California is the first state to require large department stores to display products such as toys and toothbrushes in gender -neutral ways.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California on Saturday became the first state to say large department stores should display products like toys and toothbrushes in ways that are gender -neutral, a win for LGBT advocates who say pink and blue colors of traditional marketing methods are forcing children to conform to gender stereotypes.
The new law, signed by Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom, does not ban traditional men’s and women’s sections in department stores. Instead, it says large stores should also have a gender -neutral section to display “a reasonable selection” of items regardless of what is traditionally displayed for either girls or for boys. . “
Clothing is not included there. The law only applies to toys and “child care items,” which include hygiene and teething products. And it only applies to stores with at least 500 employees, meaning except for small businesses.
Assemblyman Evan Low, a Democrat from San Jose who authored the bill, said he was “extremely grateful” that Newsom signed the bill this year – the third time Democrats have tried in the state Legislature to pass this law, with similar bills that failed in 2019 and 2020.
Low said she was inspired by the 10-year-old daughter of one of her staff, who asked her mother why certain items in the store were “unlimited” to her because she was a girl. .
“We need to stop stigmatizing what’s acceptable for certain genders and just let kids be kids,” Low said. “I hope this bill encourages more businesses across California and the U.S. to avoid adopting harmful and outdated stereotypes.”
While California was the first state to require it, several large department stores have changed how they present their products. Target Corp., which has 1,915 stores across the United States, announced in 2015 it would stop using certain gender -based signals in its stores.
The law has been opposed by some Republicans and some conservative groups, who have argued that the government should not tell parents how to shop for their children.