Target Says Bye-Bye to Boy & Girl Toy Aisles

Remember darting through those automatic sliding doors that led into your favorite toy store? These fond memories of weekend trips to your local Toys “R” Us might ring true for everyone, but once inside kids were faced with the age old question, blue or pink? The boys would rush over to the aisle lined with action figures, Nerf Guns, and Hot Wheels, while girls would gravitate towards the shelves with dolls, makeup kits, and plastic ponies. Those days are coming to an end. At the end of last week, Target announced it would stop separating its Toy, Home, and Entertainment departments by gender. Instead, the retail store will integrate them into gender-neutral sections.

This change comes in light of a Tweet posted by Abi Bechtel, a woman in Ohio, which criticized a sign in Target’s toy section that had different labels for “building sets” and “girls’ building sets.”

“It makes it seem like it’s so normal for building sets to be for boys,” Bechtel told CNN. “And oh by the way girls can build stuff too we guess.”

It’s no secret that gender roles are deeply ingrained in almost every facet of our society, especially in the toy and entertainment industries. However with LGBTQ movements making huge moves across all fronts, the ideas of femininity and masculinity are no longer seen as the norm but as categories that discriminate.

“Over the past year, guests have raised important questions about a handful of signs in our stores that offer product suggestions based on gender,” Target stated in a press release. “Our teams are working across the store to identify areas where we can phase out gender-based signage to help strike a better balance.”

It’s refreshing to see the retail giant embrace a more gender-neutral future where boys and girls can pick out toys based on what they think is fun, not what color aisle it’s in. Given Target’s widespread presence throughout the country, it is only a matter of time before other companies follow suit.

Photo by Nicki Asuzu

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