A Q&A by the A Mighty Girl Team
When Target announced that they would be removing gendered signs from the toy sections of its US stores, A Mighty Girl – and many in our community – were thrilled. Our Facebook post announcing this change, as of this writing, went viral with over 75,000 likes and 30,000 shares. While the response in our community was overwhelmingly positive, as word of the announcement spread, some commentators also had questions and concerns about the change. How would this affect shoppers? What does it mean for girls, boys, and parents? And, perhaps the root of many concerns: what’s the big deal about gendered marketing anyway?
As supporters of ending gender discrimination and stereotyping, we applaud Target’s decision – and the many other efforts like it happening both in North America and around the world – so we wanted to address some of the most common questions we’ve been hearing about gender-neutral signage and marketing: how it works, why it’s important, and how it fits into other efforts to change the way the world sees girls and boys.
Gender-neutral marketing and merchandising is about much more than political correctness; instead, it’s a sign of the times, one that points to a shift away from strictly limited gender roles and towards a world where everyone can pursue their interests and talents without feeling like the odd one out. By the end of this blog post, we hope those with concerns will see why this decision is about so much more than signs. And, if you'd like to explore these issues in more depth than is possible in a short post, we've also recommend several books on this topic in the resource section below. Among the recommendations is an excellent new release for parents filled with advice on how to raise kids who are less constrained by gender stereotypes, Parenting Beyond Pink and Blue.
If you share our feelings about gender-neutral toy marketing, please support companies that are doing the right thing by changing the way they organize their toy departments. You can leave a message congratulating Target for their decision on their Facebook page. Continue reading