Why I am for Gender Neutral Toys

If you haven’t already heard, Target has gone gender neutral in its toys, home, and entertainment sections. After a few days of reading comments by professionals, politicians, and trolls, I’ve decided to weigh in on the matter.

Because this directly affects me and my family in a major way.

Here are some of the arguments I read this past week against gender neutral toys:
  1. The typical “men are the breadwinners, and women belong in the kitchen” move. While this can be offensive because it implies that only men can or should work outside of the home, I actually don’t mind this one because I do belong in the kitchen–it’s where the bacon is.
  2. Gender neutral toys are contributing to the defeminization of girls and the emasculation of boys, thus creating some genderless society in which no one knows whose job it is to mow the lawn.
  3. If girls started playing with boys’ toys, they won’t embrace their God-given mandate to reproduce, thus attacking the nuclear family model. This one is especially interesting to me because this implies that the sole purpose of marriage is to procreate. And because proponents of this argument truly think it is appropriate to reduce a human being down to their reproductive system, without ever recognizing that some people just don’t want kids or they are unable to reproduce–what, then?

    Clearly, I’ve got a dog in this fight. And here’s why:

    Girls Nerf Guns cost more than boys Nerf Guns, and I have to pay more per dart in the refill packs than my male counterpart does.

    For Christmas two years ago, my parents gave Bill and me fairly standard Nerf Guns. Of course, Bill got the “boy” one, and I got the “girl” one–you know, the white, pink, and purple one called Rebelle. My parents paid more for the Rebelle ($19.99) than Bill’s Nerf-N-Strike Elite Strongarm Blaster ($12.99). I’m sure some of you are aware that the Rebelle comes with more accessories, which could explain the hike in price, but who truly wants weird sunglasses and a hip clip that doesn’t really work? Why is it that the girls’ toys come with more accessories and include item descriptions like the following? :

Who says you can’t look stylish while you suit up for Rebelle action? This Sweet Revenge is a complete and chic kit that has everything you need for high-style missions. It includes a sleek, fashionable blaster with a 5-dart rotating barrel and a holster that attaches to belts, bags or packs! When your mission is about to start, put on the included Vision Gear so everyone knows you mean business. You’ll be the sassiest warrior on duty with the Sweet Revenge kit!

Kit includes blaster, holster, Vision Gear and 5 darts.

A) I don’t need to be high-style to complete missions, and I’m not bringing my bag along when I’m in a Nerf fight.
B) I don’t need to wear Vision Gear so that people know I mean business–they just know.
C) Do I really need to be the sassiest warrior?

And let’s not forget the most important problem here: that toy gun only comes with five darts. Bill’s Strongarm Blaster comes with six. And it’s cheaper.

This is an outrage. Nerf wars are how my husband and I settle disputes in our household, and I can’t afford to have less darts! Sure, I’m a smaller target, but Bill’s a way better shot than I am. I actually suspect the girl guns have less accuracy, but let’s not get into conspiracy theories.

So in honor of equality and all, Bill and I got some refill packs to make it even, but I couldn’t even find equality in that! The Rebelle Dart refill pack includes 12 darts at $6.99 a pop. The Nerf-N-Strike Elite refill pack? Twelve darts for $5.99. And forget about it if you’re wanting a larger Rebelle refill pack–I couldn’t find one that had more than 12 darts, but you can get 75 refill darts for $19.99 if they’re the Nerf-N-Strike model. But let’s be real–the Nerf-N-Strike model IS the Rebelle model, except it’s blue. I know this because I’ve used Bill’s darts before, and it turned out just fine.

“So why don’t you just get the Nerf-N-Strike model and be done with it, Melissa?” some may ask. Well, because I would be contributing to the emasculation of males everywhere, and I don’t want to do that since I’m already causing my brothers in Christ to stumble when I wear yoga pants.

I envision a world someday where men and women pay equally for equal Nerf guns regardless of their color, girls can purchase just as much refill ammo as the boys, and we can actually settle disputes with Nerf wars instead of real wars.

And don’t even get me started on LEGOs.

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