California might smash the gender binary in the toy aisle

Supporters of new legislation say Billy shouldn’t be stigmatized just because he’s into Barbie.


March 3, 2020

Lawmakers in California are considering a bill that would prohibit department stores from separating toys, clothing, and other kiddie wares by gender. 

The bill applies to retailers with 500+ employees. Starting in 2023, businesses that receive a violation notice would have 30 days to smash the toy-aisle patriarchy, or face a $1k fine.

Feminist Hulk would’ve been proud

To the bill’s supporters, separate aisles for “boy’s toys” and “girl’s toys” make about as much sense as Toothpaste for Men and Pens for Her (although the Amazon reviews for the pens are pretty great).

They don’t want Billy to be bullied just because he’s into Barbie.

As you’d expect, the bill is controversial. Several commentators said the Golden State has bigger priorities to focus on, whether you think the cause is noble or nuts.

Some stores are already ahead of the curve

Five years ago, Target said it was phasing out gender-based signs in its stores. Tastes change, and in some cases, gender-based suggestions might be more passé than gender-reveal parties. (Seriously: Those stunts can be dangerous.)

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