This project helped my realization of how society shapes gender roles for kids at the start f birth and the perception that kids carry on with them as they grow older. The store I chose to make my observations at was Target in Restored, around noon on Monday, February 9, 2015. Was there for about an hour because I was running errands and making my observations for this project. Did not have a pen or paper on me, so took notes on my cell phone and took pictures so I would remember what the organization of the merchandising looked like.
It was not packed because it was easy for me to find parking. I took a couple minutes acknowledging the different aisles they had for the ids from action figures to fake babies that need to be fed and nurtured by its owner. There was 2 different aisles that separated the boys and girls toys. The boys section mainly had action figures, racing cars with the tracks, capes. The boys section also had a blue signs and no pink color whatsoever. The packaging was also the same colors the same colors and the action figures revolved around super heroes and monsters.
The girls section was most pink, yellow, and red colors and the packaging was the same colors. The girls section had Barbie’s, dolls, pretend babies with strollers, cooking and baking test such as easy bake, princess dolls and costumes, wands, makeup, and jewelry sets to make different sorts of jewelry. Along another aisle were puzzled and different sets of bikes which were organized as gender neutral. With all the bikes on one side, the pink and purple bikes had streamers hanging from the handle bars, and the other bikes such as the blue and black did not have streamers.
In the same section, there were electric cars. Some of them were pink and it was the brand Barbie. The other cars were brand named cars such as Hummer, BMW, or Range Rovers. It was not busy during his time so there was no one in the boys aisle of toys. There was one little girl about six years old and she was with her grandma. She was looking at the frozen toys and it was in the girls section. Frozen is a Disney movie that is very popular and it is pretty well known. They’re were costumes of the princesses and on her hand was one of them. Overheard her telling her grandma that she wanted an Else doll. Else is one of the princess characters from Frozen the movie. I also noticed that the frozen section was almost empty, probably because it is so popular and the little girls love it. There were an even number Of boys and girls toys however, the girls aisle was less stocked due to the popularity of the Disney toys. There was also a section for video games and the different game consoles which was filled with little boys who looked significantly interested.
I also figured that, the reason that the boys toys section was fully stocked because the boys were probably more interested in the games rather than toys. This project was an eye opener for me because I did not take into consideration how society shapes the gender roles at a young age. Target could have organized the toys by the kinds of toys there re such as action figures with dolls, and costumes with capes, etc. Instead they organized them by toys for the different gender roles such as for boys and for girls. I also noticed that most of the stores and not only target are organized like this.
There were cooking toys in the girl’s section, and I believe that cooking is gender neutral. There are chefs out that who are men. Traditionally, men are the breadwinners and women are the housewives. The stores of this society shows that the gender roles are traditional. There are a lot of toys that are “chores” for the house and they were in the girls section. Chores are for both boys and girls, so this shows how much the traditional gender roles are still taken place even if we don’t see it right away or capture our attention at all because it is seen as a norm.
The norms in this society are slowly growing out, however even after years, toys are still separated and you can even say segregated into different aisles. L also believe that the bikes were not separated into boys and girls because it was probably more convenient for them to put the bikes in one section and to storage them all easily against the wall. The puzzles were probably separated as well because they can be sys for kids and even adults and that is probably why it is along another wall next to the bikes.
A big message that bothered me is the cooking and cleaning toys are in the girls section because it should be gender neutral toys. I do not like the traditional roles that this society holds because men and women should be equal with the same expectations of chores and duties. If girls and boys are still being impacted by even toys being separated into what society things are correctly gender role distinction, then the society will never get rid of this type of lenses. The perception will never change and do not think it is air.
Women are also stepping higher on the economic ladder, therefore the chores and responsibilities should be equally distributed. It gave me a reflection to think back at my childhood. I was also interested in playing with cars and my cousin was always interested in playing with food and pretended she was a cook. Even though I played with cars, it does not make me a boy, but society would see me as a “tomboy. ” As of now, I see myself as a girl girl and I love makeup and love too cook. Kids should not be forced to play with toys that the society thinks is the right toys for boys and girls.