Clean Up on Aisle Boy

Well, I was in Wal-Mart today.  There, I admit it.  I was in the store I claim to hate.  You know, everybody says they hate Wal-Mart but yet we economically help maintain their biggest-retailer-on-the-planet status.  Go figure.

Anyway…. Because I don’t go there often (I seem to need to further confirm my lack of familiarity with Wal-Mart), I did a lot of wandering through the store to find what I came in for (which I don’t even exactly remember what it was right now). But, as I approached the toy section of the store, I encountered a big sign on one aisle denoting toys for “BOYS” and another sign pointing to the aisle of toys for “GIRLS”.  Really?  In 2012, we still delineate toys for boys from toys for girls? !

Now, I don’t consider myself a feminist.  I don’t think I need to make that distinction.  I’m a “people-ist”, how about that? But, come on now.  The only way kids learn about gender-specific toys is when we tell them.  When I was a kid, I had a Hot Wheels race track and a Velvet doll (please tell me you’re old enough to know who “Velvet” is).  

My 5-year-old grandson loves to play “house”, followed by a rousing session of plastic sword whackery with his younger brother.  It never dawned on me, and I venture to say on my grandson either, that rules exist about what you are supposed to play with based on your biology.

I’m not suggesting we boycott Wal-Mart in protest.  Like that would work anyway.  But, seeing the toy signs has just really reminded me that if a world superpower (it's not just for governments anymore) like Wal-Mart still thinks there are Boy and Girl toys, maybe we have some work to do.  

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