The new podcast serial What Would a Feminist Do? is hosted by Jessica Valenti, who explores everyday feminist issues, taking on a range of topics from objectification, abortion and cyberbullying.
In the most recent episode, Jessica explores the idea of children’s toys: the stark contrast between the pink, domesticated Barbies or kitchen sets aimed at girls, and the trucks and superheroes for boys. She is joined by Peggy Orenstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter, and together they try and explore the possible methods to prevent girls and boys from being taken in by the consumerist market, considering that young children are trying to work out exactly what it means to be ‘female’ or ‘male’.
The podcast is discursive and open ended, reminding the audience that there is no right way to bring up a child, and that a young girl who chooses the princess dress does not suggest an anti-feminist parent. Both women reinforce stressing to children that they do not have to follow the toy-aisle binary.
Image: Creative Commons 3; created by NY Photographic