Dear Charlotte

mvllblaTruth be known, I watched very little of the Super Bowl. As in, I maybe caught 20 minutes.

Granted, 20 minutes was more than enough to see the Fighting Pete Carrolls decimate Peyton and Co. #orangecrushed

It was also enough to catch a taste of the commercial onslaught and from the little I saw, it was a mixed bag. On one hand, you had actress Scarlett Johansson shilling for Soda Stream. In case you missed it, let’s just say that the ad involves wind machines, the seductive use of a straw and, oh yeah, a lab coat that somehow gets removed halfway through.

On the other hand, there was the GoldiBlox commercial (here). Wow. In the ad, a torrent of little girls gather all of the neighborhood’s pink toys and launch them into space!

What’s the message?

Girls can build things, people!

Don’t believe me? Just ask Charlotte.

Two Tertullian readers sent a link to this letter that a girl named Chartotte wrote to the folks at Lego. Here’s an excerpt:

“My name is Charlotte. I am 7 years old and I love legos but I don’t like that there are more Lego boy people and barely any Lego girls.

Today I went to a store and saw legos in two sections the girls pink and the boys blue. All the girls did was sit at home, go to the beach, and shop, and they had no jobs but the boys went on adventures, worked, saved people, and had jobs, even swam with sharks.

I want you to make more Lego girl people and let them go on adventures and have fun ok!?!”

I don’t know about you, but Charlotte opened my eyes. Because, of course, she’s totally right. I went and hunted through our family Lego box (consisting of vintage Legos from my childhood blended with a bevy of new fangled pieces that are way too specific if you ask me), and, sure enough, we have nary a female Lego person.

What’s the message there? Boys build things and girls do not. #notbuyingit

After Charolotte’s letter went out on the internet, Lego issued this response, which reads in part:

“LEGO play has often been more appealing to boys, but we have been very focused on including more female characters and themes that invite even more girls to build, and in the last few years, we are thrilled that we have dramatically increased the number of girls who are choosing to build. While there are still more male characters than female, we have added new characters to the LEGO world to better balance the appeal of our themes.

We are constantly developing our product collection, and new roles appear for both male and female minifigures. The great thing about LEGO play is that you are always able to create whatever adventure suits your interest, using the LEGO minifigures as your guide.”

So its getting better, and that’s good.

To speed it up, perhaps we should gather a bunch of male Lego people and launch them into space?!?

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