Gender-Neutral Toy Law California : Impact on Retailers and Society

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Gender-Neutral Toy Law California

California’s New Retail Landscape

In California’s retail world, a significant change is happening. Major stores like Target are introducing gender-neutral toy sections. This move began with the new year, following a 2021 law.

The Genesis of the Gender-Neutral Toy Law

A new law in California requires large retailers to create gender-neutral toy sections. Those with over 500 employees must comply or face fines: $250 for a first violation and $500 thereafter. This law started with a question to Assemblymember Evan Low (D) by an eight-year-old. She asked, “Why should a store tell me what is for girls?” This question led to the bill. It aims to let children explore freely, without bias. Evan Low emphasizes, “Let kids be kids.”

Retailers’ Response to the New Law

This law doesn’t remove boys’ and girls’ toy sections. Instead, it adds a gender-neutral option. Many retailers have already started this.

Target’s Pioneering Move

In 2015, Target began removing gender labels in sections like toys. They recognized that suggesting products by gender in toys, home, or entertainment is unnecessary. They are now working to remove gender-based signs.

Toys R Us Adapting to Change

Before its bankruptcy, Toys R Us removed gender categories online in 2015. Now, customers can search by age, brand, or categories like “games & puzzles.” Jess Day from Let Toys Be Toys notes this as part of a trend. Toys are now more inclusively marketed, like placing all construction toys together.

Opposition to the New Law

Not everyone agrees with California’s new law. Jonathan Keller from the California Family Council, a conservative Christian group, has expressed concerns. He believes the law forces retailers to promote specific views on gender and sexuality. He sees this as a violation of free speech.

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