Hi Lego, here are some more great ideas for you

On Lego’s multi-million-dollar-marketing blitz rolling out its new girly toy, Shaping Youth’s Amy Jussel blogs:

How can we finally be tossing aside ‘hardwired’ corpus calossum theories on differences in boys/girls, acknowledging brain plasticity and realizing this play pattern/edu deficit stuff is NOT ‘set in stone’ and yet simultaneously standby to see Lego spend $40 million in mega-marketing bucks to proceed to SET it in stone.

Here are some of Jussel’s suggestions:

…We begin early on building new fluencies by shifting rather than reinforcing play patterns to stop gap educational chasms that seep out in early years of ‘testing’ after exposure to repeated environmental influences?

…We focus on using those thousands of hours of practice in play purposely veering toward more verbal prowess for boys and spatial ability for girls to close the whole reading/math gender stereotype gap?

… We redirect that $40 million of Lego marketing money toward cross-training childrens’ brains via play to amp up their mind muscles and fill learning gaps in BOTH genders?

…We cease to amplify the same ol’ gendered strengths and weaknesses as faux marketing ‘givens’ until it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy? (and then shake our heads at why boys and girls are just ‘different’ in learning styles)

Please read Jussel’s whole post. It’s great and has many excellent references to books and articles.

2 thoughts on “Hi Lego, here are some more great ideas for you

  1. Thanks for continuing to blog about this story. You and I had a discussion about it when I replied to one of your other posts and I was on the fence about there being anything wrong with pink Legos. Now, as a result of reading Packaging Girlhood, after seeing references to it and Cinderella at my daughter, I have a new perspective on this issue. Instead of girl Legos to balance the boy Legos we need gender neutral Legos for kids of all genders and all ages. I see that I was a product of the fashion marketing machine and even wonder how much I love fashion or if I have just been completely brainwashed without knowing it.
    The part of the book that got me was about what girls wear. The author’s said girl’s clothing has become so focused on fashion that it, even the fake sportswear, is not functional. I asked my daughter about her clothes and gym class and she expressed difficulty with the short tops and low rise, skinny jeans when she tries to participate. I thought I was just being fashionable; I didn’t realize I was being limiting.
    I think these Legos are limiting and that the boy Legos are limiting. We want girls and boys who can overcome the marketing induced differences and do all kinds of activities as adults.

    • Hi Vanessa,

      I love this line of your comment: “I thought I was just being fashionable; I didn’t realize I was being limiting.”

      That’s great you read Packaging Girlhood. It sucks confronting your own biases and changing them, but its also kind of liberating.

      Thanks for visiting Reel Girl and your great comments.


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