Target recently made a great decision when it decided to remove gender labels from its toy aisles. No longer will toys be lumped into “building sets” and “girls’ building sets,” they will just be “building sets,” and some of those building sets might be pink and purple. No longer will there be “girls’ toys” aisles or “boys’ toys” aisles. There will just be toy aisles, and within those aisles there will be dolls, and trucks, and action figures. I would guess that the positioning of the toys won’t even change, just the labels. When I heard the news I thought it was a great idea and that no one could possibly have a problem with it. Yeah, I can hear you laughing at me from across the Internet.
Boy did some people have a problem with it! People on Target’s Facebook page are freaking out as though Target banned gender. It is completely crackpot ridiculous.
“How am I going to shop for my grandchildren?!” wail some grandparents who think that Target will not make it extremely easy to take all their sweet, sweet grandparent money.
“Why don’t you just have gender-neutral bathrooms?” grumbles a cranky dude who doesn’t realize that is actually a totally reasonable idea.
For people who accuse the rest of us of being too easily offended, these guys are really darn offended by the idea that someone might sell a toy without saying whether it is for girls or boys.
But just when I thought the craziest people in the world lived on Facebook, Fox News lifted up the rock under which it keeps its “experts” and found a psychotherapist who makes all the angry people with Confederate flag avatars look like pretty cool people to hang out with, because according to Raw Story, he says that now that Target has taken down its “Girls’ Toys” signs, children will not know what gender they are.
”I understand there’s this whole gender neutral agenda going on,” said psychotherapist Tom Kersting to Fox News Tuesday morning. “And I actually have clients of mine that are ”” don’t really know what gender they are. I don’t want to confuse kids that are young when we take them to a toy store, having them question what their gender is.”
Did Kersting just say he has clients who do not know what gender they are? Now I’m worried about those clients. Please tell me that does not mean that some poor non-gender-conforming children’s parents are taking them to Kersting. That does not sound like a good idea at all. He’ll probably blame the parents for buying the kids gender-neutral toys like Crayons and Lego, because in a consumerist society it’s not what we say, do, or think, but what we buy that defines us.
Oh no, what about the Despicable Me Minions? Kids love those things, and they are yellow with no distinguishing sexual characteristics. Better burn them all, just to be safe.
But in what world do children suddenly not know what gender they are if they walk into a toy aisle and find a row of Barbies that doesn’t say “TOYS FOR GIRLS” on top of it? It’s pretty ridiculous. It’s even more ridiculous than the assertion that parents and grandparents will not be able to find toys for children if they are not labeled by gender. Trust me, guys, you will be able to find your Barbie. Target and Mattel are not going to let you be confused about where the Barbies are.
I know that without big, profit-driven corporations, I would have no idea who I was. Every morning I wake up and say, “Who am I? I’d better go ask Starbucks.”