Eyes on Target – Gender Free Labels

By now you have already heard about the controversy involving Target and its announcement to remove gender-based labeling from their toy department and kids’ bedding area. The internet, in typical fashion, rose up to voice their opinions regarding the change. Some were excited about the change, while others were absolutely furious.

The opposing side cited Scripture, opined the bowing to a politically correct movement, expressed fears of Target attacking the sexuality of our children, and swore to never again give the corporate giant their money. It seemed, to some, that Target had made a pact with Obama and the Devil to trick our children into becoming homosexuals.

2015-08-15 19.52.11Today, while at Target, I had to see these controversial signs for myself. I half expected to see signs that read: “Go on little Timmy, get the Barbie and disappoint your father!” Instead what I found was an organization of the toy department that made sense.

I was greeted signs that read, “Wood Toys,” Pretend Play,” “Baby Dolls,” etc. I felt no compulsion to change my gender identity, leave my family to shack up with strange men, or worship Satan.

The organization made sense. I knew exactly where to find play costumes, Ninja TurtlesDoc McStuffins, and even those wooden Melissa and Doug toys my wife loves to get for the kids. Best of all the labels offer no voice in which toy is best for my child (based on gender), or what area of the toy department I ought limit them to.

Having seen the new arrangement for myself I can’t understand why we are making mountains out of molehills. I guess, as far as I can discern, the argument against the change boils down to parents who live with the fear that if they allow their little boys to play with dolls, or like the color pink, they will be robbing them of all future desire to have sex with women. And I’m not sure that is how that works.

To kids, toys are toys. They’re not sticking these things down their pants. Well the younger ones might be, but I swear it isn’t what we think.

About St Basil Z Fish

Curator of the strange and incredibly awkward. A rambling writer with the misguided notion he has something to say. His only redeeming qualities are his wife and children.
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6 Responses to Eyes on Target – Gender Free Labels

  1. My daughter just had a baby boy and she gets very frustrated at the gender related baby items. For example she chose Owls as her theme for her nursery but apparently Owls is mainly delegated to girl babies and most are pink and purple. We looked for Hallowe’en costumes (I know WAY too early but they are on sale already) and there were 3 for boys and 20 for girls. I think Target is on the right track. Too bad they totally bombed (through their own fault) in Canada.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Z. says:

      When my oldest was younger, she was very much into owls. It was easy for us to accomodate room themes, Halloween costumes, etc. because owls were primarily delegated as a “girl thing.” I know what you mean. (And it is not too early for costume hunting. I’m doing the same thing right now.)

      I like the direction Target is moving in, and I am sorry they couldn’t function properly in Canada. I wonder if we allowed kids to be kids, not attach sexual connotation to everything they do, did not tolerate them being sexualized by capitalist greed looking to sell them as products, and simply guided them in the direction they ought go, would we find ourselves with a generation of dignity, respect, and tolerance?


  2. Tim Gatewood says:

    Well said, Zed. Thanks for applying reason and experience to an issue that far too many are only applying hysteria and emotion to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Z. says:

      Thank you.

      I imagine if we would stop sexualizing our children, we could allow for kids to be kids. We, adults, are the ones attaching sexual connotation to everything we see or do. Perhaps it is time for us to get our minds out of the gutter.


  3. “I felt no compulsion to change my gender identity, leave my family to shack up with strange men, or worship Satan.” I laughed out loud when I read this. Enjoyable post.

    Liked by 1 person

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