In last week’s GOP debate, Donald Trump said one of the greatest problems this country faces “is being politically correct.” A great example occurred the next day when retail giant Target announced it would no longer separate its toys or bedding into ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ sections. It’s all just “kids’” stuff now. In a spectacular display of American groupthink, Target has become gender-neutral.
That boys and girls are vastly different—that they have different hormones, different brain structures, different attitudes, different preferences and different behaviors, all due to their unique biology—is now taboo to admit.
According to Target, the new policy is simply a response to parental demands. It seems parents everywhere are grossly offended by the separation of items into ‘boy’ stuff and ‘girl’ stuff.
Really? I’ve spent thousands of dollars at Target since I became a mother (of a boy and a girl) more than 15 years ago, and I’ve never seen nor heard of a parent who was put off by gender-based aisles. It isn’t even that obvious.
But when Abi Bechtel, a self-proclaimed “feminist mother,” noticed a sign in the toy section of an Green, Ohio Target that separated building sets by gender, she tweeted, “Don’t do this, @Target.” And it went viral. Two months later, Target instituted its new policy. ”Over the past year, guests have raised important questions about a handful of signs in our stores that offer product suggestions based on gender.”
That’s political correctness: when companies (or governments, or churches) cave to pressure from a select, albeit vociferous, few who insist society change to accommodate them. “Our society is constantly telling kids how they’re expected to perform girlhood or boyhood,” writes Bechtel, “and so my partner and I spend a lot of time trying to help our boys to unlearn these messages.”
That’s a matter of opinion, and Bechtel’s entitled to it. But she’s not entitled to demand society conform to her views, particularly since Target’s new policy panders to the notion that sex differences don’t exist. “So much of this is sort of social conditioning that happens as a result of generations of [this] being passed on to us,” said psychiatrist Sue Varma on the Today show.
Read: Biology isn’t real. We’ve just been taught to think it is.
It may be trendy to think this way, but that doesn’t make it true. There are many authorities in the area of sex differences—Michael Gurian, author of The Minds of Boys and The Wonder of Girls; Leonard Sax, author of Why Gender Matters; and Louann Brizendine, author of The Female Brain and The Male Brain, to name a few—who could easily prove otherwise.
“The behavioral influences of male and female hormones on the brain are major,” writes Brizendine. “My son didn’t turn Barbie into a sword because his environment promoted the use of weapons. He was practicing the instincts of his male brain to aggressively protect and defend.”
In the America of today, such biological facts are dismissed as “regressive and harmful.” That is to our discredit, for there is much to be gained by embracing male and female nature.
Will parents get used to the new organization at Target? Eventually—they’ll have no choice. But that’s not the point. The point is that Target has legitimized the hoopla surrounding Caitlyn Jenner. There’s a huge difference between a Hollywood personality insisting he’s neither fully male nor fully female and allowing an entertainment industry to exploit his predicament for monetary gain, and another for a major Midwestern retailer that caters to millions of families across this country to perpetuate the notion that biology isn’t real when it is.
There’s nothing wrong with the fact that girls walk around with dolls in their arms while boys look for things they can smash or crash. If your child is different in this way, so be it. Steer him or her to the appropriate aisle—no one’s stopping you.
The new Target policy is nothing more than political correctness run amok. What’s next? Will the ‘male’ and ‘female’ checkboxes on medical forms soon say ‘person, place or thing’?