By Ellen Sturm Niz
August 12, 2015

When I heard Target was getting rid of some of its gendered-based signage,  I was stoked because whether you're a boy or a girl doesn't and shouldn't dictate what you like, and it's silly for stores to tell you to shop for toys or bedroom decor according to gender. Unfortunately, not everyone feels the same way.

Dear People Who Need Bigger Problems,

Do you really have such a hard time shopping for toys and bedding that the lack of signs saying "For Boys" and "For Girls" will make it impossible to find what you need? That seems kind of silly, don't you think? Target stores are big and everything, but there's usually only one or two aisles of bedding and, frankly, there are so many more specific descriptive signs for toys—Dolls, Legos, Games—to help you find the right aisle, that the gender part of the sign probably wasn't that helpful anyway. Plus, maybe you'll get a little extra exercise if you have to roam the aisles a bit. Don't we all need to move more anyway? I know I do!

You do know that Target isn't making you buy a pink building set for a boy or a blue dump truck for a girl, right? (Though I'm all for that.) And, those toys will still exist in the aisles for people who want to conform to gender stereotypes. Target's signs just won't say "Hey, these are for girls!" and "These are for boys!", which makes anyone who likes the items not "selected" for their gender feel a little—or a lot—odd, even though it is completely random why we've come to associate these colors, toys, and more with female or male body parts.

If you're planning to boycott Target because of these new signs, well, then more awesome stuff for the rest of us, I guess. Actually, if you have a problem with Target's new gender-neutral signage plans, please do stop shopping there. That way I'll have one less place to run into you.

I probably haven't said anything to change your mind about this. If so, don't mind me. I'm just going to go help my daughter shoot her bow and arrow and do a science experiment before we play Barbies and color a princess.



Ellen Sturm Niz is a New York City-based editor and writer who thinks Target's gender-neutral signage plan is awesome. Check out Ellen's new Etsy shop and follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.

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