Don’t Be Stupid, Of Course Kids’ Toys Aren’t Gender Neutral

Don’t Be Stupid, Of Course Kids’ Toys Aren’t Gender Neutral

California lawmakers have decided that kids don't have natural gender preferences regarding toys and clothes. It's abject nonsense.

The latest nutty insanity to arise in the state of California is a proposed state ban on department stores having different sections for boys’ and girls’ toys and clothing. Now, this may well have been something you weren’t so aware was a pressing problem, but according to the California state legislature, this measure is needed to ensure consumers can compare products without “unjustified differences.”

What does that mean, exactly? It means exactly nothing. First of all, anyone who has ever been in a department store knows that if he wishes to compare girls’ and boys’ toys, he is free to walk a distance, usually a few feet, to the next aisle and compare them. There is no border wall to surmount. It’s literally right there.

No, the purpose of this legislation has nothing to do with helping consumers and everything to do with trying to untether our children from natural and healthy predilections that have existed throughout time. Somehow these legislators have convinced themselves that the only reason boys like toy guns and actions figures while girls like tea sets and princesses is because the patriarchy has created these monstrous social constructs.

Almost any parent, who has not decided to engage in willing suspension of disbelief in the face of social justice claims, knows this is nonsense. Anyone who picks his or her kid up from school knows this. My son attends a diverse school with many immigrants from around the world. Upon being released from school, the vast majority of students display behavior typical to their sex. What a strange coincidence.

Are there exceptions to this? Certainly, and there is nothing wrong with masculine girls or feminine boys. This is a phenomenon with a long history. In fact, the irony is that many of the people who insist that feminine boys and masculine girls are literally of the other sex and require treatment for it are the same ones now insisting that these sex differences don’t exist and should be removed from the marketplace.

If the primary way we can know if a child is trans is his or her affinity for the products and behaviors associated with a given sex, then how can we at the same time deny that these differences exist? It makes absolutely no sense. And it betrays that for many social justice warriors the actual goal is to obliterate sex entirely, whether they realize that or not.

What other purpose could be served by forcing kids and their parents to pretend that trucks and Barbie dolls, cute dresses and football jerseys aren’t different at all, don’t appeal differently to different sexes, and must be morphed into some sex-free androgyny? The vast majority of children are not David Bowie in 1974.

This is exactly the kind of progressive overreach in the public square that conservatives must face head on, rather than simply deciding it’s not a big deal. It is a big deal. If a store decided on its own to do this, it would not be a big deal. It would be dumb, but who cares? This is the state of California doing it. This is the government saying that business cannot acknowledge the reality of biological sex in their stores.

Common sense has its limitations, but it also has its uses. Girls and boys are different. I’m sorry; I don’t mean to shock anybody by saying this. Boys and girls, for the most part, have different interests and likes. This very basic fact is an incontrovertible one that will not buckle under pressure from the Golden State’s hapless legislators.

But that doesn’t mean that laws such as this cannot do great harm. They can. Inviting our children into progressive dysphonia about gender quite clearly encourages them to invent their own dysphonia. Telling kids that they are wrong to have their own preferences tells them that must have the government’s preferences instead. That’s a dangerous game that gets very close to brainwashing.

Mandating different aisles for boys and girls toys and clothing is a bizarre attempt to thwart nature that is guaranteed to do more harm than good. The division of these products in stores is a product of nature, not of some fictional hierarchy invented by Mike Pence and social conservatives.

Let the kids be kids. Let them go to the toy store on their birthday to buy toys, not to get lessons from the California state legislature on the dos and don’ts of gender. Not everything is a pressing matter of social justice. Sometimes it’s just a GI Joe, and there is nothing wrong with that.

David Marcus is the Federalist's New York Correspondent. Follow him on Twitter, @BlueBoxDave.
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