Argos, Christmas, and some classic gender stereotyping

Last week, my talented colleague Bee and I paid a visit to the Argos Christmas gift show.

Well, well, well. What can we say? We were NOT impressed.

Now I totally accept that there may be some inherent differences between boys and girls, with girls often being inclined to enjoy more traditionally ‘girly’ toys, and vice versa. I also know though that there are plenty of girls who like playing with robots, cars, dinosaurs, and other things that aren’t bright pink, so why on earth did Argos feel the need to shove such horrible gender stereotypes down our throats?

See here, we have toys for girls:

And here, the toys that boys are allowed to play with:

It got worse.

On one side of the room, you had a hairdresser, offering women the chance to get their hair curled with the latest appliances, and opposite, you had this, because we all know that only men can play musical instruments:

Women obviously are too busy getting their nails done and arranging their daughters’ toys into different shades of pink.

Come on Argos. We’re in the 21st century now. Pull yourself together.



  1. 27 July, 2012 / 7:33 pm

    Oh dear – my boys fav toys by far are a cooker and play food.

  2. honeybee35
    27 July, 2012 / 7:40 pm

    I’m not convinced Argos has ever been in the ’21st century’ to be frank… Did you have an opportunity to give consumer feedback at the event?
    Or, should we set up an online protest group against Argos and its obvious reluctance to move with the

  3. mary
    27 July, 2012 / 9:55 pm

    I love this post! We live in Turkey, and a couple of weeks back my son had a “life” class (where they learn stuff like wash you hands after using the toilet, look before you cross the road, and other stuff I wouldn’t have though to teach him, anyway…) in this class he had to separate and correctly identify “girl toys” and “boy toys.” On the walk home when he told me about it, it gave me one of those helpless this-country-is-insane-I-wish-my-kids-were-at-school-anywhere-but-here feelings. But now, hooray! sexism lives on in the UK, call off the re-patriation I can fight anonother day.

    • 12 August, 2012 / 8:06 am

      Oh Em Gee, as my children would say – sorting toys was an actual thing?? That’s horrendous!!

      • mary
        12 August, 2012 / 4:38 pm

        yes indeed, and it wasn’t just something the teacher dreamed up – it was an activity in the compulsory, government sponsored text books! Sometimes it is easy to understand why society has a very definate 1950’s edge to it over here.

  4. 27 July, 2012 / 9:57 pm

    I commented on twitter a while back on another children site about there boys toys and girls toys, so they went an removed the heading…the power of twitter

    • 12 August, 2012 / 8:05 am

      Elaine, that wasn’t VUPbaby was it?? I work with them, and I know someone on twitter complained and they took action!

  5. Clara
    28 July, 2012 / 11:51 pm

    no, it´s not just to “hope they read this…” twitter is the way!! make it visible in twitter and facebook! it is how it works now… courage!

  6. clairelouise82
    29 July, 2012 / 8:56 pm

    Hi I left a comment did u not publish it

    • 12 August, 2012 / 8:04 am

      Hi Claire – they should come up automatically, so that’s weird?!

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