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Christmas and Gendered Toys: Merry Christmas (Bakamoono.lk Insights)

(This piece first appeared on bakamoono.lk, a Sri Lankan Relationship Education Site under 'Insights')

Another Christmas has come and gone, and with it the flurry of gift giving, giving me a chance to reflect on the challenges I faced this year in that regard. It was a first-hand, sharp, and startling reality check that despite the year being 2017, gendered norms and stereotypes are all around us.

It was in the weeks leading up to Christmas that my partner and I began purchasing gifts for a list of nieces, nephews, and children of friends – ranging from just a few months old to around 5 years. Little did we realize the education we were about to receive in gender roles, nor did we anticipate the frustration we would feel in trying to find fun, educational gifts that wouldn’t fall into these traps.



What are gender roles? Gender roles in society mean how we’re expected to act, speak, dress, groom, and conduct ourselves based on our assigned sex. For example, girls and women are…

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