The Controversy of Toys

(G - girl, and B - Boy, are walking through the toy section at a popular store in their town)

G: Why do they separate the boy toys from the girl toys? It's annoying not to have the Barbies and the Legos in the same section so I wouldn't have to walk as much.

B: It's because Legos are boy toys and Barbies are girl toys. There are still Legos in your section.

G: Yeah, the girly ones that are all about playing house and running a flower stand. I need to add to my Star Wars collection. I'm so close to being able to recreate the empire.

B: What's wrong with the house ones? My village is coming along nicely. Actually, I think I need to buy another set. Maybe a pet store this time. Ooh, or maybe a bakery!

G: See, wouldn't it be easier for you to just get the house Legos from the same section as the superheroes? That way you wouldn't have to carry everything to the other aisle to get your Gotham set.

B: Well, yeah I suppose but these are girly Legos. Boys can play with them too but their more for girls than boys and superheroes are more for boys than girls.

G: That doesn't seem fair to me. I play with boy toys all the time. Don't you like playing with stuffed animals and dolls too?

B: Of course, but it's not a big deal to me that it's not in the same section. I'm not lazy.

G: Neither am I, but I hate having to go to the boys section to get the cool toys I actually want to play with.

B: So? I get made fun off for shopping in the girl section.

G: Yeah, but don't you use me as an excuse?

B: Yeah, sometimes... Still, it shouldn't matter. Boy and girl toys are the same.

G: No they're not! Girls get dolls, stuffed animals, and house stuff. Boys get dart guns, superhero stuff, plastic swords, fake tool kits, spy equipment for playing pretend. We don't get any of the fun stuff that actually does anything.

B: But that doesn't stop you from playing with them. It only makes it more of a walk to get to it.

G: But wouldn't it be easier if all the toys were in the same section and not separated by boys and girls?

B: I suppose that's true... But like I said, it doesn't stop you from playing with it. It's almost like saying boys and girls clothing should be mixed together because, apart from dresses and skirts, we all wear the same type of clothing anyway. But that would be weird. Besides, if they moved everything so it was all mixed together, wouldn't it be hard to find what you want?

G: I didn't think about that... it would be a lot harder to find Barbies if they were mixed with the action figures.

B: Don't think about is a boy/girl issue. Think of it as a way of organizing everything so it's in the same section as similar toys.

G: Baby dolls with baby stuff, house stuff with fake food and dishes, Legos and action figures with fake swords and guns that go with the theme... I suppose you're right. I just wish they would get rid of the label. If you think about it, at an organizational standpoint it makes sense because more girls are likely to play with dolls rather than action figures, but boys like to play with dolls too sometimes.

B: Yeah, but most don't want to admit it. But we play differently than girls. We use them for different reasons, which is why our action figures are different from your dolls. Girls are naturally more nurturing and boys like to play rough.

G: That's not always the case. I like throwing some of my old Barbies off the roof to see if they break.

B: I said most. Things should stay organized how they are because otherwise, I wouldn't be able to find all the toys I like to play with. If there was any change, I'd say maybe the Legos should all be in one spot to make them easier to find but most toys are arranged to go along with other toys of the same theme. There are plastic light sabers next to the Star Wars action figures and stuffed Pokémon toys next to the figurines. Everything plays off each other. If it went right from baby dolls to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, then that wouldn't really make sense.

G: Unless they made Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles baby dolls...

B: Okay, say you could rearrange the toys in any way so they weren't separated by boy and girl. How would you do it?

G: Well, the first aisle could be all stuffed animals, dolls, and action figures. It would start off with stuffed bears, dogs, and Pokémon stuffies. Then it would go into Barbies, baby dolls, action figures and collectible toys. On the shelf across from it, they could have all of the accessories to go with the toys. There could be Barbie clothes, baby doll clothes, playsets for dolls and action figures, and accessories for action figures, like the Batmobile and the Millennium Falcon.

B: Then in the next aisle, we can put all the building toys there. We can have Legos, Lego Friends, Megablocks, K'NEX, Lincoln logs, and Magnetic sets. Then on the shelf across from it, we can put all the building toys. Tool sets, workbenches, safety gear, and storage boxes.

G: Great idea! Then next we can have toy blasters! Nerf guns, laser guns, dart bows and dart guns, and all of the ammo we could ask for! What would go on the shelf across from it?

B: Hmm... Maybe we could put the fake swords and dress-up stuff? We could put fake weapons, knight costumes, superhero costumes, princes costumes, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and Stormtrooper masks and lightsabers there?

G: Good idea! Then we can put the outside stuff in the next shelf! We can have bikes, scooters, jump ropes, chalk, skateboards, hoverboards, blow-up pools and slides, and play sets!

B: We can put the rest of the art stuff, like coloring books, pencils, crayons, play-dough, and other stuff on the back shelf with the board games.

G: Good idea! ... You know, those aren't arranged by boys and girls themed ones.

B: No, they aren't. But they arrange them by age. There are the small blocks, counting games, and drawing games on one side and the games mom won't let me get on the other side. I wanted the Cards Against Humanity one but mom wouldn't let me get it.

G: Hm, I wonder why.

B: She said it was too expensive.

G: Oh... makes sense.

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