Target’s decision to gender neutralize causes controversy

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Target’s decision to gender neutralize causes controversy

Branden Padilla

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2015 is a big year for Target, who is now gender neutralizing their store signs.

For instance, “boys’ bedding” will now fall into the category of “kids’ bedding.” Kids’ toys and bedding, along with the paper backing of shelves (green, blue, pink, and yellow) are the subjects of this change. However, clothing sections will remain divided between genders.

The changes were announced on Aug. 7, 2015 on Target’s own online newspaper The Bullseye View stating, “Historically, guests have told us that sometimes—for example, when shopping for someone they don’t know well—signs that sort by brand, age or gender help them get ideas and find things faster.”

“But we know that shopping preferences and needs change and, as guests have pointed out, in some departments like Toys, Home or Entertainment, suggesting products by gender is unnecessary. We heard you, and we agree. Right now, our teams are working across the store to identify areas where we can phase out gender-based signage to help strike a better balance.”

With these changes coming about, Target has received many thanks and many disgruntled customers.

 

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Students and teachers at Foothill also have opinions on the matter.

Sophomore Taylor Wreesman feels there are people who believe that there are strictly boys’ and girls’ toys.

”I feel like it’s a really good step toward making everyone fluid and accepting towards each other,” she said.

Math teacher Rick Villano has his own stance, saying he isn’t sure colors and gender are related.

“I never considered colors to be a barrier. I applaud their move that they’re trying to be progressive, but they’re making people feel like there are barriers when colors aren’t necessarily related,” he said.

Chemistry teacher Emily Hunt supports Target’s decision and everyone it affects. 

 

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Education in the Digital Age teacher Kristen Pelfrey is happy these discussions are happening.

“I support people looking for ways to go past stereotypes,” she said.

Junior Sarah Valdivia has her own opinion on the subject and agrees with Target’s decision, saying that “it’s good to have different variety.”

Separating gendered objects have always been controversial, with both sides arguing adamantly for their cause.  

The New York Times published an article defending the idea that gender-specific toys can negatively impact a child’s development. This introduced the idea that girls being drawn towards the color pink is taught to them. Research states babies’ preferences are actually blue.

 

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To add on to Target’s relationship with the LGBT community, as of Sep. 10, 2015, Target has signed onto the Equality Act.  

“Target is helping to lead the fight against discrimination by putting its support behind the Equality Act. Discrimination has no place in the workplace, and Target is demonstrating to all that inclusion is a pillar of any successful business,” HRC President Chad Griffin said on The Bullseye View.

“The time has come for full federal equality, and HRC is proud to include Target as a partner in this fight. Everyone should have a fair chance to earn a living, provide for their families, and live free from fear of discrimination, including Americans who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.”

Target is still moving forward with their decision. While some people in the community think they’re hitting the target, others argue they’ve completely missed the bullseye.

Featured Photo Credit: Gabrialla Cockerell/The Foothill Dragon Press 

What do you think?