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The Swedish Danica Patrick? Toymaker makes waves by switching traditional gender roles in cataloge

Apr 3, 2012, 1:33 PM EDT


Yes, that’s Spider-Man pushing a baby carriage in the latest Swedish toy cataloge, “Leklust”. (Green Goblin laughs uncontrollably, falls from sky, dies). The company started tongues wagging when it switched up the usual gender roles in the publication, assigning a pre-metrosexual boy in a Spidey costume to take the baby for a stroll, and placing a Danica Patrick-in-training behind the wheel of a toy race car. There’s also another picture of a boy cooking at a play stove (below). I think Rick Santorum just had a hemorrhage.

This all seems to delight Swedish readers. But commenters at The Local, an English-speaking online newspaper, were not so kind. Examples:

The right pic is just ridiculous. Spiderman is supposed to be a superhero, not a nanny. Let the kids be kids. — Scorch

totally out of place and out of order, the boy pushing the pink pram is just wrong. — phil23456

Child abuse, plain and simple child abuse. — Tanskalainen

OMG Only in Sweden. I imagine some nazi feminist pushed this through and the cowed metrosexual men sat meekly by. — Decedo

I suppose it’s the kids themselves who will get the last word in the form of product sales.

“The problem with toy stores and their catalogues is that they’re selling a concept; an idea about boys and girls and what kind of qualities and interests they should have,” said Lady Dahmer, who runs a prominent Swedish feminist blog. “It’s about money because as long as they can fool us into believing boys and girls are fundamentally different, they can keep selling us twice as much.”

Now if you’ll excuse me, my G.I. Joes and I are late for a tea party at Barbie’s.


Swedish boys’ new hero: pram-pushing Spiderman [The Local]

  1. guinsrule - Apr 3, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    His gender redefining toy car having been deemed a “sissy mobile” by the kids in the neighborhood and her son subsequently pummled, his mother suddenly realized she had made a mistake…