Gender Neutral Gift Ideas from Chalk Circle's Equality Elves
1. Waffle Maker
2. Tote Bag
3. Jigsaw Puzzle
4. Spotify Gift Cards
6. Snack-Box Subscription
7. Building Blocks
9. Grip Ball
The shopping centre at Christmas time. Tis’ the season for a clear gendered divide between what gifts are ‘for her’ and ‘for him’.
From babies to toddlers to teens it is hard to buy gifts outside of the blue and pink gender divide. On one side you’ve got trucks, soccer balls and tents. On the other side you’ve got dolls, make-up and accessories.
Clever marketing strategies, which play on the anxiety of parents who just want their kids to fit in, perpetuate the gender roles dictated by society. These roles affect us throughout our lives.
It’s important to reflect on how these rigid gender roles, reinforced by actions such as gift giving, may have negative consequences. Certain items may look innocuous, but can teach children to accept exaggerated notions of femininity and masculinity.
When a young girl is given only make-up and dolls as they grow up, it could reinforce an expectation upon them to be nurturing and pretty. When a young boy is given only sports related gifts as they grow up, it could reinforce an expectation that they are physically powerful.
The rigid gender expectations placed on all of us have serious consequences, leading to gender inequality.
The next time you’re buying a present for someone, think about their individual interests instead of their gender. When you're buying gifts for young people in particular, who can be very impressionable, consider gifts that will expand their worldview, not narrow it.