[guest post by JVW]
COVID. Recall elections. Homelessness. Wildfires. Drought. Racial unrest. Housing shortages. Unaffordable pension obligations. All of these are huge problems plaguing the Golden State. So what is our state legislature, controlled entirely by Democrats from the more leftish flank of the party, working on in the final days of this legislative session?
California could soon force large department stores to display some child products in gender neutral ways after the state Legislature passed a bill on Wednesday aimed at getting rid of traditional pink and blue marketing schemes for items like toys and toothbrushes.
The bill would not outlaw traditional boys and girls sections in department stores, but it would require retailers to have a gender neutral section to display “a reasonable selection” of items “regardless of whether they have been traditionally marketed for either girls or for boys.”
The bill would only apply to department stores with 500 or more employees, so most small businesses would be exempt. It also wouldn’t apply to clothes, just toys and “childcare items,” which include hygiene and teething products.
The state Senate passed the bill Wednesday, sending it back to the Assembly for a procedural vote before it heads to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk. If it becomes law, California would become the first state to require these sections in stores, according to the office of Assemblyman Evan Low, the bill’s author.
Because females, who comprise 58% of bachelor’s degrees earners and are now over 50% of doctorates conferred each year, are truly being held back by big block toy stores. There is almost no problem too picayune for progressives to pursue government-imposed solutions. More on this lunacy:
This is at least the third time California lawmakers have tried to pass this bill, with previous versions failing to pass in 2019 and 2020. Low, a Democrat from Campbell, said the measure was inspired by a 10-year-old girl named Britten whose mother works in his legislative office.
“Britten asked her mom while shopping why certain things in a store were ‘off limits’ to her because she was a girl, but would be fine if she was a boy,” Low said. “Thankfully, my colleagues recognized the pure intentions of this bill and the need to let kids be kids.”
But of course the toys weren’t at all “off limits” to young Britten: there’s hardly a toy store across the fruited plain from sea to shining see (and you too, Alaska and Hawaii) which would refuse to sell a “boy’s toy” to a little girl. In a functional world, Britten’s mom would have told her this and dissuaded her from the notion that she isn’t free to shop in whatever toy aisle she chooses, but of course Britten’s mom is a political employee for a far-left Democrat and so there’s a pretty strong chance that she is entirely unacquainted with reality to begin with.
And when a Republican senator tried to point out that perhaps this matter is too piddly even for hyper-sensitive California to deal with, the intersectionality matrix and the litany of past unconscious toxic heteronormativity reared their ugly heads:
Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat from San Francisco, said that while both he and Low are “childless gay men,” he defended their right to have opinions about children and families.
“We know what it was like to grow up not conforming to the way that your gender is supposed to be,” he said, adding: “This is about making safe spaces for all children in today’s society and not pushing, sometimes forcing children to conform.”
And so there you have it. Once Gavin Newsom signs this bill (and why wouldn’t he?) into law, these big box retailers will face fines of up to $250 for the first offense and up to $500 for the second offense. There’s no word on what a third and subsequent offenses will set back the user, but if it doubles each time then the dreaded thirteenth offense should come in at about $1 million. So as we slide into this Labor Day Weekend nervously tracking the rise in COVID cases, fretting about wildfires, worrying about the homeless people as the weather cools, and wondering where we’re going to get the money to pay for pensions down the road, take heart that in just 27 short months from now our state’s children will no longer have to deal with the heinousness of segregated toy aisles, and Barbie and G.I. Joe can at last share the same shelf at your local Wal-Mart. Progress.