A couple months ago in my Women and Psychology column, I talked about the debate ongoing over the Lego Friends line marketed to girls and if toys needed to be divided so sharply between girls and boys. Currently, SPARK Summit and representatives from the Women's Media Center are going to be meeting tomorrow with Lego after their petition against the girl-themed "Lego Friends" line reached over 50, 000 signatures. More from them below!
LEGO BOARD TO MEET WITH GIRLS CAMPAIGNING AGAINST ‘SEXIST’ TOY LINE IN NYC
· After more than 50,000 people signed their petition against LEGO’s new line of ‘girl’ blocks, two young women will meet tomorrow with company representatives in New York City to discuss improvements to the toy.
NEW YORK, NY – Two young women behind a petition on Change.org asking LEGO to rethink their sexist marketing campaigns, stop perpetuating dangerous stereotypes about girls and boys, and achieve a more equitable gender balance in their toys will meet with company representatives Friday in New York City. Bailey Shoemaker Richards and Stephanie Cole, both in their early 20s and members of the girl-fueled organization SPARK Movement, launched the campaign on Change.org after LEGO released a new ‘Friends’ line targeting girls. The two young women criticized the toys for being stereotypical representations of women and lacking any need for assembly, as contrasted to LEGO sets marketed to boys. Their petition garnered more than 55,000 signatures. “It’s so exciting that so many people joined our petition, and I’m honored to represent their concerns at the meeting with LEGO,” said Stephanie Cole, who co-launched the campaign on Change.org. Adult leaders of SPARK Movement will accompany Cole and Shoemaker Richards to the meeting. “LEGO has the potential to be a toy that overcomes limiting gender stereotypes, and while we were disappointed to see them succumb to outdated ideas of gender in the Friends line, we hope to see them make positive strides forward,” Bailey Shoemaker Richards added. “Over 55,000 people have added their voices to the conversation, and we want to make sure LEGO hears those parents and kids.” Following the launch of their petition on Change.org, Bailey and Stephanie led a social media campaign to gather suggestions from girls about what they really want from LEGO, which they plan to share at the meeting. Suggestions include marketing all LEGO sets to both boys and girls, using more girls in advertising materials, and adding more female characters to sets outside the girl-centric Friends line. “What Bailey and Stephanie have accomplished is remarkable,” said Change.org Senior Campaigner Shelby Knox. “Two young women went from being upset about a toy that they feel hurts girls to mobilizing over 55,000 people to their cause to meeting with executives from one of the largest toy companies in the world. Change.org empowers anyone, anywhere to take action on issues they care about and Stephanie and Bailey’s success is an example of what regular people can accomplish.” Live signature totals from Stephanie and Bailey’s campaign: http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-lego-to-stop-selling-out-girls-liberatelego US News & World Report coverage of the campaign: http://bit.ly/I3bcF0 Contact information for petition signers in your area can be arranged upon request:
Senior Campaigner, Change.org
For more information on SPARK Movement, please visit: http://www.sparksummit.com SPARK is a girl-fueled activist movement to demand an end to the sexualization of women and girls in media. SPARK collaborates with hundreds of girls 13-23 and more than 60 national organizations to reject the commodified, sexualized images of girls in media and support the development of girls' healthy sexuality and self-esteem. For more information on Change.org, please visit: http://www.change.org/about Change.org is the world’s fastest-growing platform for social change — growing by two million new members a month, and empowering millions of people to start, join, and win campaigns for social change in their community, city and country.
For more information about WHY this still matters, please check out Stephanie Cole's article on SPARK Summit's website.
Also, if you'd like to see my original column on the debate, go here.