Target recently announced it would be removing gender biased labeling from certain sections of their stores. I assumed this would be met with applause by those of us concerned with the effects of gender bias and the rest of the world wouldn’t notice. Much to my amazement the applause was present but also extreme anger and threats of boycott.
I have difficulty understanding why this would make anyone angry. If you think trucks are for boys and fashion dolls are for girls, do you really mean to tell me you can’t tell by looking which is which? You really need the pink and blue color coding and a sign delineating the girls’ section in order to figure it out?
The only conclusion I can come to is that this is really a rebellion against political correctness. It is a rebellion against being told our words or our actions are offensive or biased. I understand it can be tedious to worry about offending others. It would be so much easier if we could all just say whatever is on our mind without thinking about anybody else. And, after all, that is a cherished Christian value. Scripture often tells us to say whatever comes to mind, for good or ill, and worry not for the feelings of our neighbor. Oh, wait….maybe that wasn’t it.
“It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” (Matthew 15:11) This is just one of several times when scripture talks about the importance of being careful of our words.
If we think the hearts of our neighbors matter, if we think words have power, then it seems political correctness might not be the enemy. Laziness, indifference to the concerns of the outcast and the powerless, fear of change, these might be enemies more worthy of our time.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am going to go gaze upon my daughters’ extensive building block collection and rejoice future parents might not have to work to convince their daughters it is okay to consider building blocks which aren’t pink and might even feature trucks and helicopters. May parents of all children experience similar liberation from the limitations we arbitrarily place upon children as if pink and blue gender coding is God ordained.