I smell corporate decisions made by old white males.
Wait - let me correct that. Sexist old white males!
I’m an old white male. I know the smell. It’s ugly. It goes back to my own youth, which was Before Barbie. Dolls were around, 95% female glamour dolls, but many little boys had some raggedy-ass sort of human-shaped bag of rags that had some sort of emotional attachment. Very young, I had a Cecil the Sea-Serpent hand puppet and a stuffed wolf. Plastic figurines were new, and I liked dinosaurs.
Along came Barbie and Easy-Bake Ovens and Donna flippin’ Reed and the full force of Fifties morality, capped, of course, by the publication of Seduction of the Innocent. Luckily, this particular tome pissed off my Dad, who promptly became militant and followed up with “my boy can read whatever he wants!”
When it comes to social roles, we haven’t ever really gotten started.