In a word - Hurrah!
This news genuinely makes me so pleased.
Having children (one girl and one boy) and seeing first-hand how quickly they tie themselves to their gender is scary. When my daughter was 3 and walking around Toys ‘R’ us, she said “those are boys toys”. It blindsided me, where had she picked this up, because it certainly wasn’t me.
And my little boy. Absolutely obsessed with tractors and diggers. He’s only 2 and a half, but so (overwhelmingly sometimes) affectionate. So where did this come from? Will boys really be boys?
Since that time in Toys ‘R’ Us I’ve worked hard with both my children, to break down those gender stereotypes and show them that the only thing that limits their achievements is them.
Instead of just doing the cooking and cleaning I now actively make sure they see me cooking and cleaning.
My daughter and I have been reading and researching “Fantastically great women who changed the world” in order to show her that she isn’t limited in any way and that women achieve great things. – One word or warning, the Anne Frank page was a challenge, I’ll be honest. Trying to explain the holocaust to a 7 year old isn’t the easiest of conversations to have just before bedtime, but one that is very important none-the-less.
Although I think that removing negative gender stereotypes from advertising is a fantastic moment, I can’t help but feel that there is so much conscious and unconscious bias within the population that something like this giant leap will take generations to filter through.
I’ve written a number of pieces around this subject with links to various other articles I’ve found interesting, so here are a few other links for you to make things a bit easier if you’d like to read a bit more about a subject I’m really passionate about:
"Our evidence shows how harmful gender stereotypes in ads can contribute to inequality in society, with costs for all of us. Put simply, we found that some portrayals in ads can, over time, play a part in limiting people's potential," said ASA chief executive Guy Parker.