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The War on Pink

Justin Kawakami, Rhys Matsumoto,


Reece Takayama

Central Claims
There are
significantly less
women in the
science and
engineering fields
than there are men.

The only STEM toys


are chemistry sets
to create makeup or
building blocks.

Girls toys are


pushing them away
from engineering

It is not a matter of the


ability to succeed in a
STEM field, but the
desire to pursue it.

By the time kids


reach third grade,
theres a real divide
between boys and
girls when it comes to
STEM-related
ambitions.

Just 11% of
engineers are
women

Central Claims
Most experts agree
that the pink aisle
does have a negative
impact on girls
interest in the STEM
subjects.

Stores are not willing


to accept a genderneutral way of
categorizing products.

But I think that by sort of highlighting and simplifying


the differences between boys and girls, these things
may have the unintended effect of further reinforcing
the stereotypes that girls are inherently less capable
and need extra stimulation.

But at this point, toy stores have


been gender-coded for so long,
that retailers now claim that
changing the layout of the store
would confuse and deter
shoppers.

Gender-specific toys
will always be a
staple in the aisles of
stores.

Authors Organization
A combination of problem/solution and compare/contrast
Describes problem: the lack of girls in engineering and science fields
Offers a possible solution: the GoldieBlox toys and other girls toys that encourage
engineering
Contrasts the types of toys that boys play with versus the toys that girls play with
Compares the gender gap in math and science in the United States and foreign countries
Shows the flow of thought from the problem to a possible solution
Gender-specific toys Possibility of gender-neutral toys STEM-related toys
directed at girls
Connects the differences in toys to the resulting gender gap in the sciences

Elaboration
There's Bob the Builder, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Jimmy Neutrontheyre all boys with IQs off the chart. That's intimidating for all
kids, but particularly for girls who suffer from this thing called math
anxiety(pgh 7)
How are these characters intimidating to all kids?
I would like to see what data shes basing this assumption on

Why is it specifically intimidating for only girls with math anxiety?


I would like to see what data shes basing this assumption on

Counterargument
The general argument made by Eliana Dockterman in the article The War on Pink:
GoldieBlox Toys Ignite Debate Over Whats Good For Girls is that toys that are STEM-related
should be made to appeal directly to girls. To support this idea, she specifically writes,
Sterlings solution to this problem was to create a toy designed for the what girls think.
Basically, Dockterman supports the GoldieBlox product which is a STEM-related toy made
just for girls and their way of thinking. The essence of Docktermans arguments is that by
making these toys to appeal just to girls, more girls will be in science or math related
professions. In my view, Docktermans argument is invalid in my opinion because I think
toys should be more gender-neutral. For instance, kids will make their own choices of what
they like based on their own opinion. Some girls do choose to play with chemistry sets, and
some boys like to use baking sets. It is also important to acknowledge other perspective on
the topic such as cultural influence. This should matter to anyone concerned about the issue
of establishing or ridding of gender roles.

Connections
"All those cute little vacuum cleaners and mini baby bottles haven't discouraged girls from
going to college or excelling in academic fields other than science." Women are still excelling
academically in STEM and non STEM-related careers even with adversity and if they played
with girly toys when they were younger.
"Boys may have it even harder than girls- though girls labeled tomboys are allowed to play
with footballs and light sabers, boys are endlessly bullied if they want to try on a tiara..."
Personally I would prefer to play my instrument than to be outside playing football, even
though that's what is more socially acceptable for a boy.

Say, Mean, Matter


In parts of Asia for example, there are plenty of dolls in the stores,
but theres a much smaller math gender gap for a host of other
cultural reasons, like a better gender balance of teachers in
schools(pgh 5)
This means that in Asia, toys dont seem to be affecting the childrens
performance in school
This reminds me of society because in the article the public is hailing
the England stores getting rid of the pink and blue aisle when they
were not even sure that it would work

Say, Mean, Matter


We need to recognize that at the end of the day, its about locating
product at retail stores that makes it easiest for the shopper to find
what he or she is looking for(pgh 14)
This means that products are set up in stores to help shoppers find
their items quickly and efficiently
This is significant because it might encourage companies to
manufacture and market their toys in gender specific ways in order
for people to be able find what theyre looking for without much
difficulty