Tag Archives: toys

…while the scourge of excessive political correctness must be opposed, common sense cuts both ways.

Even a cursory visit to a toy shop shows that toys are not simply organised in a reasonable fashion to appeal to boys and girls. They are so aggressively differentiated that it amounts to a form of gender fascism.

The entire girls’ area will be almost exclusively pink, and almost exclusively concerned with a) looking like a princess-whore and b) looking after a baby and a home. The boys’ section, meanwhile, will include the action toys, the science toys, and all of the miscellaneous toys.

Does “common sense” really dictate that this is right?

This is a relatively new development, driven by the greed of modern toy manufacturers and their desire to increase profits by creating micro-demographics amongst the young. It is part of the relentless commercialisation and sexualisation of childhood, particularly girlhood, which lies at the root of many of society’s concerns.

I spotted this incredibly inappropriately-named children's product last night in the chain store Butler's in Islington, London. It's difficult to know where to begin with just how wrong this is. It's got to go down as maybe one of the worst clusterfucks in marketing/product naming history. It seems there are other animals in the Hot'N'Tots range - a bear, for example, on the Butler's Germany online store, which also has a glamour shot on Butler's Hungary's Flickr account. But it doesn't make the play on words OK. Here's their contact form, should you want to get in touch...

The name Khoekhoe most accurately translates to 'People People'. They were traditionally—and are still occasionally in colloquial language—known to white colonists as the Hottentots, a name that is currently generally considered offensive (e.g. by the Oxford Dictionary of South African English). The word "hottentot" meant "stutterer" or "stammerer" in the colonists' northern dialect of Dutch, although some Dutch use the verb stotteren to describe the clicking sounds (klik being the normal onomatopoeia, parallel to English) typically used in the Khoisan languages. (Source)