Some weeks (months?) ago, I wrote a piece about stepping out of your gender comfort zone when you go shopping. It was partly inspired after a round of errands at Targt and Wal-Mart, where I found nothing but pink “girl” toy sections heavy with dolls and “boy” toy sections filled with cars and trucks and toy guns.
Well, in a turn of events where I literally had to make sure I wasn’t reading an Onion piece, Target stores have promised to finally nix the gender label on basically everything in their stores (save for clothing). This is HUGE news, especially for parents trying to teach their children about gender and gender fluidity.
I normally take my son down every toy aisle, whether it be pink or not, in the event I notice him eyeing something. But I recognize many parents might not, and some might even be angry at allowing their son to play with a doll or other “girl-oriented” toy. Now, kids will be free to choose without being in a particular area that attempts to define who they are based on one or two toy choices.
Personally, I feel this should go hand in hand with children’s clothing as well (why do we need to cut children’s clothing differently when their bodies haven’t developed secondary sex characteristics? And even then, that has nothing to do with their gender.) it would also bring more attention to the fact that women are often charged more for everyday items than men. I’ve observed this myself walking into men’s clothing sections and seeing how much cheaper their pants often are (but still not being willing to buy pants that did not fit my body the way i’d like).
Regardless, this is great, first step in combatting gendering in the public sphere and I applaud Target on listening to their shoppers and taking it to heart. Hopefully Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, and others will follow suit.