I guess someone was listening to this little girl!

A Swedish toy catalog has defied the natural order of things by daring to depict little girls playing with toys typically marketed to boys (and vice versa) like it’s natural, normal behavior and not the seeds of society’s destruction. That little Nordic hellian up top is shooting a Nerf gun, for instance, while her kinder, gentler brother just can’t wait to be a dad:

It also shows boys and girls playing together with both “boy” and “girl” geared items:

(Do you find their shared glance a tad conspiratorial?)

(In Sweden, even the children’s toys are influenced by Norwegian black metal.)

Next thing you know, those crazy Swedes will be letting women vote and telling little girls they can grow up to be brain surgeons!

While this unholy phenomenon has been happening for a while now (like, since gender stereotypes were first constructed), this is the first time I’ve seen a toy company actively acknowledge it. I’m especially impressed with the photos of boys playing with “girl toys,” because while “boy toys” (heh) have opened up considerably to girls, the traditionally “feminine” stuff tends to be seen as inherently crappier and hence less desirable.

This is smart on several levels: it caters to those liberal European parents’ efforts to raise their children without boxing them in re: gender, and of course, it opens up toys of all kinds to many more potential buyers. Doing right by their kids and increasing profit margins? What will those wily Swedes think of next?!

Between this, socialized medicine, and Dark Funeral, I’m beginning to think Sweden’s a pretty sweet place to live.

(Via Buzzfeed)