys.

Erin M. sent us an example of a sex toy for men being described as “shameful.” We added it to our post discussing how the use of sex toys by women and the use of sex toys by men are evaluated very differently (NSFW).

Tim McC. sent in a link to a Volvo concept car aimed specifically at women.  We added it to our post on the Dodge La Femme.  It’s really interesting to compare how cars were marketed to women in the 1950s and today.

Kristyn G. sent in another commercial where the idea that women are liberated by choice is used to market a product.  This time, it’s an Indian cable company marketing itself by comparing itself to non-arranged marriage.

Jackie S. sent us a link to a satirical Onion news report illustrating how feminists might protest PETA.  We added it an old post with an image of a PETA protest.

Dmitriy T.M. sent us another example of services being marketed as “wife” or “husband” services.

Jessica S. sent us a comedic skit for the Shii, a girls’ version of the Wii.  We added it to our post on otherwise-gender-neutral-games gendered female.

We added a fourth commercial, this one for Target, to our post featuring commercials that depict women as just plain insane.

We added another vintage ad featuring the word “gay” as it used to be used.

Do you feel you have a truly special relationship with your cleaning products? If so, check out the Lysol commercial we added to our post about Sarah Haskins’s “Target: Women” segment on household cleaners marketed as women’s special, special friend.

We added another example of U.S.-based advertising that removes people of color when moved overseas.  This time the product is the movie Couples Retreat.

We added a 1987 ad for Contra to one of our collections of sexism in the technology world.

Last month we posted about the Ralph Lauren ad featuring a woman photoshopped to be incredibly thin. We updated the post with a video about the model in the ad, who has now been fired for not fitting into some clothing.

Abby J. sent in some photos she took at Toys ‘R’ Us of a bunch of classic board games that are now marketed specifically to girls. We know they’re for girls because they’re all pink:



Of course the girls’ version of Scrabble would spell “fashion.” I assume the boys’ version spells “motorcycle” or something of the sort…though probably with fewer letters, I guess.

The Monopoly game (called the Boutique Edition) looks like a jewelry box:


I don’t know what Mystery Date is all about–I mean, I can guess, but I’m not familiar with the game, and not actually sure I’d want to encourage kids to go on mystery dates, but whatever. Both Abby and I found the pink Ouija board odd. I didn’t know they really still sold them. My grandma came across an old one when they were cleaning out my great-grandma’s stuff a couple of years back and she took it and gave it to my teen-aged cousin. My aunt took great offense and sent it back. My grandma, who is a devout Christian, took offense at my aunt taking offense (and implying that Grandma was giving her grandchildren satanic toys) and now keeps it around and lets kids play with it at her house. She also declared my aunt “no fun” and “too churchy.” If you knew my grandma, or had ever sat there and watched her call out to Jesus to help her find her missing spatula (he complied and made it appear in the drawer where she always keeps the spatulas), you would understand why I nearly choked on my food when she referred to someone else as “too churchy.” Now she’s decided that the Harry Potter movies are not, as so many people she knows had told her, satanic but are instead quite funny.

Anyway, that’s a long rambling unimportant point for a post that just illustrates how much we identify girlhood today with pink and feel the need to make gender-specific version of games where a single version seemed to work perfectly well in the past.

Reader Rachel sent in this photo she took of Legos being clearly marked as “boys’ toys”:


NEW! Sara P.-S., Liz, and Danielle F. sent us links to the new “girlz” version of the PSP (Playstation Portable) because, as Sarah says, it is apparently so “skewed towards boys that they have to specifically advertise the fact that girls [can] play with it”:


NEW (Apr. ’10)! Sunlight Snow sent in a version of Jenga aimed at girls called “Girl Talk” Jenga. Not stopping at the pinkification of the game, the producers decided to add sharing and gossip to it. Each plank now offers a question that girls are supposed to discuss. Apparently precipitous balancing and impending collapse is not fun enough, girls must add desperate crushes and dreams of becoming a veterinarian!

Gwen Sharp is an associate professor of sociology at Nevada State College. You can follow her on Twitter at @gwensharpnv.

The Active Life Movement has produced these ads as part of their campaign against childhood obesity:




What irks me about this ad campaign is the negative message (i.e., the implicit “don’t”).  The message is: Don’t look like this.  And, maybe secondarily: Don’t eat a lot, watch TV, use your computer, or have conversations (?).   It’s ultimately restrictive and shaming.

The message could be a positive one (i.e., an implicit “do”): Do go outside, play, learn to dance, enjoy nature!  All of those would (presumably) accomplish the goals of the Active Life Movement without shaming people who don’t look like Barbie, Superman, or Legos (?) and who like to eat food, watch TV, be on the computer, and sit down sometimes.

Ultimately, then, instead of promoting the behaviors the organization likes, the advertisers resorted to reinforcing fat phobia/hatred and the stereotype that fat people just sit around and eat.

[I just realized I’m sitting in my bed, with a cat, having tossed off my shoes, I’m on my computer… and I am eating a SNACK!!!! Oh no!!!!!]

(Ad Freak via Shapely Prose.)

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