Toys R Us, the international toy retailer, has capitulated to pressure from campaigners upset by gender-based marketing, and stopped dividing its products into boys or girls categories.
The U.K. website for the company, Toys R Us, has been updated. Now online customers will no longer find the traditional boys and girls categories, although others such as Age, Brands, Learning Toys and Outdoor & Sports still exist.
The restriction on searchable categories has been heralded as a victory for anti-sexist campaigners who demanded that toy shops stop telling girls what sort of toys they are expected to like, reports The Telegraph.
The global toy giant’s British website update follows the example set by several other large retailers including Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Boots who previously changed the way they market their toys.
The update is a victory for the campaign group Let Toys Be Toys which was started three years ago by a group of parents via a discussion thread on the online parenting forum Mumsnet under the “Feminism chat” thread. The discussion asked:
“If you think that girls and boys should feel free to play with whatever toys that interest them most, and that they shouldn’t walk into a toy store and feel pressurised to conform into archaic gender roles and stifling stereotypes, please join in the discussion!”
The self-appointed anti-sexism campaigners which The Telegraph says represent “thousands of shoppers concerned with sexism in the toy industry and its impact on children” have not just focused their efforts on toys. Books and shower gel have also offended their sensibilities.
— Let Toys Be Toys (@LetToysBeToys) November 15, 2015
— Let Toys Be Toys (@LetToysBeToys) November 11, 2015
The campaigners website has commented on the move by Toys R Us, saying: “We’d want to say a big Thank You to Toys R Us UK for bringing in the changes they have so far. This shows a real effort being made to be more inclusive to all children and the results will no doubt make a lot of children and parents happy this Christmas.”
The social justice warriors will not end their campaign with the British website, however, with other countries now in their sights the statement concluded: “We hope this means that similar changes will soon be visible across Toys R Us stores internationally.”