Here’s the lede from a report on CNN.com that a reader just sent me:
Attention Target shoppers: Say goodbye to “girls’ building sets” and “boys’ bedding.”
The big box retailer announced Friday that it will start phasing out gender-based signage in some departments. The shift comes in response to customer feedback that distinguishing between products for girls and boys is unnecessary and maybe even harmful.
Parents and gender equality advocates welcomed the news as a significant step with potential to inspire other retailers.
We’ve gone from traditional gender distinctions being outmoded to being “harmful”? Is it really “harmful” for the Barbies to be in a different section from the G.I. Joes?
I have a hunch that this will not be well-received—not because shoppers have thought clearly about the underlying worldview issues but because people are in a hurry and are served by age-graded and gender-divided toy sections. We’ll see.