SACRAMENTO— Assemblymember Evan Low (D–Silicon Valley) introduced AB 2826 last week, which would require retail department stores with 500 or more employees to maintain areas on their sales floor not divided by gender for kids toys, clothing, and childcare articles.
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.
“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 Assemblymember Evan Low. “Her bill will help children express themselves freely and without bias. We need to let kids be kids.”
Already, several major retailers have taken steps to break down gender norms in clothing. Abercrombie & Fitch and John Lewis recently launched unisex apparel lines for kids. In 2015, Target made headlines when it removed gender-based signs in some departments, including home and toys.
AB 2826 is currently pending referral to policy committee.