Bill would ban gender-based toy sections in department stores

A bill introduced by the California State Legislature will require large department stores to stop splitting toys and childcare products into boys and girls sections.

“For example, in California, where we want to inspire more girls to work on science, engineering, and math, we want to make sure that these periodic tables and dinosaurs aren’t in the boys section,” he said. Congressman Evan Low said. (D-Campbell). “We want to make our children children.”

Law, the chairman of the legislative LGBTQ caucuses, co-authored the bill with Congressman Christina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), the leader of the legislative women’s caucuses. The bill submitted on February 18 is currently on the Commission.

Garcia, a former math teacher, said she wanted to play with Lincoln Logs as a kid, but was sometimes disappointed because she was considered a boy’s toy. But such play can build spatial abilities. This is related to improving the performance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Girls and women are often underestimated in these areas.

“Playtime is fun, but it’s also the development of skill sets,” she said. “It’s about ideas and creativity. I don’t want to limit my child’s creativity.”

The bill requires department stores with more than 500 employees to sell childcare products and toys to keep their sales floors undivided rather than categorized by gender. You also cannot use signs that indicate that a particular product is by gender.

Law said he was inspired by the staff’s nine-year-old daughter who complained to her mother that she had to go to the boys section to find a toy that appealed to her love of science and math.

“When you were young, why do you want to prevent young girls from entering wooden stores or becoming firefighters?” Law said. “All of these items may be listed in the Boys section.”

The first draft of the bill extended to children’s clothing and the websites of some retailers, but the language has been modified to remove those provisions, Law said.

He and Garcia noted that the bill codifies what many retailers are already doing and focused on its target. Gender-based signage phased out in the toys section in 2015.. Later, Wal-Mart and Toys “R” Us decided to do the same.

“For California, we feel like we’re catching up,” Garcia said. “And I want to make sure that other people are moving fast in that direction.”

Low compared to law and effort Establish a gender-independent bathroomProhibits retailers from charging extra for goods sold to women, Demanding the existence of women from the corporate board of directors..

“That’s the spirit of law, especially what we want to achieve in today’s era,” he said.

If voted by the Commission and passed by the Legislature, the bill will come into effect on January 1, 2024. The store may be liable for a $ 1,000 civil penalty if the breach is not corrected within 30 days of receipt in writing. notification.

“This message is about inclusiveness,” Garcia said. “I think we have children who understand our identity and we want to provide them with a safe space to do that.”

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