Lego and the equality war

I saw this pic today. A letter from Lego in the 1970’s saying that Lego is a toy for girls and boys

Back then, Lego was very aware of feminism, and their ad from 1981 is often held up as an example of how progressive the company was.

Lego of the 2010’s seems to have forgotten its roots. Lego club magazine has a “boys” and a “girls” edition. They have “girls” as a filter category on their shop. Pretty much all of it is the pink “Friends” range. It reinforces the idea that there are “girls” Lego sets and “boys” Lego sets. Lego’s response was that if a girl asks, she can have the boys version. That is not the point!

I have no doubt this was a marketing led thing. Most people see Lego as a boys toy. But Lego fans aren’t most people. They don’t accept the status quo. If they have a toy that’s a car, and they really want a plane, they’ll make that car into a plane. Lego encourages this behaviour! They’re not encouraging girls that they even might like to have a car or a plane, or for that matter, they’re not encouraging boys that boys are allowed to like pink.

Lego did pander to the complaints by releasing a scientist set. It’s a good start. Now how about remembering that women can be pilots, sailors, politicians, and even activists who are willing to take on an entire industry. And boys. Boys can do the same. Or be nurses, home-makers, ballet dancers and the other careers that are seen as “girls” jobs.

Because, Lego, a lot of boys do like dolls houses. They’re more human than spaceships. A lot of girls prefer spaceships. They’re more exciting than dolls houses.

Those are your words. Unless something has changed since the 1970’s, stick with them.

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