So I'm sure you have heard the news.
Target USA are removing gendered signage from their toy and bedding department, and the world is about to collapse into all out chaos. Or something like that. Apparently lots of people are pretty terrified by this change.
Which, btw has absolutely nothing to do with gay rights, or a gay agenda. It is also not, political correctness gone mad. I have been following this issue for about 6 years now. Pigtail Pals & Ballcap Buddies, who have been a big influence in people's questioning of gender limitations, was one of the first blogs I started following. It's founder, often talks about how "once you see it (the gendered marketing of childhood) you can't unsee it"
So after reading some, quite frankly hysterical, posts attacking Target over the last few days, I wondered if there was a way to rip people's blinder's off, so they can see the real issue, instead of the issues they wrongly assume this is about. Other people understand the true cause of the change, but don't get why it is necessary or important. You know all those "there are real issues in the world" commenters. (news flash: people can care about more than 1 thing at a time) Unfortunately, I don't have the resources to set up one of those social experiment videos, and my photoshop skills are non-existent. So the best I can do is try to explain in writing.
So this is what the adult world would be like if all stores and all departements mimicked the old system at target.
90% of the merchandise is now in the "video games for guys" section. Over on the far wall is half a single aisle signed "Games for Women". It has pink backing paper on the shelves. The contents of this aisle is entirely karaoke and dance party games, Wii Fit, The Sims, and fashion or interior design software.
The Hardware Store:
In the "Women's" section is cleaning and storage solutions, flowers, and a token representation of tools, all of which are pink, and considerably overpriced.
The rest of the store is the "Men's" section
On one side of the store are Horror, Fantasy, Biography, Travel, History, Classics, Crime, Westerns, Graphic Novels and Comics, Reference, Natural History, Sport, Technology, Business, Law, Computing, Finance, Thrillers, Science Fiction, Adventure, and most of the Historical Fiction. This section has a big sign saying "Men's Books". The merchandising stands are all done in dark timbers and stripes. on the other side, is Romance, Cooking, Gardening, some Historical Fiction, Weight Loss, MInd-Body-Spirit, and Poetry. There is a sign in a script that says "Women's Books" and the merchandising has lots of swirls and tiny hearts on pastel backgrounds.
The Music Shop:
In the back corner is a section labeled "Women's"It consists entirely of top 40 pop artists, a few country singers - all female, and Musical soundtracks. Everything else is in the section labeled "Men's"
The DVD Store:
In the Women's section is Romantic Comedies, Reality TV Shows, Cooking and Home Decorating shows, "Women's" Dramas (think Gilmore Girls or Heart of Dixie) and Period Dramas.In the Men's section - Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Historical Doco’s, Doco's in general, Blockbusters, Comedy, films, Anime, Shows about Crime, the military or espionage. Office dramas, and Westerns.
The Stationery Shop:
(I'm going to use pictures for this one.) This is what the "Women's" section would look like.
Not only would every product be a shade of pink, separated out from its fellow document wallets and relegated to the "girly" section. There is also a noticeable lack of any real technology, or business tools. Any calculators, are just basic ones. The scientific kind, they live in the Men's section. Hard drives, and Software and Web Cams.... yep, they live in the Men's section too. Women don't use them.
Other items that would be in the Women's section are cleaning supplies, tea, coffee and biscuits, invitations, and labelers. Pink ones as shown to the left. Whilst they may not go quite as far as only putting the pink dyed printer paper in the women's section, most likely, instead of the regular reflex reems with the blue packaging, there would be special "reflex for Women" reems, with pink packaging at $2 more. Then just when you thought things couldn't get more degrading, and were no longer wondering why you don't get taken seriously at work, you find the pens.
First are the Bic for Women pens, "designed to fit comfortably in a woman’s hand" and of course, sparlky.
Then you notice the rest of the pens.
Yep. so you can sit there in those boring stuffy work meetings and do this....
Gif Credit: tumblr_n20z9ntvfp1reybdyo5_250
Finally, fashion stores and fashion departments. (Which by the way, Target is not making any changes to.)
Now you may be thinking, "surely here women have the better deal"
You'd be wrong.
Yes, women may still have more shops, larger departments, and a wider variety of clothes and accessories. However, if you have actually spent any time in a children's clothing store in the last decade you'll know what the stumbling block is.
Yep, the pink fairy has returned.
Bras, Undies, Socks, Tights, Skirts, Tops, Blouses, Dresses, Shoes, Pyjamas, Accessories. No matter the product chance are it will come in 3 shades of pink, one or 2 shades of purple and possibly an aqua, baby blue, or yellow. But not mustard - sunshine or lemon.
For those items that do come in neutrals (which in the girl's department are predominantly light grey, fawn, and navy. not black) a glittery, heart/flower/Paris motif or a tulle embellishment will let you know, that yes, this item is for females.
You may have noticed I left Trousers off my list above. That because they no longer exist. In the girl's department there are tights, leggings, and jeans. Not Trousers. Possibly Cords. Though of course you can get playsuits.
Any Shirts with graphics or slogans on them will say inane things like "Too Pretty for Staff Meetings" and (this is a real shirt in Target USA's Girls clothing section right now) " Good girls love bad boys"
The Men's section on the other hand will be full of Tshirts with comic book characters and skateboards, surfboards, skulls etc. There will be a significantly wider range of colours including: Red, blues, green, khaki, black, greys, beige, bright or earthy yellows and oranges.
Do you get it yet?
Are you angry yet?
I'm pretty sure, that no one would be crying "gay agenda" or "PC gone mad" if our adult world, reflected the world we offer our kids.
Still unconvinced. Take a look for yourself what happens on the Target USA website when you specify a gender and look for building sets, and then what happens when you unclick gender.
All of a sudden, options actually appear.
Hi I'm Nicole