Weekend Reads: LEGO and gendered toys, autism, Look Before You Lock, etc

Well hello hello everyone!  In case you’re curious, apparently today (or tomorrow) is Julius Caesar’s birthday.  Among many other things, he invented the Julian Calendar and got to name a whole month after himself.  Not a bad way to leave your mark on history.

Alright, now want would you like today?


If you want some….tiny signs that things are changing:

Lego responds to a 7 year old’s letter about boy vs girl toys, and why there aren’t more female Lego characters.  While the response was a little blah, I think it’s progress that companies are now feeling compelled to at least acknowledge these problems.

If you want some….thoughts on gender and autism:

An interesting read from National Geographic. (via JG Hovey)

If you want some….lousy high school teaching:

A girl in Canada has brought her (public) high school to the Human Right’s Commission over their requirement that she sit through faith based abstinence only education in order to pass a class.  It’s 2014 people….how is this still so common?

If you want some….safety tips:

Kids being left in hot cars is in the news lately.  While the case making headlines may not have been an accident, the NYTs has some great advice for how to prevent a tragedy (and what to do if your child locks themselves in a car). Some good tips there, including asking that your childcare providers call you if they don’t see your child at a time they expect.

If you want some….science:

New insights in to how teenagers react to concussions.

If you want some….advice about parenting without religion:

How to come out to your children, talk about God, etc. (from Lou)


Featured Image Credit: Rupert Ganzer


Bethany is a perpetual student who just won't stop taking classes. She's gone from engineering to psych and family systems to applied statistics, and is really fascinated by how people feel about numbers. She blogs about this over at Graph Paper Diaries, and experimenting with contingency tables at Two Ways to Be Wrong.

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  1. It is definitely good to see that Lego is starting to take these complaints more seriously – or at least not as dismissively as in the past. Hopefully the new scientist sets will be the beginning of a new direction.

  2. Unfortunately, Legos solution to the problem is to put purple bows on bears. The kids recently git their first Lego friends sets and while I was positively surprised that they were not dumbed down construction wise, the purple bow she bear (which means that all animals without a bow are male, of course) really knocked me out.

  3. Can I call bullshit on the Lego response? Go back 50 years and the ads were gender neutral. Then they realized there was money to be made by making gender specific toys so that people couldn’t hand me down as much.

    So bullshit Lego, you created the problem, don’t pretend you didn’t.

    1. Abso-fucking-lutely
      I have a big box of Legos from my childhood, my husband has a big box of Legos from his childhood. About everybody born before, say, 1985 has a big box of Legos. Because back then there were toys for kids and clothes for kids.
      I also hope that nobody ever tells my eldest that she’s supposed to suck at logic and construction games, because right now her favourite computer game is a neat little game called Pipes where you have to connect pipes with the pieces given for each level

  4. Oh, totally. I’m impressed only in that they seem to have learned that their past totally dismissals of there even being a problem were not the right way to address people who *want* to be their consumers.

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