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Not a fan of Doc McStuffins

Okay, so bear with me.  I need to get this out there, but I am having trouble articulating my issues with this toy.

I was reading on KevinMD the other day about how physicians in Russia are paid much less than physicians in the US.  The thought is that physician is thought of more as a "caretaking" role there, and predominately suited to women.  Then, because it is women's work, the compensation is similar to what other "women's" professions are here (teaching, nursing, social work).  I can't find what I was reading on KevinMD, but here is another blog post about it:

https://cratesandribbons.com/2013/12/13/patriarchys-magic-trick-how-anything-perceived-as-womens-work-immediately-sheds-its-value/

And there is also a thought that as more women make their way into any profession, that profession seems to lose some of the respect and authority it once held, and medicine is starting to fit that bill.

Someone got my daughter a Doc Mcstuffins playset for Christmas, and I hate that toy.  "Doc" was "diagnosing" her animals with "sleepyitis" and writing prescriptions for "lots of love and cuddles."  Apparently, that's all girl doctors can do?  I would say that I am reading too much into this, but my boys toys are not only super physicist robots, they have the ability to bend time and space through science, and are tough and brilliant.  Why is my girl's toy taking a real job that is filled with tough and brilliant women and making it sound vapid and stupid?

 To make it worse the kit comes with an otoscope and little fake x-ray.  It looks like those things are just accessories to a doctors office rather than actual diagnostic tools.  If "Doc" is going to take an x-ray, why doesn't she look at it to see what's wrong like a normal person?  If we are using an otoscope, why can't lambie have an ear infection? 

I know that I can play with my own daughter this way.  What bothers me is the general perception.  The dumbing down of science in order to make it appeal to girls.  Like what girls like about vaccines isn't learning what an antibody is, but putting on a purple, sparkly band-aid and giving hugs.  Doc Mcstuffins is not a positive role model.  A positive female role model is one that boys and girls would aspire to be, but happens to be a girl.  Not a dumbed down girlie version of a "man's" job.  I can't imagine my boys wanting to be Doc Mcstuffins. 

BTW, I love WordGirl.  My  boys love her, my girl loves her.  No one feels like it's weird when the boys want to watch her show or imitate her.  Why can't there be more girl protagonists like that?

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Re: Not a fan of Doc McStuffins

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    I get where you are coming from, but what actually has always bothered me about Doc  is that she is often fixing toys that in real life would be beyond repair. I'm not going to be able to pull out a bucket of beads and use one to replace the start button on my son's favorite electric toy, so I wish they didn't show that as an option.



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    I get where you are coming from, but what actually has always bothered me about Doc  is that she is often fixing toys that in real life would be beyond repair. I'm not going to be able to pull out a bucket of beads and use one to replace the start button on my son's favorite electric toy, so I wish they didn't show that as an option.

    LOL
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    @socialmediamommy I think it's great that your 2 y/o's enjoy the show.  I think it's a cute show.  The problem I have with it is that little girls aren't the only ones watching it, and I don't think it does good things for the perception of women in medicine. 

    For example, in the last two days since that toy has come into our home, my 6 y/o boy has stopped wanting to be a doctor, and started wanting to be a scientist who studies the human body.  It may be a coincidence (and in fact I didn't relate this with the Doc Mcstuffins toy until just now), but he has wanted to be a doctor for a couple of years now, and he just changed his mind yesterday. 

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    I don't know... It just sounds like a good opportunity for you as a parent to teach more about what being a doctor really is. My three year got a pretty cool gender neutral microscope for Christmas from my sister who's a biologist. I'm sure there's lots of other kid doctor books to supplement Doc McStuffi s "pinkness" with. My three year old is really into princesses and pink stuff now, but we add to the conversation. Like Cinderella is really hard worker and that's great!
    IVF, acupuncture, meditation and a miracle. 

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    I don't think Doc is that amazing either but my son LOVES her. And he did, in fact, want to be her for Halloween.
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    I get the eye roll around purple pink sparkle girlified instruments, but you lost me and/or the stretch to how Russian medicine loses it's appeal because it is caretaking/more women in any profession loses its appeal, has anythig to do with your kid's dr toy. Almost sounds as if you are unhappy that girls are interested in medicine as a result of doc (you mention your son has lost his interest to be a dr now) and not that it stinks that girls can't have any aspirations unless they are colored in rainbows and sparkles. Don't think that is what you mean but the article you mention seems to conflict with your message?
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    I have to agree with @ASmallWonder.  Doc makes medicine, fixing things, empathy, etc. relatable for small children.  My daughter is always going on about Doc whenever I take her to the dr.  She loves her dr. kit and I happy to see she know how the instruments are supposed to be used.

    This wasn't necessarily in the OP, but something I picked up along the way, but I have a hard time getting outraged about something being pink and "girly".  My daughter loves pink and glitter and I refuse to be disappointed about that or even try to discourage it, and possibly teach her that liking "girly" things is less than or something to be avoided/ashamed of.  I think it is great that Doc exhibits that children can be into fixing things and still like pink.


     

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    I have to agree with @ASmallWonder.  Doc makes medicine, fixing things, empathy, etc. relatable for small children.  My daughter is always going on about Doc whenever I take her to the dr.  She loves her dr. kit and I happy to see she know how the instruments are supposed to be used.

    This wasn't necessarily in the OP, but something I picked up along the way, but I have a hard time getting outraged about something being pink and "girly".  My daughter loves pink and glitter and I refuse to be disappointed about that or even try to discourage it, and possibly teach her that liking "girly" things is less than or something to be avoided/ashamed of.  I think it is great that Doc exhibits that children can be into fixing things and still like pink.

    Yeah, I'm not outraged by any means, but I am annoyed.  If you pull out my toys from the 80s, pink and purple wasn't a main theme - doctor sets, cash registers, etc. were in mostly primary colors.  I think we did a better job of having gender neutral toys then.  At the same time, I get annoyed when people flip out that boys like pink and purple too.
    University of Kansas alum Geoff Folker applies food coloring to his snow sculpture at his home on Park Street in Olathe, Kan., on Sunday, March 24, 2013.  A storm that dumped up to 15 inches of snow on parts of Colorado and Kansas is making its way east, with winter storm warnings and advisories issued for today and tomorrow as far east as Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/The Kansas City Star, John Sleezer)

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    edited December 2014
    alli2672 said:

    For example, in the last two days since that toy has come into our home, my 6 y/o boy has stopped wanting to be a doctor, and started wanting to be a scientist who studies the human body.  It may be a coincidence (and in fact I didn't relate this with the Doc Mcstuffins toy until just now), but he has wanted to be a doctor for a couple of years now, and he just changed his mind yesterday. 

    I am willing to bet my house that it has nothing to do with a Doc McStuffins toy. 


    And the more I think about this mindset, the more upsetting it is.  You realize that you are perpetuating that misogynist notion that women demean and devalue a career choice by buying into this bullshit.

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    alli2672alli2672 member
    edited December 2014

    I get the eye roll around purple pink sparkle girlified instruments, but you lost me and/or the stretch to how Russian medicine loses it's appeal because it is caretaking/more women in any profession loses its appeal, has anythig to do with your kid's dr toy. Almost sounds as if you are unhappy that girls are interested in medicine as a result of doc (you mention your son has lost his interest to be a dr now) and not that it stinks that girls can't have any aspirations unless they are colored in rainbows and sparkles. Don't think that is what you mean but the article you mention seems to conflict with your message?

    Here is the thing.  You have the timeline wrong.  Girls were interested in medicine first.  My medical school class was 50% women 12 years ago.  Then medicine gets to be increasingly regulated, with a decrease in pay.  Now, in this environment, with more women going into medicine, and it becoming a worse job with a lower social status, doc mcstuffins comes out saying that it's all about giving kisses and taking care of people and not really about science at all.  Science is boring and manly.  That's for Sid. 

    My problem isn't that this is a toy for girls or that little girls are watching it.  My problem is that this show is hugely popular and becoming part of a collective subconscious about doctoring and what it means now that so many women are doctors.

    As if women being doctors must mean that doctoring is pink and girly. 


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    lol...I guess I am in the minority here.  Absolutely no one agrees with me :) 

    This was my first experience with Doc McStuffins, and it sounds like there are a lot of great things about the show that weren't so apparent in the toy. 



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    dashofrealitydashofreality member
    edited December 2014


    alli2672 said:

     


    Honestly, I think you are projecting your experiences onto Doc McStuffins. 

    -The show is about a girl who mimics her mom's prefession- a doctor. 

    -The girl mimics being a doctor with the mindset of a small child. 

    -The characters are minority which is very rare.   

    - She fixes toys that her brother can't fix. 

    - She shows empathy and caring.  Those aren't bad traits.

    - She helps children not fear doctors, which can be scary experiences.  Our pediatrician has even remarked about how many kids sing the Doc song and aren't scared anymore. 


    This. Yes, the pink glitter thing is annoying, but it annoys me every time I see a pink aisle at the toy store. I think that you may be missing a piece since you haven't seen the show. Her 'girl doctor' mother does all the grown up diagnosing, it isn't a girl/boy thing it is an adult/kid thing. Her mom often tells her an official diagnosis and she puts it in to kid-speak - dehydrated becomes dried-out-itosis.

    Is it perfect, not at all. But it is my favorite kid show because no one is being mean/whiny/misbehaving. She is a kind kid, having fun with her imagination, and helps out her friends and brother. Compared to a ton of other messages in kids shows this one is way above most.

    DD Nov 2010 ~ DS June 2012
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    I know next to nothing about Doc McStuffins because my daughter is only 1.5 and still a bit too young for it but I will say I was SUPER psyched to see a character of color for children to be exposed to. Sounds like the positives outweigh the negatives in my opinion.
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    @ASmallWonder

    I still disagree.  The Easy Bake Oven I played with was brown.  My Doctor Set was Fisher Price and primary colors.  Truly, my toys were not pink and purple dominant.  Maybe late 80s was more pink and purple?  Also, I was thinking more along the lines of this picture:

    I was also making that comment because I have a friend whose son's favorite color is pink.  It is really hard for them to find him pink clothing that isn't also glittery and frilly.  So maybe I miscommunicated in this thread.

    University of Kansas alum Geoff Folker applies food coloring to his snow sculpture at his home on Park Street in Olathe, Kan., on Sunday, March 24, 2013.  A storm that dumped up to 15 inches of snow on parts of Colorado and Kansas is making its way east, with winter storm warnings and advisories issued for today and tomorrow as far east as Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/The Kansas City Star, John Sleezer)

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    I am offended on Dottie's behalf! We love the show. I take it OP has never seen it.
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    I appreciate this thread. We are huge Doc fans in this house. My 2 yo uses the word "otoscope" in context (Telling her ped "Look, Dr. Meyer, I have an otoscope just like you!" which shocked the crap out of him). And I used Doc to explain why she can't eat after me right now, because I have the flu. But I do appreciate the chance to explore whether or not what I'm showing my child is really the message I want to send.

    OP is right about the gender/comp issue, though. And it goes both ways. As more males are becoming nurses, pay for nurses is increasing. In law, there are areas that are considered "pink ghettos," and among in house attorneys, they are slightly less respected and less well-paid. For example, HR attorneys are often paid on a different scale than attorneys in other specialties that are arguably less important to the company. I'm a full 2 grade levels higher than comparable HR attorneys in my organization, because my specialty is very science and engineering based and is therefore considered more masculine. (Which is sort of hilarious because I've gotten to take our group from 2 attorneys to 5, and I've hired 3 women, who are all kicking ass and taking names. The laggard is the guy.)
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    Ago said:

    @ASmallWonder

    I still disagree.  The Easy Bake Oven I played with was brown.  My Doctor Set was Fisher Price and primary colors.  Truly, my toys were not pink and purple dominant.  Maybe late 80s was more pink and purple?  Also, I was thinking more along the lines of this picture:

    I was also making that comment because I have a friend whose son's favorite color is pink.  It is really hard for them to find him pink clothing that isn't also glittery and frilly.  So maybe I miscommunicated in this thread.

    There was actually an article in the Atlantic about how toys are more gender-specific now than when we were kids.

    However, I look around my house and the majority of our toys are gender neutral--arts/crafts, play kitchen, cars, trains, play-doh, balls, blocks, Legos.  We as consumers can choose to buy gender-neutral toys. 

    Other than all the pink and purple, I think Doc McStuffins is ok.
    DS born 8/8/09 and DD born 6/12/12.
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    emberlee3 said:
    Ago said:

    @ASmallWonder

    I still disagree.  The Easy Bake Oven I played with was brown.  My Doctor Set was Fisher Price and primary colors.  Truly, my toys were not pink and purple dominant.  Maybe late 80s was more pink and purple?  Also, I was thinking more along the lines of this picture:

    I was also making that comment because I have a friend whose son's favorite color is pink.  It is really hard for them to find him pink clothing that isn't also glittery and frilly.  So maybe I miscommunicated in this thread.

    There was actually an article in the Atlantic about how toys are more gender-specific now than when we were kids.

    However, I look around my house and the majority of our toys are gender neutral--arts/crafts, play kitchen, cars, trains, play-doh, balls, blocks, Legos.  We as consumers can choose to buy gender-neutral toys. 

    Other than all the pink and purple, I think Doc McStuffins is ok.
    I try to be gender neutral on colors as well, it still sneaks in though, and now my daughter's favorite color is purple, so I roll with it. 
    University of Kansas alum Geoff Folker applies food coloring to his snow sculpture at his home on Park Street in Olathe, Kan., on Sunday, March 24, 2013.  A storm that dumped up to 15 inches of snow on parts of Colorado and Kansas is making its way east, with winter storm warnings and advisories issued for today and tomorrow as far east as Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/The Kansas City Star, John Sleezer)

    January OAD Siggy Challenge: Creative Snow Sculptures

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    I mainly had FP toys as a child.  They were definitely all primary colors and not gender specific.  The toys themselves were gender neutral as well.  These toys were late 70s/early 80s.

    My mom has 90s toys from my niece and nephew.  They are all primary colors as well. 

    I do agree that the gendered toys (and especially colors) seem to be relatively new.  My main issue with gendered toys is when the girl toys lack science and skills and are all Holly Homemaker and Sally Shopping. 

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    edited December 2014
    Well, the eighties were kind of different. Remember He-man's alter ego with the pink shirt and purple tights and fuzzy underwear he wore on the outside?
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    In my head I was remembering She-Ra's alter ego as wearing pink, but it was really red. But there was that guy, Beau who wore a heart "top" thing:
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    ETA: Spelling of their names. What did this mean for gender roles? On balance, I don't know. I loved playing both He-Man and She-Ra when I was a kid though.





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    I like Doc and agree w/ all the positive points made by others. I actually think it is great that Doc is portrayed prescribing comfort measures in addition to 'procedures' or other fix-its, since a truly good physician should be able to do both, and unfortunately that is not something we always see.  (but no one would blink an eye if Hallie were the one doling out hugs and cuddles, right? Only nurses can provide that type of comfort....)

    My son loves Doc alongside my daughter.  I think the 'real' health care (and other) professionals you expose your kids to will have way more impact than any show ever could.  My kids also talk about being dehydrated b/c of Doc and even if the diagnosis is 'ouchy knee-itis' or whatever, they're actually learning what "-itis" is and will be able to put it in context in the future, just like the tools others have mentioned, how they're used, what they're used for, etc. 
    I think we all have our pet peeves related to generalizations and stereotypes related to our own profession & experiences so maybe that is where OPs thoughts are coming from but I think you're overthinking OP! But if you really hate Doc, maybe that dr kit should get broken or lost one day :).
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    Wait.  I missed that this whole overthought opinion is based on one toy and not the actual contents of the show. 
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    Wait.  I missed that this whole overthought opinion is based on one toy and not the actual contents of the show. 
    lol...yes.  I should probably be a bit more educated on things before I start posting long rants. 
    For whatever reason, the giggling and the cutesy voice coupled with how often I had heard what a great role model she is for girls really just got to me. 
    It sounds like the show has a lot of redeeming qualities that I didn't realize.  If kids are learning how the instruments are used, then it is obviously very different from this toy.

    I am glad that the women on this board are smart and cool.  It was an interesting discussion, even if the basis was unfounded :) 

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    That's ok. I can't get past 2 minutes of Caillou's whining to actually get a read on the show.

    So no Caillou for us based on a snap judgment.

    Never seen it but I haven't heard good things. We'll stick with Doc and Daniel Tiger.
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    Omg. A coworker warned me about Caillou. Her actual quote was "That kid is a total shit and a horrible brat and my son loves him. Don't ever let that THING in your house." And she's not generally prone to emotion or overstatement. So we have never seen Caillou. Lol. Glad to know I wasn't led astray. We love Doc and Daniel Tiger. And Mickey Mouse Cluhouse though Minnie's voice makes me grind my teeth.
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    OUKapOUKap member
    edited January 2015
    My daughter (3) has two doctor sets and neither is pink and sparkles. She was interested in pretending to be a doctor after having so many ear infections. She just found Doc McStuffins and watches it on YouTube. It seems fine. I wouldn't buy DocMcStuffin stuff just because I prefer character neutral toys. I think there is a rise in pink toys because toy companies can sell more toys. Parents by the pink toys for girls and then turn around and buy the neutral toys for boys. My problem with pink toys is that the toy companies are trying to get more money from you and it seems so wasteful to buy pink toys. My daughter doesn't care what color the toy is.
    DS 7/6/09
    DD 9/4/11
    EDD 9/1/15
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    Boys can play with pink toys too.
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    I haven't seen Doc McStuffins since we don't have cable (PBS, baby), but I really dislike gendered science and engineering toys and find the girl toys (pink, purple, frilly, sparkly to the exclusion of other colors/textures) to be more alienating.  I generally agree with the OP that when you see these feminized science toys/kits, they are often less sophisticated than the non-gendered or "boy" versions (give me K'nex over GoldieBlox any day). Instead, I wish pink/purple/sparkly were normalized by being incorporated into a full color palette in toy design and that girls were included more often in marketing campaigns for classic science toys. I saw this cartoon on fb the other day - it really hit the mark.

    If those gender specific toys get girls more interested in science and engineering then it's worth it. I'm amazed at all of the thought concerning colors on this board. We as people assign meaning to things. So what, girls what to play with pink and purple? Good for her.
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    I don't think this is a gender issue, I think it's a kid's show geared towards kids.  Isn't doc's mom a real doctor who comes off professional 
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