Target Going Gender-Neutral, Internet Explodes

Kelly Martin/Wikimedia Commons

Kelly Martin/Wikimedia Commons

Target has announced a new plan to phase out gender-based signage from its stores — including the removal of pink and blue to denote different toys meant for boys or girls.

“We never want guests or their families to feel frustrated or limited by the way things are presented,” the company wrote in a blog post announcing the changes. “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. Read more »

Dear Target: I Think You Have a Gender Problem

Via Shutterstock.

Via Shutterstock.

Dear Target (or, my pet name for you, Tarjay),

I’ll admit: I am absolutely enthralled by my weekly fling with you. I mean, come on: Where else can I get my prescriptions filled, buy green tea scented Method hand soap, and grab a Grande iced vanilla coconut milk latte from your in-house Starbucks while browsing on flawless free wifi? We’re talking dream come true.

But over the last few months, the headlines speak for themselves: You nearly had women stampede and kill themselves during your crazy-ass Lilly Pulitzer launch that sold out in nanoseconds (and Lilly really is the definition of upper-middle class female domesticity: the Mean Girl‘s style Tweets that showed how “real” Lilly fans thought of your knock-off collection speak for themselves). Then last week, one of your shoppers posted a picture that broke the Internet: a specialized toy category she found in one of your stores for “Girls’ Building Sets:”

Can you tell me what exactly a “girls’ building set” is, Target? Does it contain glitter pink hammers with little Hello Kitty screwdrivers? Or, in the clearance section, is there a Hannah Montana toolbox? I’m feeling clueless here. Read more »

No More Iniquity Inequity!

woman stealing

Shutterstock.com

 

Last month’s “Equal Pay Day”—the day that’s set aside to demonstrate how much extra work women must do to earn what men earn—touched off a tsunami of back-and-forth over the causes of inequality in the workplace. Do women make less money than men do because they take time off to have kids? Choose careers with less stress and responsibility (and easier college majors)? Are battered down by the male patriarchy?

These questions are way too thorny for me to answer. And anyway, I’m much more outraged by a new report that highlights a differential just as disturbing when it comes to gender relations. It provides incontrovertible proof that women lag far, far behind men when it comes to employee theft. Read more »

Chana Rothman’s Rainbow Train Debunks Gender Norms

Chana Rothman

Philly-by-way-of-Toronto artist Chana Rothman is debuting her children’s album Rainbow Train on Tuesday, May 12th. Rothman tapped into personal experiences and her son’s early experimentation with gender expression to create the collection of songs that focuses on gender freedom, gender expression, pride and love.

Read more »

What New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait Gets Wrong About Political Correctness

Jonathan Chait, previously a senior editor at The New Republic and currently a writer at New York magazine, spent a great amount of words last week espousing the virtues of freedom, liberty, and being able to say what you want. The New Republic is seen as something of an institution in journalism, though not without its problems, problems which have been discussed critically and ardently by prominent members of the journalism community, including The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates. In December, the magazine suffered losses as many staffers resigned in response to a change in editorial direction. Chait was among those who resigned.

Now on solid ground at New York, Chait once a voice on the front lines liberalism at his old post, is using his new footing to push back on the criticism he and his colleagues received as editors at The New Republic. Chait’s missive is a challenge to liberal culture’s need for so-called political correctness.

Read more »

Men Are Toast. No They’re Not. Discuss.

the-end-of-men-940

A female student reported a sign of a harassing nature. Upon further investigation, it was determined the communication was not to be directed in a harassing manner.

—Swarthmore College campus police blotter, 9/21/13

The paperback version of Hanna Rosin’s The End of Men: And the Rise of Woman came out this month, with a new epilogue, adapted for an article on Slate, that muses further on the peculiar role-reversal the author sees the genders currently undergoing. Rosin has accumulated a host of evidence to support her view that males have become obsolete–from the dearth of men on college campuses to the explosion in female-headed single-parent households. Yet when she appears at book events, she says, there’s an inevitable moment when a woman in the audience starts sniping about “the patriarchy.”

Read more »

Gender Identity Added to Fortune 500 Policy

PPL Corporation, a Fortune 500 company based in Allentown (about an hour’s drive from Philly), has added gender identity to its non-discrimination policy this week. PPL’s Chairman and CEO William Spence said he was inspired to rethink the policy in October when he was attending the 10th anniversary gala for PPL’s gay and lesbian employee resource group (GLOW). It was at that event that Adrian Shanker, Equality Pennsylvania‘s president, was delivering a keynote.

“This change is very significant, and it is yet another reminder that equal rights for the LGBT community are common sense,” says Shanker. “I hope our legislators soon catch up with the public as well as those who overwhelmingly believe that non-discrimination in the workplace is good policy.”

Read more »

Watch: Mazzoni Stories

“The mere existence of it validates who we are.” That’s just one of the testimonials featured in a new video about the Mazzoni Center, one of the nation’s largest LGBT health centers. We recognize a lot of familiar Philly faces – everyone from employees of the center, volunteers and even patients who stepped up to tell their stories. Find out more about important LGBT health-related issues, as well as how to come out to your doctor, by clicking here.

And check out the new video:

Read more »

Transgender No Longer a Mental Illness

Photo by Think Stock

In a big step for transgender rights, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) has removed being transgender as a mental illness. Rather than being labeled as mentally unfit, transgender individuals will now be diagnosed with something called gender dysphoria – which suggests emotional stress when it comes to gender identity. This is a major change from when gender identity disorder was listed as a mental disorder 20 years ago.

In an interview with The Advocate, APA’s Jack Drescher said, “All psychiatric diagnoses occur within a cultural context. We know there is a whole community of people out there who are not seeking medical attention and live between the two binary categories. We wanted to send the message that the therapist’s job isn’t to pathologize.”

So rather than to suggest that somehow gender identity can be treated, if not cured, the new classification will ideally bring more acceptance. In the legal world, it could also have positive implications as many transgender individuals risk losing their jobs and children when the case is made for mental incompetence.

Keep in mind that homosexuality was also considered a mental illness up until 1973.

« Older Posts