Used to be a ‘new’ Jersey Girl   : now A Colorado Girl

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

One giant step back for womankind

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

I saw something last night during the commercial break in Dancing with the Stars that really, truly bothered me. The Rose Petal Cottage. A little girl taking a muffin tin out of a play oven danced across the screen in front of my eyes. Next she was putting the baby down in the crib. After that she started a load of play laundry. Uhm, did I go through a time warp? Isn’t this what little girls did 40 years ago? And I guess they still do today, but this seemed more like brainwashing than play somehow.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Are toy makers trying to subliminally send women a message? That along with the newest reports out that say breast feeding your baby for the first year + makes for better adjusted, healthier babies. Gee, why not make us all stay home and clean the house, bake, do laundry, and nurse our children. Am I being overly sensitive? I am not a feminist by any means, but this is a new century for opportunities for women, isn’t it? No, please don’t take offense if you choose to stay home as your job (because it is a job and a very worthy one at that), but why teach little girls to limit their vision?

I love the press release wording:
“We are truly excited about the introduction of the ROSE PETAL Cottage Collection,” said Kevin Fortey, vice president of marketing for PLAYSKOOL.  “The collection distinctly enables preschool


to actively nurture their imaginations through traditional role-play, in a modern setting that they can make their own.”

Uhm, okay. I think he’s grooming his future daughter-in-law, or maybe a second wife since the first one didn’t work out. [She hated housework.]

How about this:
—“empowers preschool

girls to use their imagination inside and around their very own play space, featuring everything they need to role-play alone or with friends.  From baking muffins to washing clothes to caring for their dolls, girls

now have a place where they can set their imaginations free.”
[Note: underscoring is mine]

No mention anywhere of letting Little Brother Johnny play with the Rose Petal Cottage too. Nope. Not allowed. It only mentions


and not children in general. Little boys are not allowed to set their imaginations free in the kitchen, nursery or laundry areas of the world. So much for future chefs, nurses ... well, you get the idea.

I can’t speak for you, but my imagination isn’t “set free” when I do those chores. Well, maybe my imagination takes flight thinking about what fun things I could be doing instead! Does it “empower” me? Uh, no.  Something about this just struck me as not quite right. What do you think, am I over the top?


I think your right that we should consider what message we are sending when we buy these things but to be honest when my girls were smaller (3 or 4) I saw a play kitchen I thought the kids would love and so I bought it (I remember wanting an easy bake oven when I was a kid but on my parents budget it wasn’t going to happen.)
If my kids spent 15 minutes over the next 5 years playing with it I’d be surprised! We use to have a couple of boys come over and they loved the darn thing.
Then again my girls wanted nothing to do with dolls either.
Just goes to show, they will make up their own minds…..

Cat: It was more the message that society (or the maker of this toy) was sending than the parents buying it that bothered me. Of course, they will make up their own minds but why market this in such a way to girls only about how much their imaginations would be set free doing laundry and etc.? That’s what bothered me. Nothing wrong with “playing house” but this was a very strange commercial and even stranger description on their web site.

Thanks for your comment as being the only one brave enough to!

Well ... ok… the general consensus seems to be that I am making much ado about nothing ... I won’t mention the little boy alternative that Playschool has to this ad ... oh no ... I guess I am done with what my one friend called “social commentary”

‘nuff said I guess ... sigh ... go on about your housework ... let your imaginations run rampant while doing the laundry ...

hah! my word for sign in is STRENGTH

Hey! I’m brave too! I’m just…a day behind! lol

I don’t think that you are over the top in your thinking at all.  If this were gender neutral (I can’t tell you how much the whole pink and blue thing bugs me too) it would be a great toy.  Children pattern their parents. Boys grow up to clean the house, do the laundry and become nurturers too.

Anyone that has ever observed in a preschool will see that the boys are just as active in the home centers as the girls are.  It’s a shame that toy companies and on a larger scale, society in general, is trying to limit what a girl can and should aspire to. 

Hopefully the parents that purchase this house will also be buying such toys as play power tools and doctors.

Now I’m curious as to what the boys alternative is???  I’m fine with your social commentary. Don’t stifle yourself!

oh this makes me want to spit too!

I AM a feminist - though do generally want to qualify that by checking what the word means to other people - its such a value-laden word.

Hamleys - famous toy store in London - last time i was there still had a whole “girly” floor which is full of pinkness.
And there will be lots of commercials like this around with the build up to Christmas


After reviewing my words and your comments here and privately, I guess I have to admit: I am a FEMINIST! Go Lynne!

Hello I recently came across your blog entry as I was trying top find a reasonably priced complete rose petal collection.  I don’t care at all if there is a time warp and believe that is a good thing.  I chose to have kids, a marriage and NOT a career.  I truly believe that a wife and a mother I(we)should be at home.  Parents need to raise their children not day care.  A wife should be modeled after June Cleaver.  That does not mean that they can’t evolve but that their primary focus should be faith, family, friends.  Any day hands down I will but this over “Brats”.  Train up a child in the way they should go and when they are older they will not depart from it!

I was in the Army, and am a nurse…but, have stayed at home with my 3rd child, for the past 5 years…  My husband said he didn’t want to have kids, just to have someone else raise them…the reality is this:  if you have kids..someone has got to raise them, why are we expecting other people to raise our kids..they are ours…it’s the most important job in the world…do you feminist think other people should raise and love your kids?  Or do you just not want to have kids?  Please explain.

From this point on, comments on this subject by people who find this blog by doing random searches on the Rose Petal Cottage will not be allowed. There are lots of other forums where you can discuss this topic, but not on my blog! I don’t need to explain myself to anyone; it’s my blog! smile

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