Greens cop it for toy gender campaign

PM: “boys to be boys and girls to be girls”. (AAP)

Greens senator Larissa Waters has been criticised for supporting a campaign urging parents to steer clear of gender-specific toys for Christmas.

If Greens senator Larissa Waters thought her support of a campaign urging parents not to buy gender-specific toys for Christmas would pass without comment, she was speedily corrected.

Even Prime Minister Tony Abbott added his bit, urging: "Let boys be boys, let girls be girls.

"You wonder why the parliament is difficult when you have people like that with the balance of power in the Senate," he said.

Before that, a News Corp Australia newspaper lampooned Senator Waters and Greens colleague Adam Bandt on its front page, depicting them, respectively, in Barbie and GI Joe attire.

Then Liberal senator Cory Bernardi mockingly suggested his childhood preference for motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel had turned him into an evil villain.

Senator Waters has backed the No December Gender campaign aimed at breaking down stereotypes of buying dolls for girls and monster trucks for boys.

She says the practice ultimately feeds into serious problems such as domestic violence.

"Buy the toys that you like for your child but don't be limited by those signs that say trains aren't for girls," she told Sky News.

Nationals MP Mark Coulton questioned what else the Greens might think inappropriate for Christmas.

"Farm sets show the terrible oppression of farm animals," he said.

Then there was Barbie, made from plastic extracted from petroleum and wrapping paper made in the paper mills the Greens opposed.

"If the Greens are against extractive industries, intensive agriculture and paper, it doesn't leave a lot left for Christmas," he said.

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