The Dystopia of Gender Neutral Toy Shopping.

dys·to·pi·a: an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one.

In August, the big red bulls-eye decided it was time to pull back on some of its gender based signage starting in the toy section; Target had just fired the shot heard round the gender world and created a shopping dystopia the likes that will not be seen again this century.

The faux outrage and concern trolling was quick and immediate as cries of “I’ll never shop there again” were heard around the internet. “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,” Target announced on its blog, “Right now, our teams are working across the store to identify areas where we can phase out gender-based signage to help strike a better balance.”

The removal of pink, blue, yellow or green paper on the back shelving walls came down within a couple of weeks of the announcement from the Minnesota based retailer. Signage will also be revamped in the bedding, entertainment and home as-well-as eliminating the ‘for girls’ and ‘for boys’ suggestive signing and replacing it with ‘for kids.’ “

It’s a move many of us have been pushing towards for years; Rachel Simmons, one of the co-founders of Girls Leadership told ABC News, “It’s a huge deal that Target is going gender-neutral because Target is a trendsetter. Retailers have an incredible opportunity here,” she continued, “They’re opening up a whole world of possibility for these kids.”

676Not everyone was happy with this sudden change of direction and angry consumers turned to Twitter to vent. “So how am I going to be able to tell what is for boys or girls? Why are we going to confuse kids at a young age?” said @NickyRumblez . Exactly! So we at Claire-Channel Media have come up with a list of ways to avoid the sudden dystopian post-apocalyptic scenario Target has now driven us towards.


  1. Determine the Gender of Your Child: Look at your child and try to determine if they are male or female. This identify may have been placed on your child at birth by a physician, so please check your child’s birth records for any needed verification. Since a majority of the general population does not recognize –nor understand- people who are transgender, intersex, gender non-conforming or non-binary, we have decided to gear this informational guide towards those parents forcing their children to conform to the male/female paradigm.
  2. The Boy/Girl Test: Since Target has now removed the pink and blue wall paper in their toy isles, look for items that represent life or death. Remember, toys that are generally educational, nurture life, are bright in color, or represent the values of your typical nuclear family, it’s a good chance these toys may be meant for your daughter. If the item shoots, is meant to represent death, changes form for absolutely no reason and are single player toys, these are generally made for boys. Some toys, however, will be elusive and it may take you a day or two to figure out their intended use. Stuffed animals, small hand held Leap Frog type devices, games, puzzles and anything with the word ‘krazy’ in it [sand, straws, stix, puddy] will be particularly difficult to assess. Bring your child’s therapist along to make the tough decisions for you.
  3. Determine the Gender of the Toy: Flip the toy upside down and check between its wheels. If the toy has a trailer hitch, sword, large building, or a plastic clip to rapid fire small pellets, this toy is male. If the item requires batteries and represents one of the STEM [Science, Technology, Education, Math] areas of study, this toy is mostly likely female.
  4. The Last Resort: Ask your child what kind of toys they would like, purchase those toys and don’t worry about it.

As society continues to crumble under the weight of gender neutral signage in stores and on restroom doors, it’s important to stay calm, keep at least a month of non-perishable food items on hand, and have at least three working flash lights in a secure location.