This GoldieBlox Video Proves That Girls Want More Than Just Pink Toys
To celebrate their successful Kickstarter campaign and launch in Toys ‘R’ Us, GoldieBlox has produced a video of some kick-ass little girls taking over the pink toy aisle with their engineering skills and dreams.
As the mother of a little girl who is a total princess but is also so much more, I love everything about this. Yes, my daughter is completely into stories, the color pink, frilly and soft things, and crafting...and building, designing and problem-solving. She is the target customer. There's a part of me, however, the part of me who was never a princess and preferred climbing trees and building things, that still wonders why an engineering toy has to be "for girls," anyway.
We tend to "lose" our STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) girls around middle school. There are all sorts of social and intellectual theories as to why girls drift away from these subjects at this age. Debbie Sterling, the inventor of GoldieBlox, wants to grab and keep these girls involved in engineering.
See the video below:
I appreciate the idea that, as Sterling says, "girls aren't just interested in 'what' they're building...they want to know 'why.'" And I really dig that Debbie Sterling is trying to move beyond the simplistic thinking of just "make it pink." I also get that toy retailers and marketers find it easier to sell toys that fit within established categories.
Still, there is a part of me that is a little uneasy with the compromise. Girls can play with all the traditional construction toys, too. And I am sure some boys like story lines to go with their engineering projects, as well. We're walking a fine line between acknowledging the cultural bias so we can kick it to the curb and validating it. As one dad said, "...here's my problem with constantly telling little girls they're as good as boys: Until my daughter heard that message, she didn't have any reason not to believe it."
Reservations aside, I think it is awesome that we have a female junior engineering protagonist, created by a real-life female engineer turned entrepreneur.
I still dream of a day when we won't qualify job titles like "doctor," "engineer" or "judge" with "female," as if the professional's gender makes her some sort of rare specimen. Mostly, though, I am just pumping my fist along with these "more than a princess" champions of the world.