"No Child Should Feel Stigmatized": California Bill Would Punish Retailers With Separate Boys And Girls Departments

A bill introduced by a California Democratic lawmaker would punish stores that separate toys, clothing and other children's items into separate boys and girls sections - forcing them to pay a $1000 fine, according to The Federalist Papers.

"I was inspired to introduce this bill after 8-year-old Britten asked, ‘Why should a store tell me what a girl’s shirt or toy is?" said California State Assembly member Evan Low of Silicon Valley, who unveiled AB 2826 last week. "Her bill will help children express themselves freely and without bias. We need to let kids be kids."

Via a press release by Low:

Clothing and toys sections of department stores that are separated along gender lines pigeonhole children. No child should feel stigmatized for wearing a dinosaur shirt or playing with a Barbie doll, and separating items that are traditionally marketed for either girls or boys makes it more difficult for the consumer to compare products. It also incorrectly implies that their use by one gender is inappropriate.

The bill states:

This bill would require a retail department store with 500 or more employees to maintain undivided areas of its sales floor where, if it sells childcare articles, children’s clothing, or toys, all childcare items, all clothing for children, or all toys, regardless of whether a particular item has traditionally been marketed for either girls or for boys, shall be displayed. Beginning on January 1, 2023, the bill would make a retail department store that fails to correct a violation of these provisions within 30 days of receiving written notice of the violation from the Attorney General liable for a civil penalty of $1,000, as provided.

...

(a) A retail department store shall maintain one, undivided area of its sales floor where, if it sells childcare articles, all childcare articles, regardless of whether a particular item has traditionally been marketed for either girls or for boys, shall be displayed.

(b) A retail department store shall maintain one, undivided area of its sales floor where, if it sells children’s clothing, all clothing for children, regardless of whether a particular item has traditionally been marketed for either girls or for boys, shall be displayed.

(c) A retail department store shall maintain one, undivided area of its sales floor where, if it sells toys, all toys, regardless of whether a particular item has traditionally been marketed for either girls or for boys, shall be displayed.

Yet another 'quirk' for California retailers to love about the Golden State.