As we told you last week, Target has started removing unnecessary gendering in their stores (mainly on toys and entertainment). While they have heard from many presents on this issue over the years, it seems one tweet may have forced Target to take notice and fix its gender signage.
Early in June Abi Bechtel made, as she says, “a one-off, eye-rolling Tweet “. It wasn’t meant to start a movement but 3,000 retweets later it was hard for Target to ignore. Of course, this has also brought harsh criticism Abi’s way, which she reacts to with nothing but humour.
A lot of very concerned people flooded my Twitter mentions, Facebook messages, and email with their very valid concerns, such as how I was a big fat ugly fat fatty who hates children and loves ISIS and doesn’t understand how gender or the free market work.
As Harvard Medical School psychologist Susan Linn points out
Rigidly gendered toy marketing tells kids who they should be, how they should behave, and what they should be interest in.
The signage does matter!
Abi has seen this issue in her own sons, hearing “ew, that’s girl stuff” if they wander down the wrong toy aisle, an attitude she has been careful to avoid within her home.
People often write off social media as passive pseudo-activism but it is clear that it works!