Last Friday, Target announced it would be phasing out “gender-based signs” in their stores. No longer will bedding for children be labeled as suggested for boys or girls, and the familiar pink and blue isles will be phased out, although clothing will still be labeled according to gender.
Reactions to the announcement on the Target website were generally positive. By CNN’s count, only a “small minority of commentators criticized Target in the online statement for giving into pressure to promote ‘politically correct fads’ and ‘homogenize the genders.'”
It didn’t take long for some conservative culture warriors to take up arms against what Target is doing. In an article released today on the Blaze website, Matt Walsh places the “blame” for the change on the sensitivities of a “few hypersensitive, hyperliberal parents,” exaggerating that the “sensitivities of the 0.0001 percent outweighed the concerns of the 99.999 percent, as usual.” Yes, Matt is given to gross hyperbole, as his description of what progressives want to do to our children shows:
“Progressives [want to] defeat traditional concepts of gender and usher in this new ambiguous dystopia where kids can live as amorphous, genderless, pansexual blobs of nondescript matter.“
He also states earlier in the post their ideas are “progressive” in the same sense that dementia progresses. So much for discussing the issues calmly and rationally without resorting to ad hominem attacks.
Even more disconcerting than Walsh’s diatribe is the statement put out by evangelist Franklin Graham on his Facebook page Tuesday. Anyone who takes the scriptures seriously should be concerned such a prominent evangelical leader would use the Bible the way Graham does in his post.
“God created two different genders. Jesus said, ‘Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female (Matthew 19:4).’“
Calling on followers to send letters of protest, Graham states that by not retaining their practice of “separating things like toys and bedding into boys’ and girls’ sections,” Target is failing to appreciate “the genders God created.” How he arrives at this conclusion from the fact the stores will no longer label toy cars and trucks as for boys, and My Little Pony sheets as for girls, is incomprehensible. As Benjamin L. Corey puts it in his post today on Patheos:
“…where in the Bible does it say that my daughter isn’t allowed to play with a toy car? Is there a section of the Bible (perhaps one of the Lost Gospels?) where it lists out all the toys that boys can play with and all the toys that girls can play with? Which section of the Bible covers the correct way for a secular store to organize and label our beloved plastic toys?“
Certainly there is room in the cultural debates to discuss the issues surrounding gender issues. God’s design for the sexes certainly needs to be discussed. But to make it about which toys a boy can play with, or how a girl can decorate her bedroom, is anything but productive.