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SSH will not publish any comment that is offensive or hateful and does not add to a thoughtful discussion of street harassment. Racism, homophobia, transphobia, disabalism, classism, and sexism will not be tolerated. Disclaimer: SSH may use any stories submitted to the blog in future scholarly publications on street harassment.

Lego: Stop Teaching Kids that Street Harassment is OK

In offensive ads, street harassment | on 04.26.13 | by | Comments ( 0 )

UPDATE 5/1: Here’s another – better – update from Josh about Lego’s response. “We would not approve such a product again,” they said and Josh said, “That is an important statement, and I think it constitutes a real win.”

UPDATE 4/29: Read the update Josh Stearns posted on his Tumblr account after Lego responded about his concerns.

Photo by Josh Stearns

Street harassment is normalized in our society, in part because it is regularly portrayed as a compliment, a joke, or no big deal in kids’ cartoons, television shows, comedy routines, movies, commercials, product packaging, and even in kids toys, like these stickers by Lego that are aimed at kids, particularly boys.

Journalist Josh Stearns took this photo and wrote, “My son is just getting into Legos, so I thought he’d love these stickers. Then I took a closer look and saw that one of the construction workers (the only one wearing “cool” sunglasses) was labeled “Hey Babe!” I was stunned…Needless to say, I didn’t buy the stickers.”

Horrible. The stickers perpetuate the idea that street harassment is only done by construction workers and it’s only “benign” comments like, “Hey, babe.”

In reality, street harassment is perpetrated by people of all backgrounds and it ranges from leering, whistling and “hey baby” comments to sexually explicit comments, gender policing, demands for a smile, following, groping, and public indecency.

Street harassment is not a compliment nor is it acceptable behavior and we shouldn’t teach kids – or anyone else – that it is. Instead we need to teach respect on the streets!

You can let Lego know your thoughts by contacting their offices or tweeting a message to them, @LEGO_Group. You can also sign the Change.org Petition.

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