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CA Bill Would Prohibit Stores From Dividing Clothing, Toys By Sex

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Legislation under consideration in California prohibits retailers from having separate boy and girl sections, mandating, instead, “gender neutral” clothing and toy “safe spaces” for children to find their identities.

“In the state of California, where we hope to inspire, for example, more girls to get into science and engineering and mathematics, we want to ensure that those periodic tables and dinosaurs are not in the boys’ section,” California Assemblyman Evan Low (D) said in a Los Angeles Times report. “We just want to let kids be kids.”

“This message is about inclusivity,” Cristina Garcia (D) said. “I think we have kids who are figuring out their identities, and so we want to give them that safe space to do that.”

Low, chairman of the Legislative LGBTQ Caucus, was a coauthor on the measure with Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), leader of the Legislative Women’s Caucus. The bill, introduced Feb. 18, is in committee.

A former math teacher, Garcia said she wanted to play with Lincoln Logs as a child but was sometimes discouraged because they were seen as a toy for boys. But that kind of play can build spatial ability, which has been linked to improved performance in science, technology, engineering and mathematics — fields in which girls and women are often underrepresented.

Low said it was inspired by a staffer’s 9-year-old daughter, who complained to her mother that she had to go to the boys’ section to find toys that appealed to her love of science and math.

“Playtime is fun, but it’s also about developing a skill set,” Garcia said. “It’s about ideas and being creative. We want to make sure we’re not limiting a kid’s creativity.”

“At a young age, why would we want to prevent a young girl from getting into wood shop or being a firefighter?” Low said. “All of these items might be listed in the boys’ section.”

The bill, AB 1084, would give government control over private sector businesses, stating:

This bill would require a r… (Read more)

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