Berlin, 2009

Berlin, 2009
We want more voices, thoughts and languages!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Toy propaganda

This pair of images is a wonderful illustration of how gender differences are built by advertising. They show the prominent words in adverts for boys' and girls' toys respectively:

At first I thought there was nothing you could add to the pictures themselves. But now I get thinking about it:

  • These ads aren't aimed just at children. They're aimed at the adults who buy toys for children: parents, relatives, friends. Apparently our collective child-rearing consciousness is still at the level of guns for boys and dolls for girls

  • What happens to children is just an extreme and unusually clear case of what capitalism does to everybody. It divides them into groups, chooses a set of products each group should like, and promotes them until everybody believes that, as part of their group, they really really want their assigned products. Mohawks for punks and suits for the businesspeople -- it's just guns and dolls in a subtler form

[the original version, here, is currently unavailable]

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