The store uses color, pictures, and description to market the girls and boys toys. In the boys section, the blue color attached to the plastic labels is conspicuous. Conversely, the girls’ toy section has pinkish tags. The toys contain description such as “for boys”, “girls’ building set” and “hardworking man”. The pictures on the toys depict boys and girls executing different roles. Notably, the pictures in the girls’ toys portray girls as caregivers. On the other hand, the photos on the boys’ toys show the boys as rough executing action-oriented activities.
Macy’s does not have many toys that do not indicate on the packaging the sex of the child deemed appropriate. In fact, the store has only one aisle that contains gender-neutral toys. The notable toys in the neutral aisle swim goggles, mask sets, toy telephones, and puzzles. The packaging of the toys mentioned above does not reflect a specific gender. The puzzles impressed me very much, and I picked it to represent the gender-neutral toys.
It was not easy to locate the gender-neutral toy in the store. In fact, it was not until I figured out the arrangement of the aisles that I located the neutral toy in one of the shelves. It is worth noting that the layout makes it difficult for one to establish the location of the neutral toys.
The experience at Macy’s showed that toys reinforce gender stereotypes. In this respect, efforts should target ending the socially constructed ideas that impose binary gender roles on children.