On Friday, Qasim Rashid, attorney and human rights activist, tweeted the following:
“Hey @Target I bought my 4-year-old son Spider-Man shoes & now my 2-year-old daughter wants Spider-Man shoes too. But you don’t sell Spider-Man shoes that fit 2-year-old girls. Even when I search for them — boys shoes are the only result. She’s crying now. It’s heartbreaking. Thx.”
Hey @Target I bought my 4-year-old son Spider-Man shoes & now my 2-year-old daughter wants Spider-Man shoes too.
But you dont sell Spider-Man shoes that fit 2 year old girls. Even when I search for them—boys shoes are the only result.
She's crying now. It's heartbreaking. Thx pic.twitter.com/pxTI9R3OP3
— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@MuslimIQ) April 6, 2018
On Thursday, the father of three kids, ages 9, 4, and 2 made a trip to Target in their home state of Virginia to buy shoes for the two youngest children. However, after purchasing a pair of Spider-Man light-up shoes for his son and plain blue light-up sneakers for his daughter, the siblings started arguing.
“When my daughter saw her brother’s shoes, she scampered over to him and stole them when he wasn’t looking,” Rashid tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
Later that night, the dad visited Target’s website to search for Spider-Man sneakers for girls, to no avail, so he appealed to the retail giant for answers. In the process, Rashid inspired many to express their feelings about gender stereotypical kids’ clothing and toys.
I have a girl who asked for a shirt with "No pink, no sparkles, and no inspirational messages" last fall. Neither @Target nor @OldNavy had anything like that for girls in their stores when we visited. Boys clothes rule–they have pockets!
— Sarahahaha (@ssouth) April 6, 2018
When I was in pre-k I wanted TMNT sneakers. My mom got them from the boy section for me, and I thought they were great. Then I wore them to school for the first time and got teased as soon as a boy noticed and I never wore them out again.
— Maddie Rose (@maddie_rose_13) April 6, 2018
I ran into this same issue with my son and My Little Pony. He LOVES to watch the show but all the clothing merch is build for little girls, with ruffled collars, etc…
— Mindy (@MindyHamel) April 6, 2018
My 21-year-old daughter has been picking out clothes, toys, and shoes in the boys' and mens' section of Target since she was 4-years-old. Just buy your daughter the shoes! Just because Target organizes stuff by gender doesn't mean you have to buy it by gender.
— Howie (@bellzapoppin) April 6, 2018
Advertising and location are such powerful mediums. I would love it if we could see clothes not be sorted by gender in stores. Same goes for tools too!
— Sasiah (@SasiahHochle) April 6, 2018
Boys are boys, girls are girls. Teaching moments are not Target's fought.
— SportyGuy~ (@MMAviewer) April 6, 2018
My 4-year old boy just wants shoes and clothes with Wonder Woman, Supergirl and Batgirl on them. He likes strong women like his mom, I guess. But nobody makes those for little boys.
— Conrad Deitrick (@ConradDeitrick) April 6, 2018
Had a similar problem when potty training my oldest- she only wanted Thomas the train underwear which they don’t make for girls. Ended up just buying her the boy underwear ♀️
— Ann Feeley-Summerl (@afeeleys) April 6, 2018
“Even before my daughter was born, it was important to me that I raise her believing she is equal to the opposite sex,” says Rashid. “That’s driven by my faith as a Muslim and a result of living in a patriarchal society.”
He adds, “If I don’t teach her the concept of equality at home, she won’t expect equal treatment out in the world.”
Target has actually been making progress on this front — in July, the retailer released a gender-neutral back-to-school collection in sizes 4 to 16 and in 2015, eradicated gender-based signage in response to “families to feel frustrated or limited by the way things are presented.” For example, per a press release, in kids’ bedding and toy aisles, Target removed any suggestion of gender, including the use of pink, blue, yellow, and green.
While Target hasn’t responded to Rashid’s comment, his daughter is a happy customer. He shared a follow-up video of the toddler stomping down the hallway wearing her new shoes. Rashid tweeted, “Update: She took her brothers shoes and I’m just gonna let it fly like this.”
Update: She took her brothers shoes and I’m just gonna let it fly like this. pic.twitter.com/h2rpvPGnBL
— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@MuslimIQ) April 6, 2018
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
- Target’s New Logo Is Confusing Shoppers
- Chrissy Teigen Has a Target Line Coming Soon
- Transgender teen wins the right to wear makeup, heels, and a wig in yearbook photo