After a few days of my recent break I returned home and rested up a little by catching up on my trusty Facebook feed. And I saw chattering that - I am not even going to lie - stopped my heart for a brief moment: folks were calling for a boycott of Target.
I don’t know about you, but I love Target. There is just nothing better to me, as a mom, than a two hour block of time where I can leave the kids with a trusted adult, go enjoy a Starbucks, browse the aisles for gorgeous home decor that I don’t need, save some money on some high-quality store brands, and then not have to wait in line for 30 minutes to checkout. (I’m not gonna name any names here… but we all know this is NOT the experience in many other stores, kids in tow or not.)
The thought that Target would have done something that might warrant an outrage and subsequent need for me to do the “right thing” and no longer shop there had me reaching for a glass of wine. And then I clicked on a few articles that explained why some individuals or groups are calling on folks to boycott my favorite mommy sanctuary.
Apparently, Target has announced its plans to stop gender labeling certain products in their stores. Barbies and GI Joes will no longer be separated by an aisle and Disney’s Cars will sit right next to Cinderella on the shelf of movies in the entertainment section. If you want the entire statement written by Target, you should absolutely check it out here. If you want to read a lot of speculation and over-reaching about some secret plot that Target has to make sure your little boy wears high-heels to kindergarten or that you will no longer be able to find tampons after they are placed next to the power tools…well, just scroll down your newsfeed for two seconds.
It only took me about 10 minutes of reading to discover that, apparently, Target is plotting to make all of our kids homosexuals, they are bowing to the “left”, and are in cahoots with Obama. Funny. I thought they just wanted to sell me over-priced coffee while I try to decide which gorgeous throw pillow will look great on my couch.
Listen, I get it. Political correctness can run amuck, and in some cases it has. BUT take out the “political” part of that phrase and look at what you have: “Correct.” That is not a scary word. It is not “political correctness” to stop using a racial slur, or to make sure we don’t assume all soldiers are men, or to take down a flag that has been used as a symbol of hate. Maybe it is just the right, civil, and KIND thing to do.
Some folks are really upset that Target is supposedly bowing to political pressure so that they do not offend the transgender community. But that is NOT what Target said. In the statement they released, Target said the following:
“But we never want guests or their families to feel frustrated or limited by the way things are presented. Over the past year, guests have raised important questions about a handful of signs in our stores that offer product suggestions based on gender. In some cases, like apparel, where there are fit and sizing differences, it makes sense. In others, it may not. 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.”
That makes perfect sense to me. Of course, when buying clothing items, or personal care products, it makes sense to separate by gender. Target is not suggesting that bras and jockstraps should live on the same rack and there is no danger of a “slippery slope” in the future. What they are saying is that the world has changed and boys play with dolls and girls play with trucks, so why not put them on the same shelf?
What is the problem here? Do we not spend a great deal of time telling girls they can be ANYthing they want to be when they grow up? They can be a brain surgeon, or a construction worker, or a ballerina if they choose. Do we not spend a great deal of time making sure boys understand the same? They can go into nursing, become a baker, or work on Wall Street.
We now raise our children to have these choices that transcend gender. Most of us agree that is a positive step for our kids, our country, and the world. We don’t tell women that being a construction worker means you can’t still love to wear heels and put on lipstick. We do not tell men that in order to be a baker one must force themselves to watch romantic comedies instead of football…unless, of course, that is what they enjoy.
So why are we up in arms when a store decides that there are many products they offer that perhaps both men and women would enjoy but might not discover because they are covered in pink or blue and labeled as male or female?
Honestly, I find the entire thing ridiculous. So many folks on social media click on an article that makes assumptions and draws conclusions that are simply not true. And now those folks are sharing articles that suggest Target is involved in some crazy politically correct agenda, when I believe it is just a way to simplify product placement and recognize that their customers are a diverse group of people with many different interests.
It angered me. But then I remembered…the internet.
Like so many movements and boycotts before this one, the outrage will die down when something new hits our newsfeed or when folks get tired of waiting in line behind 25 other patrons at one of those other stores, just because they decided to make sure all the “boy” bikes were blue and the “girl” bikes are pink.
As for me, I think I will leave my kiddos with a friend, pull out my handy dandy Cartwheel app, pay too much for a Venti Going-Straight-To-My-Thighs-Frappuccino, and have a leisurely stroll through the home goods aisle, where I can now shop for dinosaur and ballerina sheets in one convenient spot. Don’t be ridiculous…you know you want to join me!
Many Kind Regards,
Creator, Many Kind Regards
Never one to shy away from tough topics, check out why Erin also claims her kids won't ever wear seat belts!