Building Gender Stereotypes
There’s a particular kind of story one reads occasionally, making fun of the worst excesses of political correctness.? But this entry is about the other extreme-a toy manufacturer so far in the dark ages that even Don Draper might snicker.? I’m told that the latest craze among the toddler set is Lego Minifigures-little people to inhabit the recently-built creations of your own little person.? I’ve been looking forward to the day I can build Lego houses with?my daughter.? But we won’t be playing with these Minifigures.? You see, there are sixteen characters in the set, but only two are female.? That’s the sort of gender ratio you see at a typical economics conference, but even we economists know that we need to do better.? But the lesson that Lego leaves for impressionable minds is even worse.? The two female characters are a?cheerleader and a?nurse. Even on Mad Men,?Peggy Olson rose to copywriter.
While I’m not one to believe that I need to bring up my daughter in a complete cocoon of political correctness, this is ridiculous.? Even?Barbie stopped saying “Math class is tough” eighteen years ago.? But political correctness isn’t entirely lost on the folks at Lego: they include a cowboy, paired with… a “tribal hunter,” which at least puts them?ahead of a certain?Cleveland baseball team.
(Hat tip:?Jessica Reyes, whose daughter Sarah resolved the issue by swapping out the girl heads for boy heads.)