California may combine boys’ and girls’ clothing/toy sections into one gender-neutral section

March 11, 2021 • 9:30 am

Because of the increasing prevalence of people who don’t identify as male or female, are transgender, or don’t think that children should be socialized towards the “stereotypes” one sex or another, the inevitable has happened. According to WHSV in California, two state lawmakers there have introduced a bill that will eliminate separate “boys” and “girls” sections in stores. This includes toys and clothes, the two biggies. The law is now in a preliminary stage, if passed and signed by the governor, the bill would take effect on January 1, 2024.

Click on the screenshot, which also has a short news video.

An excerpt:

California Assembly Members Evan Low and Cristina Garcia are making a push for gender-neutral retail departments to encourage more tolerance and open-mindedness in parents and children. If big box stores don’t comply, they could face a $1,000 fine.

The bill would apply to departments that sell childcare items, children’s clothing or toys.

“There’s girls who like to play with boy things and boys who like to play with girl things and people who are nonbinary, so why not combine it all?” shopper Carol Schwartz said.

“Let kids play with whatever they want to, and it would also just be easier to find everything if it’s combined into one,” shopper Edith Ismail said.

Low says the bill was inspired by an 8-year-old named Britten who wanted to know why store departments were separated by gender.

“Her bill will help children express themselves freely and without bias. We need to let kids be kids,” he said.

Not having kids, I don’t have much of a dog in this fight.  I just wonder whether, if you have a boy who likes dolls and a girl who likes trucks, you can’t just shop in the other section. I don’t really care.  But what about adult sections? For the very same reasons—with the exception of socialization—you could combine men and women’s clothing into one gender-neutral gemisch. That would be confusing, because women’s sizes are different from men’s, as are the cuts of things like jeans.  I wouldn’t favor that, but the same rationale might hold: a transgender woman who wants to still dress as a man, or someone who identifies as “nonbinary”, might be offended by the separation of clothing sections by sex.

But I wonder if a bill like this could pass anywhere.

h/t: Ben

126 thoughts on “California may combine boys’ and girls’ clothing/toy sections into one gender-neutral section

  1. The vast majority of people are binary. ‘Segregation’ works, and is convenient. If your own interests or preferences mean you’d like to look in the other section, no one is stopping you.
    Jerry, I’m surprised that you don’t see how coercive, woke, and manipulative this is. As Taleb says, oppression by the vocal (woke) minority.

    1. It is not that simple. Try to imagine being a parent whose child does not conform to the usual preferences. Its’ awkward. You know you shouldn’t worry about what people think, but of course you worry about what people think. It isn’t just woke parents who face this issue.

      1. A parent should be brave enough to act in the best interests of their child. There will always be someone who disapproves of something you’re doing. Where is the personal responsibility for acting in your child’s best interest? Walking over to the other sex’s clothing or toy section, if the store has aligned it as so, is about as inconsequential as it gets in a parent’s duties…so step up!!

  2. Considering the percentage of adults that claim transgender is less than one percent, I don’t think so.

    1. Bingo. It’s not like the numbers here are large enough to justify compelling 99%+ of Californians to wander around stores to find clothing. And the < 1% is not being discriminated against or turned away from purchasing whatever they want so there’s no problem here that requires legislators to get involved.

      Some big and tall men shop at Big & Tall because it is difficult, perhaps awkward to find clothes that fit them so a dedicated store opened to serve them. Maybe stores that cater to gender-free, trans clothing should open to serve them. Except that if a youngster identifies as trans (e.g. girl transitioning to boy), he isn’t shopping at a “both” store but in the boy’s department. What’s the problem?

  3. I think that is a great idea. My daughter preferred dinosaurs over dolls. The dinos were always located in the boys section. It wasn’t a problem for us but I could see designating them as a boy’s toy might deter other girls/parents from purchasing and playing with them.
    Edited to say that I didn’t read carefully and didn’t realize they are trying to make it a law. I don’t think it should be a law but it wouldn’t hurt to put everything together.

    1. To me it’s not a question of whether it is a good idea or not. It’s a question of whether it’s any business of the state to tell a store how to organize their merchandise.

      1. Agree. In Thomas Sowell’s pithy formulation, “[t]he most basic question is not what is best, but who shall decide what is best.”

      2. Exactly. At what point would any of these people say “You know, perhaps that’s not a proper use of government force.”? The fact that they won’t draw a line proves them to be authoritarians.

        1. Honestly, I’d rather see parents advocate for the companies to change, rather than demanding legislation.

          Don’t we have a crumbling infrastructure to fix? Unequal voting access? And a myriad of other unsolved problems we haven’t been dealing with that do require interstate governmental cooperation to achieve?

      3. I can’t imagine it standing up in court, if challenged. It’s not like they are refusing to sell any toy to any person.

        This is strictly a marketing decision; and, IMO, the state has no business meddling in these details of how a retailer markets the product.

      4. Agreed. It’s not like our government has solved some pesky other issues (climate change, racism, voting rights, infrastructure, immigration, poverty, access to healthcare, etc).

    2. OMG I had lots of dinosaurs too and they were hard to come by in the 70s. I still remember my grandparents giving me some money to buy anything I wanted in the store so I bought a plastic dinosaur. I was so excited to find it & buy it & I remember how my grandfather couldn’t understand why I wanted that so bad and thought I was just nuts.

  4. I think I stole this line from Steven Pinker, but I love it: There is a technical term for people who think there is no difference between little girls and little boys. They are called “childless”.

    1. This comment made me laugh! I remember thinking that I didn’t want to “slap any gender labels” on my kids. (That’s a phrase I actually used.) Then my son, the most stereotypical boy you could possibly imagine was born, twenty two years ago, followed by my daughter. She turned out to be so girly I had to ration her Barbie Princess time lest she never see the sun! Myself a tomboy I was at a loss sometimes with her driving need to wear a dress.

      1. I remember buying my daughter a little dump truck, having gotten tired of all the pink and purple stuff. She showed very little interest in it, but her older brother was thrilled. I now have three little granddaughters and I am sort of distributing the saved boy toys among them.
        I refused to buy Barbies, but dd kept getting them as birthday presents. Thankfully they were never her faves. I was gratified once to hear her, at age maybe 7, telling a little friend that “My mother says that toys advertised on tv are crap.”(I don’t think crap was the word – maybe garbage.

        1. As a kid I played with trucks, stuffed toys, action figures & dolls. I remember thinking I was lucky to be a girl since it was permissive for girls to play with whatever they wanted when I was growing up but boys were ridiculed if they played with dolls. My mom wouldn’t buy Barbies for me but did by “Cindy dolls” and I had a doll house for them.

            1. My mom once got me a cradle for dolls. A nice one too that is wood and probably still in their basement. I immediately pulled out the doll and tossed it aside proclaiming “good a new bed for turtle!” And immediately put my Yertle the Turtle toy in the bed. A misanthrope even then!

      2. We had similar experiences, Kate. Before we had kids, my wife and I firmly decided not to give our kids only gender-stereotyped toy. But my two daughters would have nothing to do with the cars ACA trucks and balls and my son would have little to do with the dolls we gave them.

    2. Oh yes. My wife knew which of our extended family were gay, too, when they were younger than 5 years old. She never did a thing to influence them; but she was 100% correct.

    3. However why make a deal of this? It’s your experience that you have kids that seem to fit the stereotype. Many of us didn’t conform to girl or boy things. Why not just accommodate the individual child and give them the freedom to choose which toys they want to play with and who cares what stats say? I really don’t care if a lot of girls like dolls and a lot of boys like trucks as long as girls and boys can freely play with whatever toy they want without ridicule or imposed snark.

      1. LEGO has come under fire over the years, some of which I consider valid. (At the Brickworld Convention, Chicago, LEGO executives took heat for creating the Friends line for girls, as their figures have fused legs and fused arm/wrist, making them no fun to animate, unlike the beloved classic minifigs.)

        Their marketplace has, and will continue to, accommodate public pressure, but boycotting them means missing out on the wonderful LEGO robotics competitions that all kids can participate in, learn from and enjoy. And LEGO is a modular toy: you can change out the pieces you don’t like for ones you do.

        Government is supposed to deal with the bigger issues that affect all of us, every day and I’d rather see them tackle climate change than children’s toys.

    1. This is my question, too. What makes anybody think a “genderless” society would be better? I mean, what are the advantages? What are the potential disadvantages? Is the harm being addressed real or imagined? What makes anybody think that the elimination of gender as a social category will prevent the emergence of neo-social categories more deleterious than gender?

      I guess I’m not dogmatically opposed to “dismantling gender” but I would like to know what doing so will likely result in.

      1. Good luck “dismantling gender”. Humans won’t go for that. We’re wired for sex. And vanishingly few people are bisexual. As a youngster (or or crank) one might like to confuse people for fun; but this isn’t a workable long term model. (Listen the Andrew Sullivan, a gay man, on this issue. He knows what he likes and it’s decidedly not women.)

      2. I am old school enough to think that “eliminating the prison of gender roles” (I think a quote from Rita Gross) is almost obviously a desirable thing. But there are a lot of desirable things that don’t rise to the level of the kind of public interest that justifies using legislation and the coercive power of the state to bring them about. Eliminating the “pink aisle” in Walmart seems like one of those to me.

  5. I’d be totally fine with a store choosing to have one gender-neutral section, but I really don’t see this as a matter for a legislature.

    1. Besides, how do you even enforce this? It is normal in a store to display similar products together, so if they have a “gender-neutral” toy section, with all the tractors displayed on the left, and all the dolls on the right, then … ?

      1. To quote the Let Toys Be Toys campaign that I linked to at #1 above,

        Toys are for fun, for learning, for stoking imagination and encouraging creativity. Children should feel free to play with the toys that most interest them. Isn’t it time that shops stopped limiting our children’s imagination by telling them what they ought to play with? The answer is simple – we’re asking retailers and manufacturers to sort and label toys by theme or function, rather than by gender, and let the children decide which toys they enjoy best. Let toys be toys – for girls and boys.

        Sadly, it’s too often the case that construction and science kits are placed in the “boys” section. There’s no reason why they should be gendered at all, and although you can of course just shop in a different section kids soon learn gender expectations.

        On 30 November 2014, UK newspaper The Independent on Sunday reported the story of a seven-year-old girl who had been upset when the best and most complex train sets disappeared from the Toys R US website when her mother applied the “For girls” filter. She had asked her mother to apply the filter as she had previously been bullied at school because she liked dinosaurs and had worn Spider-Man sandals. Her mother told the newspaper that her daughter had asked “Why are they saying I can’t have that train set because I am a girl?” She had then lost “all confidence in her choices” and said that she didn’t want a train set for Christmas after all.

        Yes, parents can try to make their kids immune to these pressures but organising toys by theme and function would go some way to making that unnecessary.

        That all said, legislation is not the way to deal with the issue.

        1. I, personally, have never seen separate boys and girls toy sections, labelled as such. The toys are definitely grouped with similar type toys, but no signs saying Boy’s or Girl’s. Perhaps the segregation as to sex is often in the eye of the beholder?

        2. The Let Toys Be Toys campaign is “asking retailers and manufacturers to sort and label toys by theme or function, rather than by gender”, which is fine, and some retailers are responding, but the California legislature is not asking, but telling retailers and manufacturers to sort and label toys by theme or function. I think that’s an important distinction.

        3. The whole point of filtering and departments is the help the buyer find what they are looking for quickly. (And thereby move more product.)

          They are asking that people be handed stumbling blocks rather than aides because of the asserted offense of the most easily offended in society.

          Fer chrissake, if you want trains, search on trains. Or should the search engine present you with dolls if you search on trains?

  6. It seems a strange thing to want to make a LAW about. If there is a true desire for such combination of sections among the shopping public, I suspect many stores would just do it, since it might improve sales. Or some stores might do it, and people could go to the stores that represent their preference, which seems in the spirit of the movement. If there is no significant drive for such things, why legislate them?

    I’m also suspicious of the idea that the law was purely inspired by a question from an eight-year-old. Not that it’s not the sort of question a child would ask – it certainly is, along with thousands of others – but the response of proposing a law based on the question clearly came from an adult with an agenda.

    1. Let us all drop a knee in thanks that no laws were based on the many things I didn’t understand as an 8 year old.

  7. Years ago when we and our neighbours all had pre-school kids of around the same age we collectively chose not to buy guns as toys. But the children made their own guns out of Lego or bent sticks anyway, used by both the boys and the girls.

    Plus in one of our few remaining High Street chains the mens’ clothing section is around a fifth of the womens’ clothing section. Smaller than the womens’ underwear section alone. So that’s extra stuff to sort through to find a new tie or pair of socks.

    1. Haha this reminded me of something for which I was reprimanded in Kindergarten or first grade. We were not allowed to have any toy “weapons,” no matter how unconvincing. So, one day, I nibbled at my peanut butter and jelly sandwich until it resembled the shape of a gun and started pointing it and making little “pew pew” sounds. Even back then, I got into big trouble!

      I’d probably be suspended and have my parents called in now if I was a kid and did such a thing.

      1. Or you might be hauled out of class by a police officer, in cuffs.

        No doubt it varies by jurisdiction, but in many school districts it has become SOP to have one or more police officers stationed on public school campuses. And whether or not it was originally intended these police have been used to discipline kids in situations that in previous generations were routinely handled by the teacher and or other administrative staff. Including things like dragging elementary age children out of class in cuffs for having a temper tantrum in class.

        1. That’s about as far from reality as it would be possible to get, in my wife’s (urban, Midwestern) district.

          Teachers are not allowed to touch students, period. She had just such a child in her class last year. Profoundly disruptive: Threw things at everyone, hit the teacher constantly, crawled around the room on the floor screaming, threw her shoes at teacher and other kids, knocked over desks, etc.

          In short: She (it was a girl) was robbing every other child of their education.

          My wife could do nothing except call the office and hope that the principal, the AP, or the social worker was free and felt like coming down to help. Nothing. The little LAD (Little Asshole Disorder) just gets to rampage. She can’t even take away recess time! Nothing. She can’t even protect herself, aside from blocking blows. (You may think this is trivial; but one of her fellow teachers was hospitalized due to concussion from an object a grade-schooler threw*.)

          It kind of trivializes what happens by labeling it a temper tantrum. Yes, it is, but it can have heavy consequences. Even if no one is injured, many other children are robbed of their education. For hours.

          And they can’t suspend kids anymore! The parents in this case did nothing to change things. And they can get away with that.

          These are the rules teachers have to live under.

          (* At a high school in the district, a few years ago, a male teacher was assaulted by a student for trying to break up a fight and received a head injury that left him permanently disabled. This kid was cuffed and did a perp walk out of the school building.)

          1. But what’s wrong with that situation is not the kid. It’s the adults. It’s the rules, attitudes and lawsuits of the adults that allow LADs develop and grow to disrupt the class and injure teachers. This is also exactly what has led to the sort of incidents I mentioned. No one on the school staff is willing or has the authority to do anything and the parents are derelict perhaps and can’t be held responsible anyway, so the police officer gets sent to handle it. And police don’t know how to deal with it either, but they do know how to secure an uncooperative perp. It’s ridiculous.

            I feel for your wife and teachers in general, I really do. But it isn’t the kids fault and having police treat gradeschoolers like adult perps is horrible. The kid should have been dealt with long before.

      2. Yes. I always thought it better to give a child a gun or two, because, if not, *everything* becomes a gun.

        1. Good one – and we often just used our thumb and index finger, and thus always had two guns available that no one could take away from us!

    2. Your second paragraph: Exactly: Departments are to help the customer find what they want and move as much product as possible.

      Imagine a jumble store where there is zero organization, you simply have to manually search for every single item you are after. Some people might like this kind of random (sh — tuff) but I don’t have the time for for it and neither do most other people.

      Will Amazon be forced to bring up dolls when we search on toy trains or toy trucks?

      1. Apologies for the side-track, but damn does Amazon’s native search function suck. At least half the time after several minutes of frustration I give up and do a general internet search instead. And guess what the top several hits are almost every time? Links to Amazon for the very thing I was looking for. You’d think I’d have learned better by now, but on autopilot I always go to the Amazon site first to start searching.

        1. That’s interesting. That has not been my experience (though Google does show up Amazon hits VERY prominently). I do find their product lists a little weird sometimes. I think that must have to do with who’s paying for prominence.

        2. I spent several hours last night searching for particular computer hardware there. I can handle the idea of putting the “best” (from Amazon’s bottom line point of view) couple of items on the search results, but 50-odd pages into the listing and you still can’t get past the same bunch of “promoted” products.
          Oh well, Amazon’s loss. I’ll probably get what I’m looking for from eBay, sticking to sellers with 100000-plus sales and a 10 year old account.

        3. I find this with most things. If I want help I don’t go to the manufacture site, I just google my issue.

          1. Amazon search does fine by me; but does everyone know that you get a better Amazon deal by going their first to check the price, then going to lots of *other sites* and checking the prices, and *then* returning to Amazon? You’d be amazed how well that works and how much you can save.

    3. My parents wouldn’t let me have toy guns either because they didn’t think shooting a gun should be taken lightly and they would chastise me if they saw me playing that way with other objects too. I did have some squirt guns though for some reason and I held a pistol squirt gun the “correct” way. My dad asked me how I learned that and I said “I saw Police Woman do it that way”. Angie Dickenson’s Policewoman was great TV (come to think of it my parents let me watch a cop show like that and that’s weird) and I actually bought the DVDs used and the stories seem to age well.

  8. I think this is a good idea, at least for toys and young children’s clothing. Maybe it’ll help erase the stigma attached to playing with toys that are considered “the wrong gender.”

  9. Is this really the job of government, to decide how store displays should be organized? If people really feel that children’s clothing shouldn’t be segregated, let the free market deal with the problem. It’s good to know that California has solved all the big problems, though, and can let the cranks run wild.

  10. “There’s girls who like to play with boy things and boys who like to play with girl things and people who are nonbinary, “

    OK, of course, that’s rather obvious…

    “Let kids play with whatever they want to, “

    Yes, sure, they do that anyway, by the way…

    “… so why not combine it all?”
    “and it would also just be easier to find everything if it’s combined into one,”

    [ sigh…. ]

    … Well…

    [… sigh ]

    …. So…

    … So… so they are proposing… to … “combine it all”…. “combine it all”… “and it would also just be easier to find everything“… because of the combining. Ah.

    [ Pooh wandered off, repeating “combine it all” in his head, being a bear of Very Little Brain, muddled over what it meant.]

    1. Pooh will be up for the cancel treatment not long after Pepe Le Phew.
      OK, he’s got the minor saving grace of ambiguous genitalia, but he’s still identifiably a “he”. (Is there a female Pooh yet? Poohee? Phewie? Are Disney’s Thought Police onto me yet? Or their copyright department, for stealing their coming idea?)
      Terrible attitude to those with learning difficulties like bears of Very Little Brain.
      The way he treats the pig is very stereotypical. It’s not going to be a pretty sight when Pooh gets pulled over on some dark back road for a bust stop light.

  11. To avoid this stereotyping thing, I once bought my daughter, who would have been about 5 or 6 at the time, a model car. She turned it around in her hands for a few minutes then said, “It’s very nice Dad, but what do I do with it?” She went back to her beloved dolls and never touched the car again.

    1. When I was that age my favorite toy was a plastic foot long checkout counter, with all the well-known foods packages with correct brand labels and a little shopping cart. Never figured out that one, except for some reason I’m really fond of miniatures.

  12. Lemme know before they eliminate the difference between boxers and knickers. Only time I’ve ever worn a thong is when a former paramour found one that wasn’t hers in my glove compartment, and I had to come up on the spur of the moment with an excuse for what it was doing there.

    1. How would claiming ownership have helped? It still implies that you change underwear in the car instead of using a toilet cubical at a convenient service station like any normal person.
      Or, for that matter, behind a convenient drystane dyke in the teeth of horizontal wet snow, as is traditional in the caving fraternity – who have a perfectly good reason for changing shreddies in public places.
      (It gives us ready-made excuses for skin-tight rubber suits and quite wicked-looking bondage gear too. And mud. Mud! Glorious mud!)

  13. Girl jeans are ok if you’re slim enough. Only problem is the pockets are inadequate for clandestine rearrangements and surreptitious scratching.

    1. Men’s jeans are cut differently in the front for a reason. I’ve known plenty of women wear men’s jeans (no interference fit issue there); but not the other way around (aside from drag queens).

      1. I ain’t no ‘ drag queen ‘. When I was younger I wore River Island (UK) and R&R (great fit).
        Btw, according to Richards Jagger always wore girl jeans. But according also to Richards Jagger didn’t have too much to hide away!

    2. My observations are such that women should be circumspect about bending over while wearing such jeans. Attention-getting fissures of a kind manifest themselves.

  14. I would imagine toy stores might embrace this. There are so many toys which are targeted at both boys and girls and everyone in between, this will allow them to better serve both and might even sell more toys since all children will see all toys. I am now suppressing the side of me that wants to fight anything the Woke suggest.

    1. Have you ever been in a toy store? Toy stores are arranged by brands within functions (e.g. building toys = Lego + everything else, wheeled toys = John Deere branded and Cat, dolls = American Girl and Barbie, etc.) The manufacturers probably dictate what goes where anyway.

    2. I don’t think anyone is suggesting that stores should be prevented from doing this, should the so choose. It is just no business of the state.

  15. It’s ridiculous to consider making this a law. The law makers working on this should have much better things to do and I’d be pissed if they were representing me.

    The reasons expressed by the law makers and others in the quoted material are all perfectly fine, I even agree with them, but making a law to enforce retailers to do this is silly and stupid. It’s a frivolous use of government.

  16. I have no problem with mixing girls and boys toys, if the store wants to.
    My son always seemed to pick out trains even though we never steered him into cars and trains. He seemed to go there. I don’t think there is a stigma with playing with toys of the wrong gender. The idea of playing with toys that traditionally were for different sexes seems to me is the past as it has been discussed so much. I can agree that if a kid doesn’t see a toy, they don’t know they can pick it, like a dinosaur in the boys’ section. So no problem mixing toys for me.

    Mixing young kids clothes, I have a problem with. I think some young kids are getting confused by the conversation of gender at early ages.
    Someone I know had their kid in a kindergarten class associated with Stanford. They had someone come in and talk about gender and introduced the idea you could be what you wanted in terms of a sex….the kid didn’t get it at all. I think it creates confusion about sexual identity before people are ready.

    A lot of gender focus going on lately…..and confusion.

    1. That might be a confusing thing for young children, but confusion of some kind happens every 5 minutes. There are meanwhile children who are very confused about all the cis-is-normal messaging they get every damn minute, and they realize, to their mounting horror, that they don’t “fit”. And feeling that you fit somewhere is very important. I don’t see where the cis kids will be harmed by any of of these inclusion lessons given they are getting affirmation literally all the time.

    1. Yeah but this is the same state that has woke math in the curriculum and for years makes restaurants put a sign on their door if there are carcinogens in their food so all restaurants have this sign because getting a bit of blackened meat could be carcinogenic so the labelling becomes irrelevant. I remember being shocked at a restaurant years ago and my aunt had to explain all this to me.

  17. In my personal experience as of late, all the toys are in one section. No signage is needed. Kids figure out what they like immediately. The store doesn’t “tell” them anything – the manufacturers do that with attractive packaging and such. And besides, usually Amazon is getting most of the business, where AI pushes stuff to the screen. Kids also figure out what they want from their social circles. What the legislation would do would be prevent protest stores launching with everything labeled. I don’t know what is keeping stores from making signs on their own anyways – “for girls” above whatever they like, “for boys” above whatever they like.

    1. It may be that even if there’s no explicit boys and girls section, the store will naturally group related items together. And, as you point out, the packaging of each item will still target whatever audience its maker desires. Perhaps this law, if enacted, would result in little more than the elimination of
      “Boys” and “Girls” signs above the aisles.

    2. Yeah I really don’t remember ever going into a store for toys with “boys” and “girls” labelled and that includes my childhood in the 70s. Sure, that was a while ago and my memories may have faded but I just saw stuff that was grouped a certain way and high tailed it to the cute stuffed animals or the dinosaur stuff. I was a misanthrope even back then.

  18. A ‘store’ is private property. It is a company or corporation that belongs to the owners of it. Yet, how easily the citizenry blinks not an eyelash when “government” can proactively control what the company does. That is the definition of fascism — “Appearance of private property, but under control by the state, at the state’s discretion and fiat.”

    1. That is the definition of fascism — “Appearance of private property, but under control by the state, at the state’s discretion and fiat.”

      Whose definition? And when did all the other definitions get rounded up and disappeared?

      1. Every dictionary, political philosophy textbook and teaching, and Benito Mussolini. Yes, I am aware that BlueTeam labels nearly everything they oppose as “fascism” including everything their brown-shirt-clone Antifa (anti-fascist) hates. That does not change the root, actual definition. The essence of fascism is: authoritarian government with control over individuals and companies…and everything. With a token meaningless sop that “it does not require state ownership of the means of production.” If Gov nationalizes you, or controls everything you do, there is no difference in essence.

        1. So, if the root definition is authoritatrianism, why don’t we call authoritarianism “facism” and rest at that. Which we do.
          What do you think are the odds of America’s recent authoritarian-in-chief regaining power, now that his minions are managing to restrict the right to vote to those who vote the right way? Obviously, he’s not going to let it slip again.

          1. @gravelinspector-Aidan
            Your first paragraph makes zero sense. Your second is so far off the subject it deserves no comment.

    2. But the citizenry blinks at corporate behavior it would not tolerate from government. Hence the effort by conservatives/Republican/Libertarians to privatize as much as possible.

      1. @Filippo
        Just like the German arms, railroad, auto, and other industry was completely in bed with Hitler’s government (some forced, some enthusiastically), and therefore could not be considered true free market enterprises, many of today’s ‘big banks’ and other corporations are embedded with the US federal government. It is very close to the pure definition of fascism. Only some freedom of expression and association remain. There are still rough private property rights, although under attack on all fronts.

        Note: we C/R/L that you mentioned? We do not look at it as “privatizing.” We see it as holding back the tide of the state confiscating.

  19. I can’t imagine this standing up in court. Telling people how they have to market things (in ways that have nothing to do with discrimination). They display things in ways designed to maximize customer satisfaction and sell the most product. Period.

    Hell, if the kid identifies as whatever, take them to the whatever department. Isn’t that the whole point of the “identifies” thing?

    And if the parent wants the kid exposed to girls and boys toys, explain it to the kid. Do your parenting.

    1. And I think it’s a non issue. I haven’t seen a “boys” section for toys. For clothing yes but not toys though the boys did get the better Under Roos but maybe that’s changed from the 70s.

  20. The next step is perfectly obvious. A new law will be enacted prohibiting the use of terms with
    gendered associations in the toy world, such as “doll”, or “truck”. The new words for these items will
    be as clumsy as the new pronouns we are all learning. I wonder what the new word for “dinosaur”
    will be?

  21. Science fiction book readers are mostly male. Romance book readers are mostly female.

    Therefore it should be illegal for libraries or bookstores or especially school libraries to have a section dedicated to either genre.

    1. Once at a science-fiction convention, someone asked if romance writers and fans also have conventions. Someone (might have been the guest of honour, Isaac Asimov) quipped: Yes, and there is only one light burning in their hotel at night.

    2. That explains the outright joy I encountered in the sci fi section of my library in my 20s and 30s, men wanting to meet me over coffee to talk about science, politics and atheism (I took a few up on it). This after I was such a wallflower in high school. 😛
      When I carried a pop physics book on my bus, a man rattled on enthusiastically to me about pre-fractals.
      I swear, I’ve encountered much more enthusiasm from men about women in science than discrimination. Hunger to talk to a woman about science, even. And yes, they listened when I spoke.

    3. Well, I can offer one experience with Scientific American magazine. I read it even as a kid and it was always placed with the porn and the automotive magazines while all the magazines like Cosmo had a separate section. Probably not exactly encouraging the girls to read about science.

  22. Stores are organized to aid customers in finding what they want quickly and moving the most product as they can. These are individual marketing decisions by businesses.

    (Imagine a store that is randomly arranged. Would you want to shop there? Does anyone have time to shop in a place like that?)

    The playing happens outside of stores. The social stuff happens outside of stores.

    The stores are not prohibiting anyone from buying any toy. They are not forcing anyone to buy any toy. They are not prohibiting any customer from shopping. They are not forcing any customer to shop.

    Shall the state dictate to all stores how they are to display their goods? Shall the state force bakers to display gay wedding cakes? Shall the state force clothing stores to use BIPOC mannequins? Shall the state force Gerber to show BIPOC babies on their labels?

    Such things will never stand up in court. They are absurd.

    1. Shoppers might continue to migrate online anyway. I hate shopping, and especially for clothes (now there’s bucking the gender stereotype for you). I’d rather buy a used shirt or a dress on eBay instead of a new, sweatshop produced one. And I’ve gotten back into sewing – I’ll bet other people will.
      That’s what’s hilarious about all this “social change” – it doesn’t really imagine true change.

  23. Reminds me of that documentary that was made in Sweden or some other nordic european country : it was about gender segregation for toys, and several studies were compared. A few seemed to show that there were “natural” boy toys, and girl toys. And then, a social worker or something was asked : if the results would go against your belief, what would you do ? Her answer was telling : disregard the results.

      1. I’m a human that was a child and I can tell you I played with all sorts of toys but boys were ridiculed so heavily if they played with anything considered for girls that they avoided that for that reason alone. I knew a few boys who played with dollies secretly.

  24. Being a tomboy (or “gender non-conforming”) I don’t disagree with combining toys, but why via a law? By the time it takes effect in 2024 public sentiment may have changed, or gone even further (perhaps combining children’s and adult sections, animals and people, you name it).
    This just seems like another righteous, PReformative (I just made that up) excuse to make a big wokey-to-do.
    When I was a kid in the 1970s everything I wanted – Star Wars action figures, Battlestar Galactica bubble gum cards, etc. – was in the impulse item section next to the cashier, anyway.
    Combining clothes isn’t a good idea.

  25. Why do some people always wonder how to make parenting more difficult?
    I guess, because actual children, parents and human beings in general are far, far down in these people’s priority lists.

  26. Why not just combine men and women’s clothing into those green Mao suits that were so popular in China mid-twentieth century? The perfect wear for struggle sessions.

    1. Red shirts.
      Actually, I used to really enjoy getting back to the rig and no longer having to bother with choosing clothes at god-awful o’clock. Short-sleeve coveralls for indoors, long sleeve flame-retardant ones for outdoors are down in the change room; name on the breast pocket so nobody needs to guess who you are or what your place in the world is. Beats clothes shopping any decade of the month.

  27. I’m fully supportive of letting kids choose from the entire range of products. When my boy kid wanted the Disney Princess cupcake game, we marched right into girl’s section, to the rack of odd toys at the end of the clothes aisle, and got it.

    But it seems a bit overly prescriptive to legally insist on the specific way stores must arrange their stock. Some social ills don’t necessarily require a legal fix, and part of me wants to say the peer or cultural pressure to shop only in “the right” section is something we should be working out for ourselves, grassroots style, not demanding the law and top down regulation do it for us.

    On the other other hand (for the motie fans), it’s been a long-standing and frankly offensive problem that women’s clothes are typically marked up higher than men’s, for basically the same items in perhaps a different color palette. Yes, they use different sizes, but let’s be honest, the difference in material and cut of jeans just isn’t enough to justify a higher price. If pushing stores to have a single genderless kids section has the knock-on effect of eliminating this unnecessary and sexist two-tier pricing, that would be an excellent thing.

    1. I’ve always wondered why women’s clothes are more expensive than men’s for the somewhat equivalent item. It is hard to believe that it’s due to some kind of anti-woman bias. If one company tried that, the others would take advantage of them by offering lower prices. I’ve always thought that it is the result of woman generally caring more about clothes than men. They are more selective which has the effect of driving up prices. I will admit to not knowing how this works from an economics perspective.

      1. That’s the reason. Sometimes the exact same item, at most in a different colour, is higher priced if intended for women. The way I see it, if they don’t want to get it cheaper because it is blue, that is their own fault.

      2. I will admit to not knowing how this works from an economics perspective.

        It’s a cartel, loosly organised, where every significant player in the market realises the benefits of playing with the cartel are better than can be obtained by “defecting” (in game theory terms).
        I mentioned upthread shopping for computer bits last night. Have you ever noticed how, for computer products made in Malaya, Taiwan or China, the prices in USD and GBP are numerically very similar. So, a 20-odd % mark up for the UK market. Because people could get away with it. The effect has decreased a bit since eBay shipping directly from China, but there is still a good margin of markup disguised under “translation costs”, testing costs, etc. I’m expecting the mark up to rise again now that we’ve lost access to the European market.

    2. Does that still happen for the same clothes. I find, for example, hiking boots are the same price and I’m actually very happy with a company makes the exact same shoe for men in the women’s sizes and for the same price. Merrell does this and I love it because I find the men’s shoes are better suited for what I want.

      1. I remember being completely outraged that the local ski equipment store was going to charge me $50 more for the exact same style and color of snowboard boots, because they were a smaller women’s size. But I also remember thinking my own outrage was embarrassing, because while I was going to get ripped off once buying a gift, that meant you folks were getting ripped off every day.

    3. A company solved the problem of high prices for woman’s clothing … Romwe. Their cloths are for younger woman, but the prices are just astonishingly low. Dotcom their name to go to their site.

    4. Just getting your boy the cupcake game that he wanted seems very logical.

      If parents aren’t willing to backupt heir kids, or their preferences, or discuss things, then when the heck will kids learn that some things— toys, cars, magazines, books, cosmetics, clothes, foods, drugs, are advertised to sell to certain people, but that in no way stops *you* or anyone else from buying it— it’s not a rule or a law, it’s just a suggestion!

  28. I didn’t even know stores still separated toys by boy stuff and girl stuff. I thought it was just by what it was. Clothing I’m ambivalent about but adult clothing is different as our bodies are different. What I object to is trying to police social behaviour. Making this a law sounds wrong to me.

  29. This is nothing new. Lego and other toy brands have tried for years to make their toys more gender neutral (In Lego’s case, to gain a bigger market share.) Still, even with the changes, fewer girls choose to play with legos. We can acknowledge that there are children who don’t fit the mold and we can treat these kids with understanding and compassion without trying to remove a divide in people which is BASICALLY SELF SELECTED. And here’s another issue (which more pertains to adults.) Sizing in men is not exactly the same as for women! Men’s shirts are bigger around and under the arms. Men are more “barrel” shaped and women are more “hourglass” shaped in general. There will always be individuals WHO DON’T FIT THE MOLD, but to force a private enterprise into doing something that might hurt their profitability and marketability is just wrong, and plus, it’s a government overreach.

  30. Well said, as it is kids world is worthy. I personally feel there should be change in the educational system only through that we can make them learn the gender equality, dressing, and everything should be on education. Than only we can make a better generation with some self confidence

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