Monday, 21 January 2013

Miscellaneous Mondays: LEGO my Eggo

This week we would once again like to bring attention to the gender segregation of the once-universal LEGO world. Anita Sarkeesian is a feminist video blogger who became famous due to the violently misogynistic backlash to her proposal to make a webseries about sexism in video games. In these less contentious videos -- part of her Feminist Frequency series -- she traces the history of LEGO’s marketing, as the product transformed from a fun-for-the-whole-family creative outlet to an exclusive mess of gender stereotyping.

I have a long history with LEGO. I used to spend hours playing with the basic sets. I actually had the Paradisa “Sand Dollar CafĂ©” set, as well as the complete LEGO soccer field. I played LEGO Island back in the nineties and now own most of the film franchise tie-in games. I made a point of visiting the impressive LEGO display at last year’s Emerald City Comicon. I’m a LEGO fan.

However, I know that I was able to get into the toys because my brothers and male friends owned sets. I know that I am enjoying playing video games intended for male fans of male-centered franchises. I know that, in order to walk around Gotham City as Black Canary, or Huntress, or Lois Lane, I have to spend hours adventuring as Batman and Robin. It’s a broken system but, as Sarkeesian suggests, it would be easy to fix.

1 comment:

  1. When we were little - maybe nine or ten? - my sister and I got a couple of lego sets for Christmas from my dad's side of the family. We were SUPER STOKED, until we realised that three quarters of the pieces were pink. (I think we had some of the Paradisa set?) We still played with those things non stop, and collected lego until we had one of those giant tupperware folding top boxes filled.

    Now, my sister and I are kind of reminiscing about lego, and wanna go back and buy more - partially because my little cousin has a ton - so I went looking for a simple set this christmas to get for her. The only sets they have now are filled with speciality pieces which aren't really good for anything but the project on the box. And they are all, to a box, clearly marketed at 'boys'. There's not a lady minifig to be found. It made me really sad. D: