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California’s Latest Woke Mandate: Stores Must Have Sections for “Gender-Neutral Toys”

California’s Latest Woke Mandate: Stores Must Have Sections for “Gender-Neutral Toys”

The single most useless piece of legislation ever created in this history of legislation.

The Legal Insurrection team often reports on California, the petri dish for insane progressive policies. Over the past few weeks, we have written that:

The stories about California’s decline are climbing; there will be many more in 2024. There are many reasons why I can forecast the failure, but chief among those reasons is the political class in Sacramento.

Its legislature crafted a law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom requiring stores to create gender-neutral sections for children or face a penalty of up to $500.

In 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation, titled Assembly Bill No. 1084, which will require some retail stores in the state to have a gender-neutral section for children “regardless of whether they have been traditionally marketed for either girls or for boys.”

The bill is set to go into effect on January 1, 2024, and states that stores failing to comply will be “liable for a civil penalty not to exceed $250 for a first violation or $500 for a subsequent violation, as provided.”

The legislation applies to “a retail department store that is physically located in California that has a total of 500 or more employees across all California retail department store locations that sells childcare items or toys.”

This insanity of this law is such that the Editorial Board of the New York Post offered its assessment:

Aside from the fact that nothing now stops any parent from buying any kid any toy (in the family price range) he or she wants.

Indeed, thanks to online retail, no parent ever has to set foot in a toy store.

The fact is, gendered marketing for toys seems to bother whiny adults in deep-blue states far more than it does actual kids.

Yes, little girls generally like to play with dolls and such, and little boys generally like to play with trucks and toy guns. Yet plenty of kids march to the beat of their own drums; all their needs are easily met thanks to the wonders of market capitalism.

And plenty of toys are already as gender-neutral as it gets.

The sentiment was echoed by many on social media:

According to the bill, the age range of the ‘children’ that the legislation refers to is 12 years of age and under.

According to the bill, ‘childcare items’ refer to any product that is designed to facilitate sleep, feeding children, relaxation, or ‘to help children with sucking or teething’.

…’Toys’ were defined as a product designed or intended to be used by children by the manufacturer.

Californian Democratic Congressman Evan Low backed the bill to the Associated Press

‘We need to stop stigmatizing what’s acceptable for certain genders and just let kids be kids,’ he said.

This has got to be the single most useless piece of legislation ever created in this history of legislation, as my colleague, Fuzzy Slippers, noted in 2021.

Despite decades of leftist social engineering, it turns out that—generally speaking—little girls most enjoy playing with dolls, while little boys most enjoy playing with toy trucks. Moreover, according to a recent study, this tendency to prefer toys associated with “traditional gender roles” has remained steady for 50 years.

I dread 2024, with its slew of new laws and rules created by Sacramento’s political class.


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The Gentle Grizzly | December 11, 2023 at 11:16 am

Post a sign over one end cap, “Gender Neutral”. Place one doll, and one toy truck there. Then dare the state to specify minimum shelf space or some such.

    How about toy guns,

    GMTA. I’d go a step further — I’d designate about a foot of shelf space and place NO items in it. Just label it “Gender Neutral.”

    But the law states that the retailer must maintain a “reasonable selection of the items and toys for children that it sells shall be displayed, regardless of whether they have been traditionally marketed for either girls or for boys.”

    There’s no definition in the bill of a “reasonable selection.”

      Corky M in reply to alien. | December 12, 2023 at 8:59 am

      The failure to define “reasonable selection” is by design and not ignorance. Vague definitions are intentional so to “demand” definition by the legal system. Think feature, not flaw.

      Flip that over on its head and it becomes easy. Post a sign that says “All of our toys are gender-neutral.”

      There’s significant irony in this because a little over ten years ago, Hasbro produced the 4th generation of My Little Pony. By the second year, teenagers had surpassed the target demographic of 8-10 year old girls. By the *end* of the second year, college students. Around the fourth year, the MLP brand was one of only two or three profitable lines in Hasbro because young adults (male and female, including military bronies) were buying so much merchandise and watching the surprisingly good G4 cartoon. This ran just over a decade until 2019, at which point they shut down G4 for G5 (to much disappointment). A remarkable fandom with very low (comparatively) toxicity that supported family and virtue. The target was young girls, but the conventions looked like a college campus. (yes, I write in the fandom for practice and to become a better and someday commercial writer)

    They should not reveal the gender of their children until after they’re grown up. Last year a California couple had a gender-reveal party that started a wildfire that burned 7,000 acres.

    I always go to the gender neutral section to get my teddy bears. I find they are very gentle.

The litmus test to me in Washington was when they started banning plastic shopping bags and then plastic straws.

A government that is empowered to control your life to that level of detail has NO limits except those imposed by retaliatory mob violence that signifies the abject break down of civilized society.

This is an unconstitutional government overreach. I hope that at least one store decides to challenge it.

Toy soldiers should be gender neutral as both sexes are free to play with their little privates.

Fat_Freddys_Cat | December 11, 2023 at 11:45 am

I suspect that for many “progressives” it has nothing to do with the toys per se; it’s rather that they find the labeling and marketing to be “triggering” i.e. “I shouldn’t have to walk into a toy store and see that!”

Heh, I’ll bet many of the worst whiners aren’t even parents.

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to Fat_Freddys_Cat. | December 11, 2023 at 11:58 am

    “Heh, I’ll bet many of the worst whiners aren’t even parents.”

    I’ll bet most of those screaming about Indian team names aren’t Indian / Native American / First Nation.

    I’ll bet most of those screaming “me too!” were never raped, or even propositioned.

    And so on.

The history of gender-neutral toys probably goes back to the first time a human child picked up a stick. There have always been gender-neutral toys – what does the California government imagine retailers did with them, and how is it different from what they’re now required to do?

    What the Progressives want to ban is the perfectly normal and natural thing is that most girls pick up a stick and it’s a magical wand, and most boys pick it up and it turns into a sword or gun (or a bow for the slightly more historical and a bendier stick). They insist that everyone must do things in a perfectly interchangeable cog-like manner.

    #FJB <-- Disco Stu_ in reply to Flatworm. | December 12, 2023 at 6:52 am

    You can bet that was an early-human BOY who first picked up that stick.

    Then, of course, waved it around, chased his cave-dweller sister with it.

If gender is meaningless to democrats, what the #$@! is gender-neutral?

    The Laird of Hilltucky in reply to Concise. | December 11, 2023 at 9:10 pm

    Good point! Stores could just argue, “What do you mean guns and tractors aren’t for girls! That’s sexist! So you don’t think boys can play with dolls?

Put an egg of play-doh on the shelf and call it done.

Woke progressive lefties said same sex marriage was about “equality”. That was so 5 years ago, now its about trans groomers for 5 y/o.

Retail toy displays are already gender-neutral. The articles are arranged on the shelves by type (dolls with dolls, trucks with trucks, board games with board games, etc.), not by the genders one might assume would play with certain toys. That is to say, there are no “boys’ sections” and “girls’ sections” in toy departments or toy stores.

    henrybowman in reply to DaveGinOly. | December 11, 2023 at 3:02 pm

    They should stop the production of “girls’ bikes” and just make “boys’ bikes” and label them “gender neutral.” When the girls complain about the discomfort, call them haters, and explain that this is a Democrat “improvement.” Then maybe when they grow up, they’ll vote better.

If the toy packaging doesn’t say “For Boys” or “For Girls” then leave everything in the store the way it is. You can’t expect the store to AsSUmE the gender of the toy, can you? Can you!!!

    Are any toys currently labeled “For Boys” or “For Girls?” I rather doubt it — not because the manufacturers are woke, but I’d expect the maker to try to maximize sales by not restricting their toys to either gender.

      GWB in reply to alien. | December 11, 2023 at 2:36 pm

      Well, some are definitely PINK in a way that practically screams “Hey there, little girl! Don’t you wanna play with me? You boys can just go on to the next aisle.”

    henrybowman in reply to George S. | December 11, 2023 at 3:03 pm

    Just tell the inspectors, “Hey! I’m not a toyologist!”

A father wanted to expand his daughter’s toy and gave her a toy truck. So he came up and asked her why she wasn’t playing with truck. She said “quiet, the truck is sleeping.”

I didn’t realize the family connection for the Left with the genus Grinch.

The law clearly doesn’t go nearly far enough. Toys should only be sold in pairs. Want a football? You also have to buy a Barbie doll. Want a science kit? Need to buy a glue on fingernail kit. Etc. Etc.

What an utterly ridiculous, offensive and stupid bit of pandering to the tranny narcissists/misogynists/totalitarians, by the vile Dhimmi-crats.

This is CA sliding down the sliding slope. In few years it will become proclaimed by CA state law that all marketing must be “gender neutral” however they choose to define it under penalty of law?

Is a dildo a gender-neutral toy in California? Asking for a friend who isn’t sure if he or she is a he or she.

I will bet that a lot more than worrying about kids who want to play with “the other gender’s” toys, this was about a mom who wanted to force her boy to play with a doll, and the kid said something like “I hate pink! I’m not playing with the doll!” So, she wanted to require girly toys for her boy, and someone thought a “gender-neutral” aisle would be a good solution (rather than the better solution of no solution, and the mom can just get over it).

(Yes, that would be stupid, since there are male dolls action figures that he would happily play with. But I don’t write the scripts for these things – idiot journalists and politicians do.)

    smooth in reply to GWB. | December 11, 2023 at 2:46 pm

    Probably driven by same sex couple taking their adopted child toy shopping. The kids certainly aren’t driving the legislation. For example CA state legislator scott weiner (from SF) is communist groomer.

Every store has a gender neutral area … it’s called … checkout.

They should have a Lea Thomas Transformer.

“Transformers! More than meets the eye!”

So why is the legislature doing this?

Leslie answered the question: the state has a $68 billion deficit, and the legislature would like to distract you for a bit. It won’t work for long but don’t worry, the legislature has all sorts of new, stupid laws to roll out…

So a shelf with a bunch of toys still widely available in the 70’s; Slinky, Etch a Sketch, Slime, Lite Brite and Lincoln Logs? Add some board games and a store is good to go. Make sure to add Life to make their heads explode.

“The single most useless piece of legislation ever created in this history of legislation.”
Oh, I’d take ringside bets on this one.
Other contenders are Massachusetts’ laws against blasphemy and marrying your mother-in-law., and the entire federal Gun-Free School Zones Act.

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to henrybowman. | December 11, 2023 at 7:49 pm

    I believe it was Texas that had a law applying to the operation of railroads. If two trains converged at a diamond crossing, only one was allowed over the crossing at a time.