OK, this sentence is still really bugging me:
We found that little girls really enjoyed having male and female minifigures in their sets, while the little boys would take the girl minifigure out before playing.
Why does LEGO think it’s OK for boys to throw the girl figs aside? And that girls are just thrilled to play with male figs? And that’s “natural?” Seriously. What kind of “researcher” observes that behavior and decides to create a toy that segregates genders even more dramatically? Don’t they get that that’s the problem? Or maybe they just don’t care about behavior that should be noted as curious because it fits easily into the whole idea and practice of segmenting the market in order to move products.
The conclusions LEGO came to, stereotyping girls even more extremely, sounds strikingly similar to Disney male exces claiming that girls will see movies about boys but boys won’t see movies about girls. Could that preference have anything to do with the ridiculous limited roles girls have in movies? Look at just the latest one, “The Lorax,” where the female character is the “romantic interest” of the main character, a male. This is an animated movie for kids. Romance? How do you think girls feel watching themselves, again and again, in smaller roles than boys? Less represented than males? Do you think, possibly, they might learn to put a lot of attention into what they look like, the way girls in movies and LEGO sets do, and what boys think about them, not because that’s “natural” but because that’s how they get any part at all in the show?
The boy casting the girl LEGO out of his pile is also echoed by Matt Lauer (a grown-up) and Today show hosts (also grown-ups) cracking up on TV over the idea that any parent would buy the Friends set for his son. Boys are cool, girls have cooties; Thank you Disney and LEGO for spreading this message to our little kids so vociferously with your movies and toys.