California mandates ‘gender neutral’ toy areas in large stores

California Democrats, in full control of the nation’s most populous state, imagine themselves wise, even omnipotent, probably because they face no chance of losing power and no major media that are critical of their delusional grandeur. The latest example is a law passed by the state legislature and signed by Governor Gavin Newsom that regulates the merchandising of children’s toys. They actually think they know better than retailers what toys should be displayed where.

Eric Quintana reports in the Daily Wire:

California Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA) signed a new law Saturday mandating that many large retail stores offer some toys in gender-neutral sections, a move advocates say encourages children to consider toys without taking into account gender stereotypes.

“This bill would require a retail department store that is physically located in California that has a total of 500 or more employees across all California retail department store locations that sells childcare items or toys to maintain a gender neutral section or area, to be labeled at the discretion of the retailer, in which a reasonable selection of the items and toys for children that it sells shall be displayed, regardless of whether they have been traditionally marketed for either girls or for boys,” reads the law.

This is vague enough that disputes – and legal fees – are inevitable. What is a “reasonable” selection of toys to be displayed in the gender-neutral area?  With so many highly motivated, angry gender and transgender activists, complaints, and maybe even lawsuits are inevitable. The penalties for noncompliance are not draconian, $250 for the first offense and $500 for subsequent violations, but they could add up quickly in a chain store.

The rationale for the law is provided by its sponsor. Taryn Luna of the LA Times:

[Evan] Low [D-Campbell] said the daughter of one of his staff members inspired the bill when the girl questioned why she had to go to the boys section to find certain toys.

"Children have a very unique [sic] way of saying things that provide some common sense," Low said. "I think it's important that we as a state are demonstrating our values of diversity and inclusion."

Why can’t parents tell their kids that it’s fine to want a toy that mostly appeals to the opposite sex? Considering the fact that Democrat progressives are denying the reality of sex differences themselves, isn’t this a step backward? Maybe children can change genders as they wander the toy section.

Retailers already know that some toys appeal to both boys and girls and are fully capable of merchandising them appropriately without the state sticking its nose in and micromanaging their store layouts:

Target dropped boys and girls toy sections in 2015, and other retailers have since moved away from gender-specific labels.

Allocation of shelf space is one of the most critical decisions in retailing, and sticking bureaucrats into the process is not going to make it any easier. What with shoplifting now virtually decriminalized in California, bricks and mortar retailers already are under heavy pressure to simply survive.

I don’t see anything in the law that affects Amazon and other online retailers. This law is not going to help physical stores compete. Some of my happiest childhood memories involve wandering the aisles of toy stores and the toy department of Dayton’s, then the dominant department store in Minneapolis.  I hope that future generations are not denied the opportunity and instead must content themselves with browsing websites. It’s just not the same.

Photo credit: Memory Catcher Pixabay license

To comment, you can find the MeWe post for this article here.