When girls build the world.

  What are little girls made of?

Sugar and spice And everything nice,

That's what little girls are made of.

I have been thinking about writing on the topic of little girls for a long time. What kind of world our daughters are growing up in and how we as modern women and feminists are shaping that world.

The US Elections were fascinating for me to watch. Time and time again we heard about and saw the attack on women by various members of the GOP and their ridiculously ignorant statements made about girls and women with regards to contraception, rape, even about actually being allowed to vote!  As a woman I was outraged and shocked by some of the hatred and bigotry being spewed by this political party. As a Canadian, I was ever so thankful for the country that I live in. As far from perfect as it may be, my rights as a woman over my body and my mind have never been an issue here!

Last week, this internal 'war on women' by the GOP was lost. BIG time. More women (1 in 5 actually) have seats in the US Senate than ever before and Tammy Baldwin became the first openly gay senator in the history of the USA. Whether or not the analysts think it is true, I personally believe that American women and the men {and women} who love them sent a very clear message that this "war" will no longer be tolerated. Women want a voice in government and one that truly represents THEM, not necessarily one who thinks HE does, but really has no clue whatsoever and prefers to keep his women in a binder!

The whole idea of women gaining some ground in the Game of Life has me stoked. If you don't know yet about how the characters line up in this game, then I highly recommend that you head over to John Scalzi's post about this. Scalzi points out, in language that he hopes most dudes might understand:

"In the role playing game known as The Real World, “Straight White Male” is the lowest difficulty setting there is.

This means that the default behaviors for almost all the non-player characters in the game are easier on you than they would be otherwise. The default barriers for completions of quests are lower. Your leveling-up thresholds come more quickly. You automatically gain entry to some parts of the map that others have to work for. The game is easier to play, automatically, and when you need help, by default it’s easier to get."

It's kind of a interesting point of view and one that has come up more than once in the past few weeks, here and here and most recently (for me at least) again this week.

On Tuesday night on my Facebook page I posted a link to a video that I found on Upworthy that described an amazing new toy designed for girls. Have a listen to Debbie, the CEO and creator of Goldie Blox explain why she developed it.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-AtZfNU3zw[/youtube]

The response to her video was incredible and Debbie reached her Kickstarter goal in just 5 days! Goldie Blox is now heading to production with delivery dates scheduled for the Spring of 2013.

The next day, when I saw some of the comments left after I posted the video with the status that,"THIS toy should be on everyone's little girl's list for Christmas next year", I was confused.

One person wrote,

"Or how about every *Childs* Christmas list? My son would adore this. Wanting this toy for girls is really no different than saying certain toys are only for boys. It's definitely a great toy, would just warm my heart if it didn't have to be so gender biased. Equality, that's the goal right?"

There were more comments with variations on the same theme.Why a toy geared only to girls? Why not in more gender neutral colors? Why is Goldie a blond, blue-eyed girl? I want this kind of toy for my son too.

I thought to myself, crap, maybe I should have typed CHILD instead of GIRL in that status. Yes, it is about equality for all. Did I miss the boat on this one?

But then I stopped and thought about it some more.

And NO.

Debbie has it right.

Did you hear what she said?

"89% of the Engineers in our world are MEN. We LITERALLY live in a world built by men."

Men who were once boys, who played with Lincoln logs, Legos, Kinex and all kinds of gender neutral or primarily boy-centric building sets and toys. If this is what you want for your son, something that he is going to build things with to his little heart's content, then there is no shortage of toys and sets and games out there for him.

Girls need more toys like this. Toys that both appeal to them visually and challenge their brains as well as the status quo of what you have to be when you grow up.  Heck, I'll even make a case for the pink Lego. My little girl was not really into Lego until her Auntie bought her a bucket of the pink stuff for Christmas last year. Now we can all sit for hours and make all kinds of things with our Lego. It is all mixed together at this point, but she needed that pink push to get interested and excited about playing with it and tapping into that creative builder part of her brain. And she still calls all the pink pieces, HER Legos.

The thing I think we all need to remember is this. We do not live in a world where "all things being equal" exists {yet}. Women and girls may be 50% of the population, but in pretty much everything else we are or have it is far from being equal. Fighting for equality for all means coming to terms with the fact that that very equality does not exist. Men and boys get the default "lowest difficulty setting" in our world and girls just don't. Women and girls have to work twice as hard to have our voices heard, our rights protected, and to even the playing field in all things economic, political and social.

So no, this toy does not need to be made in gender neutral colours so that it appeals to boys too. Those toys already exist, all you have to do is visit the Lego section at any Toys R Us to see that. Goldie Blox is a fabulous addition to the toy world that will get girls interested in building and maybe even a career in engineering. And just like Debbie, I too dream of the day when all of our children get to live in a world built by both women and men!

Happy Building Girls!

Natasha~

**This is by no means a sponsored post. All opinions here are my own and I was not compensated by the company in any way. If you are interested in purchasing a Goldie Blox for your daughter or grandaughter or niece, then head over to their website HERE to get in on the action!!**