A recently proposed bill in the California Legislature would prevent department stores from dividing toy aisles between cis (boy / girl) gender rows.

The California Legislature is considering a bill that, if accepted by the state, would prevent department stores from dividing aisles of toys and “child care items” by gender.

On March 7, the bill went into commission, as reported The LA Times. Assemblywoman Evan Low and Assemblywoman Cristina García co-authored the bill to prevent children from exploring interests that previously might have been deterred from pursuing due to gender role assumptions, such as a lack of science-related toys in the hallway assigned to girls or in a hallway. lack of kitchen-related toys in hallway assigned to children.

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Low stated, “In the state of California, where we hope to inspire, for example, more girls to get into science, engineering and math, we want to make sure those periodic tables and dinosaurs are not in the boys section.” He added: “We just want children to be children.”

Assemblywoman Garcia expressed similar sentiments about creating a gender-neutral environment for children during playtime, noting, “Playtime is fun, but it’s also about developing a skill set.” Garcia added: “It’s about ideas and being creative. We want to make sure we don’t limit a child’s creativity.” However, he noted that this bill also aims to promote inclusion, stating: “I think we have children who are discovering their identities, so we want to give them that safe space to do that.”

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In 2015, Target decided to phase out gender-based signage in its toy sections, prompting Toys R Us and Walmart to quickly follow suit. Low and Garcia referenced this move, stating that they both feel California is “catching up” with these gender-inclusive decisions. Garcia said, “And we want to make sure other people move faster in that direction.”

If accepted, the bill would ask department stores with “500 or more employees that sell child care items or toys to maintain undivided sales floors for those items rather than segregate them by gender.” Additionally, the department store will no longer be able to use gender-assigned signs in the sale of toys and child care items. If stores did not comply with these measures, they would receive a written notification from the state. If the cited issues are not “corrected”, a civil penalty of $ 1,000 would apply.

At the time of this writing, Low and Garcia’s bill is still in committee, but if accepted and approved by the California Legislature, it would be in effect as of January 1, 2024.

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Source: The LA Times

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