Target will remove gender-specific signs for kids toys
Target is removing gendered signage in several sections of its stores. It announced the decision to omit signage that suggests that certain products are for people of a particular gender in a blog post published August 7. In some sections, "suggesting products by gender is unnecessary," Target explained. "How we all shopped five years ago or 10 years ago looks different to how we shop today."
Target will implement the new policy in sections like entertainment, kid's bedding, and toys. Clothing will mostly remain sectioned according to gender, "where there are fit and sizing differences," the company said.
As America's fourth-largest retailer, Target's consideration of gender-stereotyping is a pretty big deal. But not everyone sees this as a trend. Elizabeth Sweet, a journalist and researcher of toy advertising, says that in many ways, America has regressed in terms of gender-stereotyped toys for children. "The princess role that's ubiquitous in girls' toys today was exceedingly rare prior to the 1990s," she wrote in The Atlantic. "And the marketing of toys is more gendered now than even 50 years ago, when gender discrimination and sexism were the norm."
As of now, Target's website still has a section in the toy department called "Shop by gender". The girls' section includes dolls from Disney's Frozen, Barbie, My Little Pony, and LEGO Friends (LEGO sets marketed to girls, with purple packaging and a group of cartoon girlfriends depicted on the box.) The boys' section includes drones, remote-controlled cars, NERF guns, and Transformers action figures. Though it's worth noting that the top rated toys are mostly the same in both sections - a plastic "Little Helpers Shopping Cart" and a "Choo Choo Trailer" that hooks to a kid-sized train car.
Cover image: Toy Book