Very soon, a Target store near you will begin phasing out gender labeling for children’s toys. This roll-out will include Target’s home and entertainment sections as well. These days, concerns over appropriate gender identification has come to the forefront of discussion and critical analysis. For Target to set such a precedent at this crucial moment in history has rubbed some customers the wrong way. Customer support runs the gamut from apathetic to supportive and indignant.
In a statement released by Target, they claim,
We never want guests or their families to feel frustrated or limited by the way things are presented. Over the past year, guests have raised important questions about a handful of signs in our stores that offer product suggestions based on gender… we know that shopping preferences and needs change and, as guests have pointed out, in some departments like Toys, Home or Entertainment, suggesting products by gender is unnecessary.
While some customers don’t necessarily see the need in arguing against such a stance, others claim that removing gender labeling will make it difficult for them to navigate the store. The push to remove gender related labeling came to a head when an Ohio mother posted a photo on social media showing two different aisles dedicated to “Building Set” and “Girls’ Building Sets.” Like this mother, many failed to see any logical reasoning for such a distinction.
Comments relating to the matter range from the indifferent: “I don’t think it’s that big a deal. As a parent/grandparent I’ve never had to be told whether certain toys are for boys or girls. Parents buy what they want without being told what they should or shouldn’t buy.”
The pro: “Fifty years ago toys were more gender neutral than they are today. Back then toys were just toys and kids played with what they liked. By labeling toys as specifically for one gender or the other, we’re causing kids to feel shame and confusion when they like a toy designated for the opposite sex.”
And the con: “Yet another store in which I will never spend another dime.”
What are your thoughts?