Sayle really loves the Dora and Diego shows. Swiper is his favorite character on Dora. He loves to do the “Swiper, no swiping” hands and one of his favorite phrases is “Aww, man!!” Sayle loves everything Diego, or Day-doe as Sayle calls him. As soon as he hears the Diego song, he breaks into dance and he really goes to town when Rescue Pack comes on. He loves Diego so much that we are using him as the theme for Sayle’s birthday party.
Sayle’s love for both shows has stirred up quite a few discussions between my husband and me. My husband states that Dora is for girls, Diego is for boys, and Sayle should not have anything Dora. The initial discussion took place when my mom sent Sayle a Dora Valentine’s Day book. My husband thought she should have sent him a Diego book as Dora is clearly geared more towards girls. (For the record, the book was about Dora’s grandmother and Valentine’s Day, not gender specific.) The next discussion took place when we were in Wal-Mart. I was looking for the Diego’s Talking Rescue Pack and they didn’t carry it anymore. They did, however, have Dora’s Talking Backpack and Sayle loved it, but my husband was adamant that Sayle was not going to have Backpack because it was purple and for girls.
My girlfriends have little girls and I have personally purchased numerous Dora birthday gifts; Mermaid Dora, Bath Time Dora, Dora Castle, blah blah. I agree, Dora toys are marketed to little girls; they are pink, but that doesn’t mean that Swiper, Boots, and Backpack are owned by the female gender too!
I also agree that Diego toys are marketed more for little boys. Diego is in the rugged jungle, has baby Jaguar as his buddy, and swings on ropes-a typical boy’s boy! His Rescue Pack is brown, not to be confused with the girly color purple. In fact, there is no girly in Diego’s show or toys at all. Diego’s sister, Alicia, isn’t even remotely wearing as much pink as her cousin Dora, hence making her acceptable in boy land and in boys’ toy boxes all over the world.
My husband and I have gone round and round about this and I’m going to tell you the best part of his argument-he had to go old school to make his point. Apparently, Diego and Dora are the same as He-Man and She-Ra. He-Man was for boys and She-Ra was for girls, according to my husband-girls did not play He-Man.
I loved She-Ra Princess of Power, but I specifically remember my girlfriends and me playing with He-Man action figures, especially Skeletor’s castle (remember the microphone?), and I watched the He-Man cartoon. He then changed his argument to girls can play with boy toys, but boys can’t play with girl toys. So basically, it is okay for girls to have Diego stuff, but boys shouldn’t have Dora stuff.
While I’m not purchasing Mermaid Dora or Dora Castle for Sayle, I think it is completely appropriate for him to have a Dora book or even Dora’s talking Backpack if I wanted to really push it. At this point in Sayle’s life, he isn’t even aware of gender specific toys; a toy is a toy to him regardless if it’s purple or brown. I could understand my husband’s concern if I was purchasing Barbies or My Little Pony figures for Sayle, but I’m not!
What do you think about gender specific toys? Do you think Dora is ONLY for girls and Diego is ONLY for boys?