Sasha Bonilla

http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/08/17/truth-in-signage-in-the-toy-aisle-after-target-removes-gender-labels-whats-next/?_r=0

Today’s class discussion reminded me of how a few months ago, Target removed gender labels from certain departments in their store. One of the more significant changes was the removal of gender labels from the toy department. Target’s toy section no longer specifies girls toys vs boys toys. Personally I feel this is a step towards removing gender limitations in childhood and allowing children to develop without being categorized. Like mentioned in class we are already categorized so much by society and we shouldn’t subject children’s toys to categorization. Some would argue this change is abandoning traditional beliefs such as girls play with dolls and boys play with building blocks, but when a large retailer like Target removes gender signs the effects ripple. Studies have shown that children as young as 30 months old are already avoiding toys associated with the other gender either by type, label or color. I feel this inhibit a big part of childhood development. In the article I linked above the author, Erica Weisgram, suggest that alternate labels be used now that gender labels are no longer in use. The article suggests labels such as “Spatial skills” (blocks, Legos, puzzles, vehicles, crafting toys), “Thinking” (puzzles, board games, educational toys) and, “Nurturing” (baby dolls, stuffed animals, vet and doctor sets). What do you guys think about these labels? Are they a successful alternative to gender labels? Comment what you think about this article or any other thoughts/concerns you have!

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