A new California bill is taking aim at retail stores for having boys’ and girls’ departments for “childcare articles, children’s clothing, or toys.”
AB 2826, recently introduced by Democratic Assemblymember Evan Low from Silicon Valley, states that if retail department stores with 500 or more employees fail “to maintain undivided areas of its sales floor” starting January 1, 2023, they stand to face a fine of $1,000.
The bill for "gender-neutral retail departments" reads as follows:
This bill would require a retail department store with 500 or more employees to maintain undivided areas of its sales floor where, if it sells childcare articles, children’s clothing, or toys, all childcare items, all clothing for children, or all toys, regardless of whether a particular item has traditionally been marketed for either girls or for boys, shall be displayed. Beginning on January 1, 2023, the bill would make a retail department store that fails to correct a violation of these provisions within 30 days of receiving written notice of the violation from the Attorney General liable for a civil penalty of $1,000, as provided.
Assemblyman Low claims that department stores that have "clothing and toys sections ... 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,” a press release from Low’s office entitled, “Let Kids Be Kids,” reads. “It also incorrectly implies that their use by one gender is inappropriate.”
“Already, several major retailers have taken steps to break down gender norms in clothing,” the press release continues. “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.”
The bill is currently pending referral to the state’s policy committee, according to Low’s office.
All this would do is make families' trips to the store epically more difficult and frustrating. But sure, California, let's continue to over-regulate and then regretfully suffer the consequences when said regulation goes too far and impedes on daily living.
(Cover Photo: Flickr / Walker Tottman)