Lego for Girls in a Boy’s World

When I was a kid, I loved Lego. Wait. What am I saying? I still do. Anyway, I loved it so much that when my aunt asked me what I wanted for my birthday one year, I told her I wanted Lego. Specifically, what I desperately wanted was the Lego Space Set, but I didn’t tell her that. When my birthday arrived and I opened my present, I was somewhat disheartened to discover that she had gotten me a Lego House Set. The reason, she said, was because all the other sets were too “boyish”. I was crushed, but I hid my disappointment and thanked her for the gift. How could she have known that I wanted the boys’ toys?

You see, I was not your typical girl. I played sword fighting with the boys, I read super hero comic books, and I felt extremely frustrated when the boys refused to let me play Dungeons and Dragons or to follow them on a bike as they rode around the neighbourhood. In their eyes, I was just a girl and they didn’t want to have to look after me, but I dare say I was as tough as any of them and could have held my own if need be.

I digress… It didn’t matter to me whether the Lego characters were male or female because the way I played it, two bricks stuck together made a character. I never needed the validation of female Lego minifigures to tell me whether Lego was a toy I could or could not play with. Nevertheless, Lego felt they weren’t reaching the girls so they came up with that really girlie Lego series – Lego Friends.

This series, I thought, was a step backwards and I am inclined to agree with 7 year old Charlotte – Lego for girls is boring! “All the girls did was sit at home, go to bed, and shop” – how fun is that? At least Lego in the 80’s wasn’t gender specific – even if my aunt thought Lego Space was more suitable for boys – there was nothing to indicate that the set was intended for boys. But since they’d stuck a foot in the mouth with Lego Friends, I’m glad to see that they are finally making up for it with their first female scientist minifigure:

And there are more coming, too – check it out:

Hopefully, we can now go back to gender neutral boxes that don’t alienate either sex – not that anything would stop me from playing with this:

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of Figur8.net (a website on parenting, education, child development) and RightBrainChild.com (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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