Swedish toy company says gender roles are outdated

“Leklust, a Swedish-based toy company released its summer 2012 catalog this week with something quite different than most of its competitors’: reversed traditional gender roles. One of the pages depicts a boy (or girl?) dressed as Spiderman, pushing a pink stroller, while a separate page featured a young girl riding a pedaled race car.

“Gender roles are an outdated thing,” the company’s CEO said.

See more here, from The Advocate.


10 thoughts on “Swedish toy company says gender roles are outdated

  1. I believe Leklust is a modest-sized toy retail chain, not a toy manufacturer, which means that all it can do in this area is make the best of the gendered toy lines manufacturers churn out – such as by defying expectations in this way. The ultra-pinked-out toys on the catalog page are a brand made by another Swedish company, BRIO.

  2. Interesting to read the comments from the US news sources against those left on The Local – Swedish news in English -http://www.thelocal.se/39988/20120330/ Sadly, the comments on the Swedish page are more overtly sexist than much of what I encounter on a regular basis in this country, though admittedly being a graduate student in philosophy likely has something to do with this.

  3. I love Spiderman with pram! Erika, what sort of news source is the Swedish one? The US one is GLBTQ, so sadly not representative of the country.

  4. Where was this when I was 5? As a young girl I was TOTALLY obsessed with Spiderman. The Spiedy role-play plus dolls image is a pretty accurate representation of me as a very young kid…

  5. Jender, the source is I believe, a basic Swedish news page. This is what they say about their audience, “In brief, The Local is for anyone who is interested in finding out what’s going on in Sweden and who reads English. Our readers in Sweden consist of foreigners from over a hundred nations, as well as Swedes looking for a different perspective on events.”

    “Abroad, The Local has become required reading for people planning a move to Sweden, planning to visit or doing business with Sweden. It is also used as a resource by foreign journalists and researchers writing stories about Sweden, or looking for Sweden’s perspective on the issues of the day.” I hope still, that it is also not representative.

  6. Slate covers what it seems to regard as a disturbing trend in Sweden, including this and other attempts to move toward gender-neutrality, particularly the (actually very old) gender neutral pronoun ‘hen’ (which I believe has been discussed on this blog recently).
    It’s a pretty bizarre article, even for Slate. (Apparently one really radical idea is to eliminate the law requiring that boys’ names be chosen from an official list and girls’ from a different list. Don’t the Swedes realize what chaos that’s caused in countries that have tried such a radical social experiment???)

  7. Now there are kids named “Facebook” and “ESPN”. I think I’d be willing to suffer official lists, even unreconstructed ones …

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