Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom of California has passed a series of bills into law on Friday, one of which is AB 1084, a measure requiring "gender neutral retail departments" in toy stores to prevent shoppers from favoring toys for boys for their male children and toys for girls for their female kids.
Authored by Democratic Assemblymember Evan Low of Campbell, AB 1084 denounces the differences in products that are marketed for girls and boys as "unjustify" and that it is "inappropriate" to imply that only one gender can use such toys.
According to Breitbart, the new measure passed by the woke Democrat California governor demands that a retail department store that offers toys or other childcare items "shall maintain a gender neutral section or area" in which there will be "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."
The law requiring toy stores to be "gender neutral" also orders that this new section will only be applicable to California stores that have 500 or more employees across all of its store locations in the state. The bill will take effect on January 1, 2024, after which retail department stores that fail to adhere to the new measure will be "liable for a civil penalty, not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars ($250) for a first violation or five hundred dollars ($500) for a subsequent violation."
Retail stores that sell kids' toys may continue to maintain sections for boys and girls, as long as they have a "gender neutral" area. However, it is unclear if retailers will be penalized for selling the same toys in the gendered and "gender neutral" sections of their store.
According to CBS News, academic research has shown how gender-specific toys may "stunt a child's emotional and psychological growth." Judith Blakemore, a psychology professor at Indiana University explained that many toys marketed to male children are associated with violence and competition while those geared for female children emphasize domesticity, physical attractiveness, and nurturing, gender stereotypes that may mislead girls to place greater importance on one's physical attributes throughout life.
Low expressed how "incredibly grateful" he was that Gov. Newsom signed the measure this year, the New York Post reported. He said, "We need to stop stigmatizing what's acceptable for certain genders and just let kids be kids. My hope is this bill encourages more businesses across California and the U.S. to avoid reinforcing harmful and outdated stereotypes."
California is the first state to require toy stores to have a "gender neutral" section but as per USA Today, some large department stores already have changed their displays to accommodate such an idea. In fact, back in 2015, Target Corp. announced that it would stop using some gender-based signs in its 1,915 nationwide.
This is not the first time Democrats attempted to pass such a law, as similar bills have failed to become law in 2019 and 2020. Meanwhile, Republicans and other conservative leaders and groups have opposed the law requiring toy stores to be "gender neutral," arguing that the government must not order parents how to shop for their children's toys.