California Bill Would Give $1,000 Fines to Retailers With Separate 'Girls' and 'Boys' Toy Sections

The proposed bill from Assembly Members Evan Low and Cristina Garcia would require stores to have one unisex section for children's products and apparel.


Retail stores in most of California are only allowed to operate at 25 percent capacity. A new bill in the state legislature would ensure that whatever part of their shop is allowed to be open is as inclusive as possible.

Last week, Assembly Members Evan Low (D–Cupertino) and Cristina Garcia (D–Los Angeles) introduced a bill that would require retailers to offer their toys and childcare products in a gender-neutral format.

Brick-and-mortar shops would have to display the majority of their products and clothing aimed at children in one undivided, unisex area on the sales floor. They'd also be barred from putting up signage that would indicate whether a product was intended for a boy or girl.

California-based retailers that sell children's products online would also have to have a page on their website that offers these products in a general neutral fashion. The bill would allow retailers to title that section of their website "kids," "unisex," or "gender neutral."

The bill is nearly identical to one that Low introduced last year, telling Politico at the time that he was hoping to create a more inclusive shopping experience. "This is an issue of children being able to express themselves without bias," he said.

Low dropped the bill in May to prioritize COVID-19-related work but promised to pick up the fight later, saying in a statement that "the policy behind this bill is not only important in regards to addressing perceived societal norms but also ensuring that prejudice and judgment does not play a prominent role in our children's lives. I look forward to working on this issue in the future."

If passed, stores that did put dresses in a separate girls section could be hit with a $1,000 civil fine. The policy would only apply to retail department stores with over 500 employees.

Even without mandates, some retailers have been moving away from gendered in-store promotion. In 2015, Target announced that it would get rid of separate sections for bedding and toys.

At the time, the company was careful to note that they weren't eliminating all gender distinctions in their store layout and signage, saying that "some cases, like apparel, where there are fit and sizing differences" gender-based suggestions were appropriate.

Low's bill would deprive Target and other retailers of making that choice for themselves.

That stores like Target are voluntarily moving toward more gender-neutral promotions shows that mandating such a change isn't necessary to provide a genderless child section to shoppers. The fact that some haven't made the same move suggests that there may still be customers who find gendered distinctions helpful.

Regulating how companies market their products online and in their stores could potentially raise First Amendment challenges as well.

The bill would appear to disadvantage brick-and-mortar stores versus online retailers. But it's those same brick-and-mortar retailers that have been hammered by the pandemic and related lockdown restrictions. Having to spend more complying with new regulations is the last thing many need.

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  1. All children should wear grey Mao suits. Equality!

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      1. those 2 “legislators” s/b taken out and beaten with bags of potatos/oes till they get turned to mush. how do these things get elected. sheila and mad maxine seem normal next to these idiots

    1. Showings of Kindergarten Cop should carry jail time

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  2. I can’t wait for California to break off the continent.

    1. Huh? California is a libertarian paradise. You have some of the richest people in the country living there, and people so poor they have to use the sidewalk as their toilet.

      1. When I want your opinion I’ll go take a shit.

        1. So, not only do you eat your own shit, you “talk” to it as well? Fucking broken.

      2. Does your ass get jealous of all of the shit that spews forth from your fingers onto the keyboard?

        1. OBL is a parody sock, but I realize that it’s becoming impossible to tell.

      3. “You have some of the richest people in the country living there, and people so poor they have to use the sidewalk as their toilet”

        Finally, true diversity.

      4. “California is a libertarian paradise. You have some of the richest people in the country living there,”

        So people who are rich are libertarians (like Bill Gates ? lol) while others are not ?
        Your bias is showing.

    2. I moved out of that State about a year ago in anticipation of it sailing into the Pacific Ocean.

  3. Why limit it to the children’s department? Seems ageist.

    1. Welcome to California! Where everyone is a child (of the state)

  4. Wow, California continues to lead the way in social progress. Personally I cannot wait until the Koch / Reason immigration agenda transforms the entire country into California — high degree of racial diversity, high degree of economic inequality, and single-party Democratic government.


  5. Dear writers at Reason:

    Progressive politics is a fundamentalist religion. There is no end to their attempt to re-shape of every aspect of society and culture. This sort of crap will never stop with them. Libertarian writers at Reason should quit acting surprised that the progs are totalitarian. I’m embarrassed for you.


    1. Especially given the relative amount of time (and frequency) with which progressivism rocketed from obscure political etiquette to encompassing oppressive social mandate. Makes “convert by the sword” and “burn the heretics” look like Romero-esque, slow-moving zombie corpses relative to John Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’.

    2. After reading and commenting here for going on 12-13 years, the idea that the writers find this at all shocking seems impossible.

      I choose to believe they write some of these stories to just say “Hey, look at the insane shit progressives are doing today.” I may be wrong though.

      1. I think that they have a dart board with all new progressive ideas on it. When there is nothing negative about the GOP to report, or nothing about Biden /Harris to praise, they begrudgingly grab a dart.

      2. They should probably have an actual section for that. Something like Brickbats or Roundup, but it would be called “Hey, look at the insane shit progressives are doing today.”

    3. So very true… Progressives are just as irrationally committed to their self-professed brilliance and benevolence (to those who deserve it), as the most radical religionists. Hubris is too small a word to describe the arrogance.

  6. Hmm, I notice the lack of gnashing of teeth involving “MUH PRIVATE COMPANIES”

    I guess Reason thinks Big Tech alone warrants protection.

    1. What the hell are you talking about? Reason articles have universally condemned government attempts to regulate private tech companies. The article above condemns a government attempt to regulate private retail companies.

      Now if you’d said that conservative lawmakers were arguing to regulate private tech companies but are disagreeing with this attempt to regulate private retailers, you’d have a stronger point. However, this regulation is in California where there are no conservative lawmakers, so it would be kind of a pointless point.

      1. Reason articles have universally condemned government attempts to regulate private tech companies.

        Unless the regulation comes in the form of legal protections. Then their record is… muddled.

        If private companies allowed boys to try on girls underwear and a female sued, it’s not at all clear on which side reason would stand, regardless of facts, property, or self-ownership.

    2. Reading between the lines, I believe their thought is that they can simply put the facts out there with a minimum of editorializing. The situation is so absurd that no one can reasonably support such a mandate. So far, that is the case.

      1. Except they HYPER editorialize the things they actually care about.

        Showing how insignificant this is to them in reality.

  7. I’m glad to hear that California has solved all of its big problems and thus the legislature has time to impose petty harassment upon businesses they’re busy choking the life out of.

  8. This bill should be unconstitutional because it violates free speech.

    1. California should be unconstitutional.

      1. Well the U.S. Representation from most of CA totally is.

    2. It precludes some kids from starting out in the boys’ section and then deciding to play in the girls’ section (and vice versa). It’s anti-trans and violates the 14th.

  9. I went in to H&M the other day with the significant other and I asked her where the men’s section was. She said we were standing in it.

    1. Because you were standing in America, baby.

      1. Haha

    2. Was going to say that next Cali would ban boys/girls underwear but it sounds like H&M already complies.

  10. Aren’t these lawmakers codifying the concept of gender with this bill? They’re acknowledging boys and girls are distinct things, which seems awfully bigoted of them.

  11. There was a study done at an Israeli kibbutz decades ago where they gave the boys Barbie dolls to play with and the girls toy guns, cars, and soldiers. Within minutes, they were trading toys.

    1. It’s willfull retardation that’s being passed into law. It’s a superficially invalid theory that should’ve been killed or violently murdered in its crib.

      Sexually dimorphic animals (and even many hermaphroditic animals) with no social structure still observe gender roles, even roles that are the reverse of ours or abhorrent by our standards. Baby praying mantises never meet their parents. The mother murders their father, lays her eggs, and dies before they are born. Yet, somehow female praying mantises know to consume their mates and male praying mantises passively succumb to being consumed. You would have to effectively eliminate the species in order to eliminate the practice and, even then, the larger concept of instinctive gender roles is prevalent throughout the animal kingdom.

      The idea that gender roles are a social construct and that we should strive to eliminate them is like mandating breatharianism into law.

      1. It’s willfull retardation that’s being passed into law.

        It’s much worse than that. It is an active and persistent effort to dismantle logical thinking so that the Woke can redefine reality.

        1. ^
          On a daily basis.

    2. My daughters play with both…

      1. A Barbie Dreamhouse makes a great base for the G I Joes in urban warfare settings.

        1. Or for John Q Law doll to serve a no-knock warrant and shoot Barbie, Ken and any other dolls in the house.

    3. If they weren’t allowed to exchange, the Barbie dolls would quickly become handguns, pew, pew, pew!

  12. Will adult toy stores need to comply with these rules too?

    1. I’m no lawyer, but you might want to keep the fact that you’ve been to an adult toy store with a childrens section to yourself.

      1. Never been to one but saw it on the “Jared from Subway” documentary.

  13. why have a Unisex section just let the kids free range. its BS like this that shows its not about equality but virtue signaling and force through the power of government gun. soon every home will have to have unisex bathrooms, oh wait mine already does

  14. California? Local story.

  15. Next week, Assembly Members Evan Low (D–Cupertino) and Cristina Garcia (D–Los Angeles) will introduce a bill that would ban gendered languages, such as Spanish.
    ‘Cause that’s how retards virtue signal how “woke” they are, by forcing their will on others.

    1. Seems like a lot of California voters might object to that. Isn’t it racist?

  16. Can dresses go with dresses and skirts with skirts, or does it have to be completely random and disorganized? Seems like a law against organization.

  17. Those sexist American clothing sizes the are gender specific will need to go. Will retailers need to rip off those sexist labels?

    1. Yeah, compel women to buy clothes based on empirical sizes and weights. If my experience in these discussions is any indication, that should go over swimmingly.

  18. If you have nothing better to do than come up with bullshit like this, it’s a pretty good indication that your services are not actually required and you can go back to your street corner and resume your ordering about of the wind and the waves and the traffic lights in amongst your bouts of mooing at passersby.

  19. I think the California legislature has placed more than enough regulatory and tax burdens on California businesses, without making merchandising decisions for them.

    1. Their upcoming 5 year plan also determines what and how much each store will stock.

  20. It’s truly sad that the “party of science” spends so much time both pretending race exists (in defiance of biology) and denying sex exists (also in defiance of biology).

    1. ….All the while making race and sex the biggest factors of everything — It’s deceptive PROJECTION to the max.

  21. Power-Mad Nazi’s (def; National Socialists) running CA.

  22. This law would be known as the Low Standard for California’s Children.

  23. Kids are much smarter than adults. They will find the toys they want regardless of how store stocks them.

    1. Some may even chew a Poptart into the shape of a gun…

      1. Or even make a “OH MY GOD” finger gun!!!!!!!!

  24. Oh my fucking God, really? I totally TOTALLY believe people need to stop referring to the US as “champion of freedom”. Because we most certainly are not.

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  26. Here’s a radical concept. Why not let people run their businesses as they see fit. If you don’t like hoe they do it, shop somewhere else.

    1. Actually, that is no longer a ‘radical concept’; it is clear insurrection.
      (waits 5 seconds)
      Is that someone at your door?

    2. This only applies to shutting down wrongthink on the internet. Then it’s all-in in defense of free enterprise.

      Other wise it is discrimination in public accommodation. Even if you are a members-only joint like Costco or Sam’s Club

  27. Oh, look: another bullshit statute that the California apparatchiki can use to harass Bezos’ remaining competition. He’s sure getting his money’s worth with those campaign contributions, isn’t he?


  28. Here’s a hint from an old lady to California Leaders..
    I have been buying clothes in both department for YEARS now. When wanting clothes that can be worn for yard work and cleanups, buy in men or teens department. Much cheaper. As for teen girls the see, they like and if possible it is bought, they don’t need the government help in that department. Are the dems in CA more worried about gender than poop on streets???

  29. I think it’s time to lop Cali off the end of the continent and put it adrift in the Pacific.

  30. Ca is the home of shithead thinking. What did anyone expect.

  31. The fact that this disadvantages big box stores is a feature to the authors, not a defect. California has a long history of disadvantaging these businesses through zoning and ordinances. Micromanaging their operations to death will draw cheers from many.

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  33. This can only have one end result: parents have to spend twice as long finding the merchandise they want, which exposes them to twice as much covid, and PEOPLE DIE.

  34. I am sure little girls will love picking out their panties and first bra while little boys are watching, grinning and making remarks. It is hard enough to shop for kids clothes let alone have twice as much to look through with half of it having nothing to do with what you are shopping for. Does it really hurt someone’s feelings to have separate departments? Who is being included in this inclusive plan?

    1. Dan, Dan, Dan,
      Absolutely no one is being helped by this.
      If there were two stores next to each other, and one had separate boys and girls departments, and one follows this law, all the parents would of course shop in the one with separate apartments.
      It’s far more efficient and less time-consuming to have separate boys and girls departments.
      Progressives cannot allow for efficiency, self-determination, and markets because that is too much freedom.
      They have to ram their personal ideology down your throat.
      They know what’s good for you far better than you know!

  35. This is a stupid idea. I was born and raised in L.A. and still live here. Stuff like this is what makes me dislike certain things about California. Their turning this state into a pro everything state and i hate it. Who ever gets offended because there’s a boy toy section and a girl toy section needs a life and should stop trying to make everyone like them. I personally don’t have anything against gays but still feel its not right. No way would I let my son play with dolls. Dolls are for girls. Im sorry i dont care who likes it l don’t believe anyone is born gay just like they are not born racist. ADAM AND EVE NOT ADAM AND STEVE!!!

    1. Dolls are for girls.
      They are ‘action figures’ for boys.
      Good luck getting an original GI Joe or Batman.

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  37. How about this: you run your business within legal bounds and let people decide if your aisle labels must be considered unscientific?

    Is not the basis for ridicule an unfounded or unsupported assertion?

    Since when did the state gain the power to censor owner-implemented communication with customers (other than for libel, slander, defamation)?

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  40. It’s CALIFORNIA. Need I say more?

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