Target, apparently a retail establishment that peddles cheaply-made crap (most of it likely sourced from overseas and presumably made with cheap labor) recently announced it was taking down gender-based signage in their stores. The new policy applies to departments like “toys” and “bedding.” Clothes, apparently, still have a long way to go, baby.
The old way of shopping worked something like this:
“Hey, we gotta get a toy for Pat. The kid is having a birthday soon.”
“OMFG! What gender is Pat? Do we even know?! That’s it, man. Game over. Stop your grinnin’ and drop your linen.”
“Whoa. Easy there. Calm down. We know what it is. Pat is currently a boy.”
“Whew. Okay. Close one. Let’s go to Target. We’ll head for the section labeled Toys For Boys. Make no mistake about it. We will not go down the aisle labeled Toys For Girls. No fucking way!”
At the store: “Now these are toys for boys. Get the erector set, Lincoln logs, Army men, flamethrower, truck nuts, 8×10 color glossy of Mike Rowe, a jumbo jar of Rambo sweat, and box of Cuban cigars.”
Now, thanks to Target, you can shop the new way:
“Oh, noes. The ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ signs are gone. Now we’re forced to choose from aisles simply labeled ‘toys.’ What are we supposed to do now? We’re gonna die!!!”
Don’t go sticking your head in an Easy Bake Oven just yet.
What are you? And try to answer without peeking down under! That would be cheating.
Long before you were born, forces were already at work dictating how your life was destined to unfold. Everything comes in a box. You must not leave the box. Free range humans will not be tolerated.
They were none to subtle about it, either. Talk about monochrome design. And after you were born they dipped you in a can of paint with the exact same Pantone color. Everything has to match.
Ever get introduced to a hideous infant and guess the wrong gender? “Wow, what an … adorable .. little boy.” Mom and dad will be certain to point out their offense. “Excuse me. Rasputin is a girl.”
When I was wee lad (shortly after the hatching) my grandmother was considered a bit “eccentric.” That’s a euphemism for CCFCP. (Coo Coo For Cocoa Puffs.) Also, possibly, also Russian in origin.
Either way her unconventionality would often set the chattering class abuzz. One year for Christmas I received from grandma a gift taken right from holiday song lore:
Said Santa to a gender-confused boy child, “What would please you most to get?”
“A little baby doll that can cry, sleep, and wet.”
Santa laughed, “Ho ho ho! Enjoy your life of pain and regret.”
That same year grandma gave my sister a big yellow Tonka dirt mover.
Amazingly, against all odds, we both survived. Thus, I’ve established my street cred to speak authoritatively about this topic.
Why? Because Target’s move to a non-gendered toy policy reportedly angered some folks.
Critics were quick to decry all that which is “androgynous” and call for a boycott of the retail chain. Wrote one manly reviewer: “One has to wonder where this will end. The White House announced in April that it was installing a gender-neutral bathroom in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the West Wing. Ike must be rolling over in his grave about that one.”
Ike is dead. He’s not rolling or doing anything else these days. He has no opinion about gender-neutral bathrooms. This, of course, is a common logical fallacy: mortuum louqi (what would the dead say).
I demand to know, where’s the fucking harm in adding a gender-neutral bathroom? Now people of both sexes have a situational potty backup. You know what’s dumb ass? Allowing one’s bladder to runeth over while a perfectly good bathroom sits there underutilized. That’s the logic of intellectual insects. (In my humble opinion, of course.)
Boys have a thingie and girls have a cooter and never shall the twain meet. Unless the boy feels horny and even if the girl doesn’t. But that’s another story.
Another logical fallacy goes a little something like this: “Things were XYZ when I was growing up. With XYZ life was pretty good. Everything should be XYZ because that’s the best life experience I’ve ever known.”
Even though you think your experience was pretty cool, that doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone. And the less varied your experiences the more likely you’re probably wrong.
So how the hell are you supposed to shop for gender neutral toys? Try select toys based on the interests of the recipient, not some class that you feel they belong to where you’ve defined your own subjective criteria. If Sally wants Legos then give her Legos. Saying, “Silly, Sally. Legos are for boys,” is a really good sign you’re an asshole. It means you care more about yourself, your biases, and your baggage way more than you ever truly cared about Sally. You may think not, but you’re wrong.
Seriously. If you’re that bothered by loosening definitions of gender and people making their own choices, maybe you should venture over to gender-neutral housewares and take a good hard look in the mirror.