Fox News Up In Arms Over Target's Plan To Remove Gender Labels From Some Children's Products
Research ››› ››› JULIE ALDERMAN
Fox News is up in arms over Target's announcement that it will remove some gender-based signage from its stores in the coming months.
Target Announces Plan To Remove Gender Labels From Children's Toys, Home, And Entertainment Aisles
Target To Begin Phasing Out "Gender-Based Signage" In Some Departments. In an August 7 press release, Target announced that the retail chain will begin removing gender-based signage from its bedding and toys sections. The move came after Target faced mounting pressure from customers. According to its press release:
But we never want guests or their families to feel frustrated or limited by the way things are presented. Over the past year, guests have raised important questions about a handful of signs in our stores that offer product suggestions based on gender. In some cases, like apparel, where there are fit and sizing differences, it makes sense. In others, it may not. Historically, guests have told us that sometimes--for example, when shopping for someone they don't know well--signs that sort by brand, age or gender help them get ideas and find things faster. But we know that shopping preferences and needs change and, as guests have pointed out, in some departments like Toys, Home or Entertainment, suggesting products by gender is unnecessary.
We heard you, and we agree. Right now, our teams are working across the store to identify areas where we can phase out gender-based signage to help strike a better balance. For example, in the kids' Bedding area, signs will no longer feature suggestions for boys or girls, just kids. In the Toys aisles, we'll also remove reference to gender, including the use of pink, blue, yellow or green paper on the back walls of our shelves. You'll see these changes start to happen over the next few months. [Target, 8/7/15]
"A Really Dumb Idea": Fox News Is Indignant Over Target's Move
Brian Kilmeade: "Who Are They Helping?" On the August 10 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade claimed that Target's initiative to remove gender-based signage from some areas of its stores will make it more difficult for adults to find toys a child might want. Questioning the need for the change, Kilmeade asked, "Who are we helping?" and complained, "Now you have to sit there and look at a blended area and wonder, if this for a boy or is this for a girl?":
DOOCY: So to recap, it will be the toys and the bedding. It will not be the clothing, which is good because you need to know which is which, I would assume. How many times you gone into a store -- when I buy glasses and there are all of them up on the wall, I will ask the person are these men's or women's?
KILMEADE: Who are we helping? The non-people that are upset by this? If you go to buy a gift for a boy who's nine or six or a girl who's nine or six, you want to be able to go to that section and pick out a toy they might want. Now you have to sit there and look at a blended area and wonder is this for a boy or is this for a girl?
DOOCY: I think what they're saying is the boundaries are down; boys and girls can play with the same toys now.
KILMEADE: Great, fantastic. There's going to be some unhappy girls and some unhappy girls now. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/10/15]
Andrea Tantaros: This Is "A Really Dumb Idea." On the August 10 edition of Outnumbered, co-host Andrea Tantaros called the retail store's move "a really dumb idea," lamenting that gender neutral toys "deny that there's a difference between the sexes":
FAULKNER: This was the statement that Target issued back to the people, the guests, who were complaining, 'We heard you and we agree.'
TANTAROS: Who's you? I mean, who thinks this is a real problem in America? If Target wants to do it, fine, let them do it. I'm not going to tell Target how to run its business. I just think it's a really dumb idea and I don't see what this does for kids having labels for boys and girls because to mix it all together is to deny that there's differences between the sexes. [Fox News, Outnumbered, 8/10/15]
Fox & Friends Attacks Target's Move In "P.C. Police" Segment. In an August 11 "P.C. Police" segment on Fox & Friends, network contributor Tammy Bruce questioned Target's decision, asserting that gender labels are "helpful" for guidance and that children just "naturally [have] different interests"(emphasis added):
BRUCE: Well look, I think that a lot of the times these signs are also helpful for parents. When you're going to need to buy a toy for a five-year-old little girl, it's helpful to have guidance. I also think, and I think you'd agree with me that, boys and girl are different. And that there are naturally different interests. When you go in there, the barbies are there, the little boys want the war toys or a gun, or the action figures. Video game interests are different. That is a real thing and it exists. I think that removing these labels sends a message and I think the American people are getting a little fatigued at the idea that their decisions for their children isn't enough. That you can have labels, and you know, when I grew up, I liked marbles and stuff animals. Kids are going to go yes, go where they want to go, but I think that this sends another message that parents decisions about these issues are not good enough, someone else is going to make those choices for them. And also the blurring of the notion that there are gender differences, not just with children, but also between men and women and I like those differences. I think women are gonna save the world. I think that women are very beneficial and I like what makes us different and I think gender differences are important.
But see and you still can, and that's the difference. Is that if you got somebody who really isn't necessarily sure, who is buying a toy for a niece or a nephew who is young, that's helpful. And I think that the argument that we don't - does speak, and I was on the left, and working with NOW and GLAAD while you probably were still in your shorts as a little kid. And these are issues that are discussed on the left. And I think that we've had so many successes as gays, that we can be I think generous in recognizing that maybe not everybody wants their kids in this framework. That not everyone, certainly we know, is gay. And that kids - signs that differentiate amongst gender is fine, and it's not gonna harm anybody. And It's not necessarily progress to remove that. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/11/15]
Fox & Friends Guest: Removing Gender Labels May Make Kids "Question What Their Gender Is." On yet another segment discussing Target's decision during the August 11 edition of Fox & Friends, guest Tom Kersting claimed the retailer was responding to "this whole gender neutral agenda" and that they may have gone "a little overboard." Kersting went on to suggest that removing gender labels might "confuse kids" and "have them question what their gender is." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/11/15]