Saturday, September 12, 2015

Gender Neutrality

How do you feel about gender neutrality?  Wikipedia describes gender neutrality as the idea that policies, language, and other social institutions should avoid distinguishing roles according to people's sex or gender, in order to avoid discrimination arising from the impression that there are social roles for which one gender is more suited than the other is.

Could there ever be time when there is no gender difference to transcend.  I agree one hundred percent that gender discrimination has no place in our modern society.  The same-sex marriage decision is one-step.  Equal pay/promotion is another that's time has come.   But, just how would we feel if all gender differentiation was not there?   This is not likely to happen in our lifetime but a very interesting academic question.

Think it could never happen - Take a look at an August 7, 2015 press release for Target.  “What’s in Store: Moving Away from Gender-based Signs”.


Shop a Target store and chances are you’ll discover something exciting…..

But we never want guests or their families to feel frustrated or limited by the way things are presented. Over the past year, guests have raised important questions about a handful of signs in our stores that offer product suggestions based on gender. In some cases, like apparel, where there are fit and sizing differences, it makes sense. In others, it may not. Historically, guests have told us that sometimes—for example, when shopping for someone they don’t know well—signs that sort by brand, age or gender help them get ideas and find things faster. But 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.

We heard you, and we agree. 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. For example, in the kids’ Bedding area, signs will no longer feature suggestions for boys or girls, just kids. In the Toys aisles, we’ll also remove reference to gender, including the use of pink, blue, yellow or green paper on the back walls of our shelves.  You’ll see these changes start to happen over the next few months.

We thank guests all the time for challenging us to get better at what we do and take the shopping trip to new levels. We’re always listening, and your thoughts and ideas help us make Target, your Target, a better place.

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