35 thoughts on “October 5, 2015

  1. Personally, I think it’s silly to do away with gender signs in the toy department, but I also think it’s silly (maybe even more so) to make a public scene about it. Those stores wouldn’t lose my business, they’d just get a bit of an eye-roll from me.

    • “I think it’s silly to do away with gender signs in the toy department”

      Why? I think it’s better NOT to put all pink kitchen appliances and fake make-up sets under “GIRLS’ TOYS”. It sets out pretty obvious message: “girls, if you really, REALLY must leave the kitchen, you better be pretty”.

        • It says that I understand that we teach children in more ways than just observation and lectures. Most children manage to intuit, that is they decide, that boys and girls are different therefore boys things are not for girls and girls thing are not for boys.

          Therefore girls can’t wear boys clothes… even if they like them. Girls can’t play with boys toys… even if they’re Lego. Girls cant, girls cant, girls cant.

          And boys are taught to be “men” and that girls things are not manly. So they can’t play with dolls. Or wear pink. Or. Or. Or.

          By dividing the toys section in to “girls toys” and “boys toys” we’re telling the children from a very small age what is and isn’t allowable for girls and boys. BOYS get dinosaurs, and action figures, and nerf guns! Girls get dolls. And other dolls. And still more dolls. Play jewelry and makeup. Easy Bake ovens. Back on the boys side they have firemen costumes, and toys swords. Girls don’t get costumes except for princesses. We’re telling girls, no matter what we preach as a society, that they don’t belong in the workforce. Because their toys are ABOUT working. They’re about taking care of children, taking care of the home, and being pretty.

          • The only people who even notice the gender signs are the parents. Kids don’t read the signs (literal or figurative) in a toy store/department. They see what they want and they play with it. It’s the parents who are reading the signs and telling their own children that they can’t play with a certain toy because “it’s for boys/girls” taking down the gendered signs and colors from the toy department is not going to change the way children shop. It probably won’t even change the way parents shop. Because a parent can still determine a Barbie is targeted at girls and a spidermarman action figure is targeted at boys.

            It is and always has been up to the parents to gender neutralize their children and most are probably still not going to take that route even with the removal of labels and color.

  2. I really never did get the idea of splitting toys along genderlines. Certainly there are toys with appeal to purely to a large segment of boys or girls but there are are lot of general toys like duplo, lego, stuffed toys, playsets, and other items that just don’t really seem to fit that label well. Just label all as toys and save there stock people time and leave to parent discretion to figure out what the child will want.

    • I have to agree completely, when I used to work at (insert big box department store here) and several others, I noticed at one, you’d have aisles and aisles and aisles of glaringly obvious girly pink toys and stuff, then you have the, okay yeah…. we didn’t really care, here’s the rest of the toys (legos, superheros, movie toys, ect) I always thought this was a stupid thing, they make it look like the “girly” toys were better than the rest of them. But I always saw little girls in the legos and superheros and a few little boys walking around with a barbie or a doll in his little hands grinning ear to ear. Toys are toys, no need to be gender specific in a time when it’s okay to not be the gender you were born into. Plus, I can’t tell you how many times I had grandma/grandpa/mom/dad/aunt/uncle ect, come up to be at the register and look so relieved that their gift recipient wasn’t so gender picky on their toys and they didn’t have to spend hours and hours looking for one particular toy.

      • I always played with an electric/electronics kit, a chemistry kit, rock collection set, and read the “Boy Mechanic”.

        However, I never got these things myself – I was permitted to play with the castoff sets of my brother after he was done with them. πŸ™
        Now I’m a tekkie and he’s a sales guy. Go figure.

  3. I know a certain bullseye store has recently made a point that they are no longer separating toys by gender, but “girl toys” are still dept. 86 and “boy toys” are dept 87. And beyond the merging of LEGOs into a single aisle, the section is still pretty well segregated into pink and blue, leaving me to wonder what all the fuss was about.

    • It would be stupid to mix it all together. As is it’s organized so it makes sense to shop, and makes sense to stock. If I had to search through the stairways stuff to find where a Barbie goes when the monster high dolls are hallway down the department I’d be pissed. Take the signs away, fine. No one ever read them anyway (where are the barbies? On that aisle that says barbies on the signs” “can you show me?”)

    • Yeah, I’m sure toys will still be grouped by “boys”, “girls”, and “both”. I’m not sure any section is big enough for a whole aisle anymore.

      I wonder if the whole announcement was a ploy to hide the fact that the toy department was shrinking so the signs had to come down.

    • Not when it’s a true reflection of our workday. It’s sad but very true that many of the characters in this strip are not as exaggerated as they might seem (except possibly Lunker).

    • Whenever Norm takes on a controversial subject, even one that’s only vaguely controversial, it going to happen. That’s the nature of “controversial”, after all.

  4. Gotta wonder how these folks manage to live day to day when something small angers them. It like they want the world to revolve around them.

    I had a guy rant about how there is nobody to help him during the early morning hours (talking about 1 AM here) and he’ll report me for not having people on the floor. I’m going like “You do realize many folks are asleep at this time, right?”

    • I don’t really care whether the toys are divided by gender or not. I remember when my kids were small, back in the 80’s, there was a big thing about gender neutrality in toys, clothes, etc. There is nothing new under the sun. If I’m looking for something for one of my grandkids, I’ll find it.

  5. I wish I could take credit for it, but I love the point that has been made about labeling toys for boys or girls: Does the operation of the toy involve the genitalia, if no, then it can be played with by either girls or boys, if yes, then it is not a toy for children.
    I knew several boys who turned out to be quite masculine who enjoyed Barbie dolls (after all, who better to sweep GI Joe off his feet when he got back from the war) and several girls who ended up being very feminine who enjoyed playing with toy guns (after all, what girl didn’t want to be La Femme Nikita). Toys are toys, and if you are upset about them no longer being arbitrarily split by gender, then you are the one who needs to grow up.

  6. Uh, the whole point of the particular strip is that there are customers who come in wanting something to be angry about – “The constant search for anger fuel must be a tiring one”. The “gender toy” thing has very little to do with the concept of this strip. It’s a means to an end in terms of the message that Feuti wishes to convey.

  7. (after all, who better to sweep GI Joe off his feet when he got back from the war)

    How about another GI Joe? πŸ˜€

    Kidding!

  8. There’s no ‘reply’ button at the end of the comment string I apparently started, so I’m just putting my reply here.

    It IS silly. It’s silly because kids will play with each other’s toys, regardless of whether or not they’re designated ‘girls’ or ‘boys’. I had Ninja Turtles growing up, and some of my male friends would play with Barbies if that was what we were doing that day. I remember one memorable occasion when we were playing a game that involved Barbies and dinosaurs, and it had nothing to do with rescuing a damsel in distress, or anything stereotypical like that. They were ‘teaming up to stop Sonic the Hedgehog’, who was apparently evil for that game.

    My point is, even with those labels, kids will play their own games. It’s silly because they’re going to a lot of work to do away with something that many kids ignore anyway.

  9. Really, these signs shouldn’t be necessary. If someone is too dumb, or too blinded by ideology, to tell the difference between boy’s, girl’s, and what could reasonably be called “unisex” toys, the signs aren’t going to help and will probably just provoke a rant from them instead.

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