I remember being at Wal-Mart one day and Trent begged me for this Moana doll. He loved that movie so much. A woman in line in front of us had the nerve to ask why I was buying my little boy a doll. Trent was so embarrassed he decided to put the doll back. Why are we so insistent as a society to force gender roles on children?
A doll is a toy. Hot Wheels are toys. I really don't think it matters whether a boy or a girl is playing with them. It starts with toys, then it turns into "only girls cry, girls cook, boys work and girls are homemakers." This can contribute to poor mental health, higher male suicide rates and low self-esteem and body issues in girls. It allows toxic masculinity and violence against women.
Those kids who don't conform to the traditional gender roles can struggle even more to feel accepted. Eradicating something that has been so engrained in our society is no small feet, but we can start at home.
We need to role model equality and encourage our kids to take part in whatever activities they want to be involved in regardless of the gender associated with it. We need to challenge our own bias around gender and work towards improving our own thoughts on it. Just let kids be kids. Stop prepping them to be housewives or husbands. Let them find their own path. Then, and only then, can we stop this cycle.