American baby culture emphasizes gender. We throw “gender reveal” Parties with pink or blue displays Retailers divide sections between “boys” “girls.”
Essentially, these divisions only indicate a child’s genitals, which is…super weird. Yet, a child’s gender is a defining part of their identity. In fact, it’s arguably the first part of their identity they learn.
California’s state legislators are working to change this. They are currently working on their third attempt in order to require gender-neutral child sections at all major retailers.
What is Assembly Bill 1084?
California assembly members Assembly Bill 1084 was introduced on February 18, 2021. Five amendments later, the bill passed the state Senate in September with 49 Ayes (16 Noes).
Assembly Bill 1084 Refers to retailers of toys or childcare items. The bill requires that all California large stores must adhere to the following requirements: “maintain undivided areas of its sales floor.”
“The bill would prohibit the use of signage indicating that particular items are for either girl or for boys,” The bill reads. The bill states that retailers cannot place products from undivided areas in other areas of the store without indicating their gender.
California e-commerce websites are also affected by the bill. These sites must contain at least one of the following: “unisex” Section.
The ‘Let Kids Be Kids’Campaign
Assembly Bill 1084 was inspired by a child. Assemblymember Evan Low’s Initial press release cites Britton, then eighteen years old, as his inspiration.
“8-year-old Britten asked, ‘Why should a store tell me what a girl’s shirt or toy is?’”Low. “Why are certain things in a store ‘off-limits to her because she was a girl? Her bill will help children express themselves freely and without bias. We need to let kids be kids.”
This idea (and catchphrase) isn’t new, either. Mumsnet was used by over 200,000 users in 2012 You have opened a new thread subject. This thread invited anyone who felt children should have the right to do whatever they want, regardless of gender stereotypes, to join the open call.
“They shouldn’t walk into a toy store and feel pressured to conform to archaic gender roles,” This is what the thread says. As a result, the Let Toys Be Toys campaign launched in November 2012
Why are lawmakers pushing this bill (for the third time)?
Let Toys Be Toys, a U.K. campaign. However, the states were slower to join the gender neutrality train.
California lawmakers have previously tried and failed to push similar bills—once in 2019 and again in 2020. This type of law has never been passed in any other state.
Two major statements are made in Bill 1084. One, similar products can be more easily identified by consumers if they are located in the same area of the sales floor.
The bill states that there are two. “Keeping similar items that are marketed either for girls or boys separated makes it more difficult for the consumer to compare the products.”It also “incorrectly implies that their use by one gender is inappropriate.”
Is It Worth the Effort?
Any retailer that is located in the United States will be able to sell starting January 1, 2024. Failure to comply you could face a fine of up to $1,000
Most American adults grew up in a society where children’s products were marketed toward “girls” “boys.”Assembly Bill 1084 is it worth the effort? Or are the arguments a bit too partisan?
It turns out that Gender socialization has a strong impact on kids’ self-esteem. Most children are able to identify stereotypical gender groups. Between 18-24 months. Most people categorize their gender within three years.
The clinic says, “Some children learn to behave in ways that bring them the most reward, despite their authentic gender identity.” This is due to the reinforcement of stereotypes, like complimenting a boy’s strength but a girl’s beauty.
2017 was the Journal of Adolescent HealthA study was published it was found that gender socialization increases the risk of STIs and domestic violence in women. For boys, it increased the likelihood of suicide and substance abuse.
Gender Inclusion: The Road to Gender Inclusivity
Considering the grave effects of childhood gender socialization, I think it’s safe to say the bill is not it’snot about splitting hairs. Rather, it’s laying the groundwork for a more inclusive society.
Children will beat up on their toys and eventually abandon them. Similarly, they’ll stain and soil their clothes until they hit their next growth spurt. Is there a kid who doesn’t do this? NeedsGender-specific diapers (Read: no.
This bill doesn’t seek to eliminate gender for those who wish to celebrate it. Instead, the bill would allow all children to do whatever they like, regardless of what gender they were given at birth.
Indeed, we can only hope that Governor Newsom will pave the way to a more inclusive society that cares less about what’s between your legs and more about the content of your character.