Target will stop sorting kids’ merch by gender

Target announced a commitment to ending the rigid distinction between the exceedingly pink “girl” aisles and the primary colored, red and white “boy” aisles. More, they’re ‘promising to even get rid of subtle cues about who toys are for, like “pink, blue, yellow or green paper” behind the actual shelves.’ After years of such complaints, the one that seemed to go rather viral and move them to action was the photo a shopper took of an aisle labeled as holding two sets of things: Building Sets, and Girls’ Building Sets.

Now if only more such stores would follow suit!

5 thoughts on “Target will stop sorting kids’ merch by gender

  1. How is this not analogous to the kind of colorblindness people express when they claim not to see color? The things people use to differentiate are still there (regardless of how illegitimate you think it is for our social rules to be what they are on such matters), and the clothes are sized according to it, but we’re just not allowing ourselves to say that one set of clothes was made for girls and the other for boys. People trying to purchase them are going to have to figure out ways to know whether the size printed on the label is a girls’ size or a boys’ size, since the clothes will still be gendered by the manufacturers (which won’t change unless a non-gendered size scale is developed), and kids still need clothes that fit, but no one will be publicly acknowledging that gendering.

  2. Jeremy Pierce, if you follow the second link I provided, you’ll see that Forbes (like others) reports, “Gender labels will remain in the kids’ clothing section because of sizing and fit differences.” So “we” are allowing statements that clothing is made for different genders, yes. But there’s nothing to be gained by rigid distinctions between toys and bedding.

    Therefore, contra your assertion that no one will be acknowledging that gendering, in fact multiple outlets (including Target’s own PR release) have already acknowledged that gendering. And it is compatible with having different clothing that the store need not rigidly gender every possible thing a child can have. And I am unclear as to why you would imagine some scenario in which people must stand in the aisles struggling to imagine if a size is a boy’s or a girl’s size.

  3. Yes, I probably should have before commenting. What you’re describing now sounds much better than what the original post seemed to me to be doing. I was just pointing out a practical problem that we have seen before when people ignore the realities of social construction out of a sense that they are somehow not real. This may not be such a case.

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