That said, I'm all for the recent trend of making stuff for grown-ups look like toys. Unlike some of my fellow feminists, I do not consider the pinkification of otherwise ugly and utilitarian tools entirely offensive. I'll take my aesthetic pleasures wherever I can get them. I own several kitchen appliances made by Sanrio, and I nod in approval when Lorelei covers Rory's hammer with feathers on episode of the Gilmore Girls.
But this does not mean that I don't find the constant color-coding / gendering of children's toys troubling. I'm willing to admit that my attraction to things that are pink and fluffy likely has something to do with an early inoculation as a female consumer with a desire for all things pink. But the thing is, boys like pink too. And boys also like to vacuum and sweep and wash dishes. And girls like hammers. I like hammers. I still do.
A little boy I used to babysit had both a play kitchen and a play toolbench. Both were hand-me-downs, and the family kept the toys side by side in the basement. Interestingly, the toy kitchen and the toy bench seemed exactly the same; they developed the same types of motor skills and invited a similar type of play. And of course the kid mixed them up. Spoons hung from the workbench and there were hammers in the sink. The point is that both were fun to play with. Toys do not need to be gendered, they just need to be fun.
This is rather an obvious point, I suppose, and perhaps one not nearly exciting enough for new year's eve. That said, I hope you all have a very happy new year, and that your 2006 will be filled with lots of good, loving, non-gendered play.
What's your take on pink hammers and baby-blue mixers?