Outside of the queer world, the discussion on how bad it is that children live in a strictly gender-policed world centers around how girls should be playing with “boy” toys because they should be encouraged to learn about science and spatial reasoning and eventually get a high-paying job.
Encouraging boys to play with girls’ toys, on the other hand, gets a lot less attention, rarely more than “If your boy wants to play with girl toys, please don’t beat the crap out of him.” But just because there isn’t a pecuniary argument for boys playing with dolls doesn’t mean there isn’t a benefit. The problem for liberals, though, is the issue is basically untouchable because of the deep disgust many parents feel.
Goldstein refers to the “ick factor” when it comes to girls playing with trucks and airplanes, so the comparable term for the opposite should probably be the “run out of the room simultaneously screaming and vomiting” factor. And I can’t help but think that some of those egalitarian parents who for the life of them don’t know where their kids are picking up gender roles aren’t the most objective sources on the topic.