By now you’re probably aware of the controversy surrounding Target store’s decision to “move away from gender-based signs,” as stated on their website. But even as LGBTQA+ issues receive greater recognition in other facets of our society, and our culture begins to view gender identity as more of a spectrum, our department stores still remain divided into male and female.
The decision was said to have been made to address concerns from customers over unequal quality of selection. So why the controversy?
Maybe I just live in a bubble as a liberal arts student, but I first assumed the general public couldn’t care less whether there is a gendered sign hanging above their clothing selections or not.
Low and behold, however, the first comment I saw on Target’s page came from a Yvette Fisher, who wrote: “Children need to learn what is expected of them according to their gender. How else will they grow up to properly function in a heterogenous society?”
Apparently some of us are still living in the Reagan era. After all, people still have the choice to dress their children as stereotypically masculine or feminine as they would like. The only difference is they have less of a cookie-cutter guide to assist with this.
Whether Target’s decision is to appease these concerns, or a reflection of our increasing gender fluidity, I applaud them for being the first major chain store to do this. One of the biggest factors in the American civil rights movement was business’ financial loss undertaken by the multitude of sit-ins across the country. All we can do is support the move, in hopes that it will force a delightful domino effect for other companies.
Your Sawdust editor-in-gender-fluidity,