Angry customers to ditch Target stores after they remove gender-based signage

GenderSigns-HeaderTarget is bringing Americans one step closer to a gender-neutral society.

The department store chain announced what it called “something exciting” Friday. After some customers complained about certain toys’ being designated as appropriate for girls, it is doing away with signs denoting gender classifications.

“Over the past year, guests have raised important questions about a handful of signs in our stores that offer product suggestions based on gender,” according to Target’s online publication, “A Bullseye View.”

Toys no longer will be labeled according to sex and displayed on either pink or blue shelving. Gender-neutral signage also will appear in the children’s bedding section. The only place gender labels will remain is in the children’s clothing department.

The gender-labeling brouhaha began last June when Target customer and Ohio mother Abi Bechtel snapped a photo of Target signage indicating “Building Sets” and “Girls’ Building Sets” and tweeted it to the chain along with a stern message.

“It stood out to me as a good example of the way our culture tends to view boys and men as the default, normal option, and girls and women as the specialized option,” Bechtel told CNN.

Maybe that particular sign was a bit ridiculous, but it certainly didn’t require eliminating all gender classifications to correct it.

Oddly, Target said that “we use signs and displays specially designed to help guests get through the store efficiently,” and “signs that sort by brand, age or gender help them get ideas and find things faster.”

So, the answer is to remove signs that help customers “get through the store efficiently”?

Others saw through Target’s illogical decision and took to social media:

One has to wonder where this will end. The White House announced in April that it was installing a gender-neutral bathroom in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the West Wing.

Ike must be rolling over in his grave about that one.


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