Target’s attack on children. And America. America’s children!

by Janelle Hanchett

We went to Target recently and sure enough there were no signs indicating which toys were for boys and girls. Lemme tell you what happened because it was traumatic. Plus, I think I may be on the cusp of uncovering a major conspiracy.

First, my 5-year-old daughter got all confused about which aisle was her section because the Great Wall O’ Pink was so subtle she failed to notice it. You know how kids are. I had to steer her in the right direction but she still went to the science kits.

Lo and behold, next to those science kits was a DOLL.

As in, a baby doll.

Well, Target, this is some disturbing left-wing propaganda! Next thing you know she’ll start thinking she can be a mother AND a doctor. Thanks a lot. That will take a decent amount of work to undo.

No worries though. I gave her a stern talking to: “Honey, princesses don’t do science. Princesses study the humanities because they’re better equipped for sensitive artsy things like Jane Austen and feelings.”

Anywho, my son looked right at me and asked “WHERE ARE THE TOUGH TOYS?”

Growing obviously confused by the subpar signage, he too started wandering over to the doll area. Of courses I rapidly explained that he may not play with dolls because nobody likes nurturing males.

The whole point is to block boys from such things so they grow up with a clear idea of gendered work expectations. It bothers me that Target is now placing the reinforcement of heteronormativity and traditional masculinity more squarely on MY shoulders and I resent it.
As if I don’t have enough to do.

After he was safely set up with things that make loud sounds and kill things, my daughter started crying because she couldn’t find the fairy-themed-pastel Legos.

As you know, girls are unable to play with Legos made of primary colors. They try, but their minds are not built for that sort of thing. They end up confused. My girl got so upset I had to get down to her level and remind her of every Disney princess saved by a man. Nothing soothes a confused female brain like remembering she too may someday marry a wealthy white male with a large home and horse.

So my daughter is tearfully staring at red blue green and yellow, lost and afraid, demanding to know where the soft hues of pink and purple went, and I had no explanation for her because THE SIGN WASN’T THERE SO IT WAS HARD FOR ME TO TELL WHICH AISLE WE WERE IN.

Luckily I remember just in time to look for The Wall of Pink. Always look for the pink!

Safely back in the pastels, I realized my son had once again followed us. Normally I would point to the sign above my head that said “Girls’ Toys” but THERE WASN’T ONE so I had very little evidence to prove this aisle was off limits to him. Then I had a terrifying thought that stopped me in my tracks: what if my SON picks out the fairy themed Legos for himself?



That’s it, isn’t it? You are on a mission, probably funded by those fluffy-headed supporters of gay marriage, to turn all kids gay by forcing girls to play with Hulk (that buzz cut, remind anyone of butch lesbians? Coincidence? I THINK NOT.) and boys to play with FAIRIES.

Ahem, fairies?

I’m onto you. I know what’s happening here. You’re trying to get my girls to play with primary colors and my boys to strap on fairy wings in attempt to make them forget Jesus.


Was this Obama’s idea?

It was, wasn’t it?

Thanks, Obama.


I also heard you let women breastfeed anywhere they want in your stores. Exhibitionist trashy weirdo slut store!

Off Target, Target.

Wait, what were we talking about? Oh yeah. Right. The degradation of America’s youth through left-wing propaganda involving toy aisles.

Maybe you think you’re being sly but I’m a damn sharp tool. I’m the sharpest tool in the shed. Nothing gets past me.

And let me make something clear: You won’t be ruining my kids any time soon. I’m going back to Walmart, a place with nice traditional values like gendered signs and worker exploitation.

I’m an AMERICAN. I have RIGHTS. Kim Davis! Jesus! Straight people!

Gendered toy aisles!

Target, you almost really messed us up.

But we’ll never surrender. The fight is real.

Eye of the tiger, America.





108 Comments | Posted in fucking satire | September 15, 2015
  • Christine

    I could not possibly love this post more. You’re the greatest, as usual.

    • Ruth Thompson

      Fabulous! Only one caveat: Princesses don’t do humanities, either. Literature? Art? Philosophy? Music? All those ideas things? Please.

  • Ellen

    yes this had to be said. in this exact way that only you can do. thank you janelle, once again!

  • Heather Kelly

    I am done following your site. It’s perfectly ok for boys to play with baby dolls. It’s also GREAT for your daughter to play with science kits! That’s all I’m going to say. I am biting my tongue with the rest.

    • renegademama

      Dear Heather,

      Please do me a quick favor and Google “satire.”

      I’m with you, friend.


      • Bernice

        Oh Heather…

      • Susan fiori

        Who reads the signs anyway? I Walk aimlessly through the store throwing shit in my cart from the 30% or more off end caps that I never knew I needed! My kids make a beeline, when I don’t make them stay through the throw pillows and fuzzy rugs sections, to the toy SECTION! Not aisle but SECTION. It is then they proceed to look at every damn toy in the whole frikking section! I think they should just remove ALL signage even the ones hanging from the ceiling. God forbid a man ends up in lamps and occasional tables and I end up in tools. Just let me drink my over priced frappecino while blindly throwing gender-crossed items into my cart when all I REALLY came for was milk. (From girl cows)

        • andrea


      • Mary

        As I was reading this I thought, wouldn’t it be funny if someone out there didn’t understand that this was satirical. Turns out, it’s not funny. It’s sad.

      • Mary

        But wait….maybe Heather is being ironic?

        • Laura

          Did you say ironic or MOronic?!

        • Josey

          LOL, somehow I doubt she was being ironic. Silly people.

          • SC

            Poe’s Law, people. Poe’s Law.

    • Kel

      Please, please tell me that you’re just joining in the satirical humor here, and not actually as dumb as you sound.

      • buh

        Yes, that was satire. If you didn’t pick up on that, you may not be so bright either.

    • AG

      Oh Heather, I just had to laugh. I’m a subscriber to Janelle’s blog and I get the emails alerting me when she posts something. On my lunch break today I clicked open the new email and read these words:

      “I promise to cut to the chase with these emails right away. So here. I wrote a post about Target’s conspiracy to turn our kids gay. It’s real. It’s a thing. Prepare yourself.

      Not real. Not a thing. Total fucking satire. (Any guesses how many people will think I’m serious though?)”.

      I then clicked the link, read the blog (laughing in my office the whole time) and began scrolling through the inevitably entertaining comments. Lo and behold here you are, the one Janelle prepared us for in her email. So I’m wondering this, did you open the email at all? You claim to have been following this blog so I assume you received it. Even if you hadn’t read the email, I would think anyone that has read even 1 other post would know that this post couldn’t be further from what Janelle (and likely all of her readers) truly believe. I hope you recognized your misinterpretation before you unfollowed her though, because this woman is an amazing writer with bigger cajones than most men I know and it would be a shame to miss out on the creativity and jewels of wisdom of this fantastic lady.

    • Kayla Logan

      I think you may be missing the point of what a satire is. The article is about how absurd it is that people are getting so upset at target for their gender neutral toy branding.

    • Melissa

      she’s being sarcastic – right? Heather? Right?

    • Isabel

      Heather, please read Apparently, she was talking to you. 🙂

    • Stephanie

      How can you not know she’s joking? I mean, seriously.

    • Adeline B

      That moment you realize you’re not as oblivious as some other unfortunates… All zen, baby.

    • Anon

      You do realize what sarcasm and satire is, right?

    • Jen B

      Seriously Heather?! Are you kidding??? LOL

    • Heidi Lynn

      I wish I could share this with the Santa last year who gave my 6 year old so much shit for liking dragons last year. He kept insisting she needed a baby doll. I was very proud when she told him, “Yeah… I’m not really into that.”

    • Anonymous

      You are stupid. I mean, unless this was all sarcastic. Take your dumb site down NOW. Are you trying to tell your daughter she can’t be tough and has to be stuck with princesses, entitlement, ‘rescue me’ syndrome, letting boys randomly kiss her, and the like? You better not be!!!!!!! And as to your son, I see your point as to not wanting him to play with fairies. Not because males shouldn’t be nurturing (parents. Dads. Brothers. Uncles. Other family members to young children), but because your son might be teased. You are a parent of limitation. I will report you to Pigtail Pals, Everyday Feminism, and PFZ. Your son should not be limited to tough toys. Your daughter should not be limited to pinkwashing. If she actually likes it, I’m not attacking her. Just how you seem to view her.

  • Tracey

    Killin’me. LOL Wonder if fall out will occur over this one. What a cool book. Wait, Walmart has gendered signs? I’m not ADHD.

  • Phillipa


  • Jean

    Absolutely love this. “As if I don’t have enough to do.”
    Also, please write about the struggle to leave baby in the morning. It’s so mine, too – I know you’d put it into words better than I could 🙂

  • Daddy Scratches

    I’m applauding over here. Loudly. And also laughing. Well done.

  • Heidi

    I just snorted my pumpkin spiced latte from Target up my nose! Thanks!

  • Michael

    Hah! Love it. Also, Target is testing liquor licenses in some stores. Like Target couldn’t get more awesome.

    • andrea

      target is not dumb, alcohol loosens the credit card in your pocket.

  • Miki

    ::enthusiastic applause::

  • TheProzacQueen

    I love it!

    And your son is adorable.

    -the girl who would play with My Little Pony and Brick-Blocks at the same time, who liked Bon Jovi more than Debbie Gibson and still hangs out with guys more than girls

    • Kel

      (That’s actually her daughter.) =)

      But she IS adorable!

      • TheProzacQueen

        Ooops! I apologize…either way, she’s cute.

        • renegademama

          No need to apologize. She is actually kind of right down the middle when it comes to gender expression. plus I made a comment indicating she was a boy. Thank you though.

  • Shelly

    Love it! Funny enough, the book your son is holding in this pic. was given to my son too but when we read it we change the gender of some of the trucks, because why do trucks all have to be male?

    • renegademama

      Hi Shelly,

      My child in the picture is actually a girl :), but I fully agree about the gender of the equipment. I changed two of them to female because I’m tired of my little Georgia hearing all male-gendered characters in her favorite books (she loves dinosaurs and construction equipment along with her dolls and tutus).

      I’ve been considering writing a children’s series of a little GIRL who does construction and races cars and wrestles dinos.


      • Cara

        Janelle, I *love* this post and I would totally buy that children’s book!!

      • Tara Kerwin

        I’d buy it!

      • Rose gilbert

        Oh please write that book! Not just for the girls but the boys too!

      • Abs

        Digger, dozer, dumper is the same vibe as ggcs AND some of the anthropomorphized vehicles are female!!

        • Pip

          Do they have eyelashes to let you know they’re a girl?

      • Jennifer

        I was almost ready to ask if you fear that someone may not realize satire when they read it, but I can see that it happens. However, you write so convincingly that had I not read you previously, I may have been confused. Do you think you need to point that out? If it were me, I wouldn’t want anyone, under any circumstance to misunderstand my message. Just a thought. Love reading you!

        • renegademama

          I did point it out, repeatedly, through hyperbole, exaggeration and utter nonsense such as “Jesus hates fairy wings” and the statement that female brains can’t handle primary colors.

          If a person thinks that’s serious, nothing I can say can help them. That ship has sailed. Haha!

          Also I filed it under “fucking satire,” which I realize is super subtle, but it’s a start. Seriously though, even when I put a full on footnote, it doesn’t matter. This is the Internet. Half the irate people haven’t even read the damn thing.

          Thanks for reading!

          • Janet Dittman

            Does no one see that her daughter is wearing a dress???

          • Josey

            That ship has sailed indeed. *ROFL*

            Fantastic post, as always!

      • sarah

        Dear GOD…PLEASE DO THIS!! I’m sick of changing all the damn pronouns in my kid’s books so he hears about fierce or just normal ol’women doing perfectly normal things like construction, etc. I regularly fuck it up and don’t get the pronouns right (or wrong in this case) and confuse the shit out of the poor kid…anywho the storybook pictures never go along with the pronoun…so maybe it’s a big waste of my brain power.

    • Joanne

      Shelly, that’s her daughter… But good point re: construction trucks.

    • EbyKat

      There is a great book about a lady snow plow. I think her name is Katy. I got it for my nephews.

      • Jessica

        Yes! Katy and the Big Snow! I remember that book from when I was a kid. My mom still has it and my son loves to read it when we go to grandma’s house

  • Emily

    Tears of laughter streaming down my cheeks. Thank you!! So well put 🙂

  • Jenna

    You’re like a female Jon Stewart and my second favourite hero – Georgia being the first. I want to be her when I grow up. You also need your own show or something cause shit like this needs visual aids to further drive home the ridiculousness you already describe so well. I snorted milk out of my nose reading this.

  • Carissa

    1) Fucking Target.
    2) Write the book. Please. I bet Target will sell it.
    3) I love you (in a non-cyberstalker-creepy-kind of way).

    That is all.

  • Amber

    I call BS. Everyone knows green isn’t a primary color…

    Joking aside, great post.

  • Kel

    Jeez, woman, don’t you know your place? Barefoot, pregnant, or in WalMart. You ain’t supposed to be raisin’ none of them freaky weirdo kids.

    Now go edumacate them youngins right. Boys play with trucks and tools. Girls play with dollies and knitting.

  • Elaine

    Wow. I guess I have to turn in my statistics degrees and my booming practice. I’ve always heard I was pretty smart and accomplished for a girl, but never knew how much I had jumped the rails. Thanks for setting me straight Janelle.

    • renegademama

      Oh my. Do people really say in your field that you’re accomplished “for a girl?” UGHHHHHH.

  • Rozanne Silva

    Janelle have you considered running for president? Cause I sure as hell would vote for you!! You and your children are amazing!

  • Mel

    Ugh. Nurturing males are the worst.

    • renegademama

      Buahahahahahaha! I don’t know Mel but this cracked me up.

      • Mel

        It’s Mel Shorter Janelle. We Australians like our beer cold and our stereotypes, gender and otherwise, rigid.

    • TheUnintentionalMother

      I know! Having a nurturing male around is like having a third breast! And who needs three of those?

  • Jackie

    Shhh…do you hear that in the wind? It’s my joyful applause!

  • Rose gilbert

    OMG. Too funny! Almost as good is reading the comments. Maybe we need and a ‘wall of .. say.. green ‘ for all future satirical blogs to help the satirically challenged understand what the hell is going on!!!
    On a side note; I have 4 girls, and the huge piles of Legos that dominated my house when they were young was mind boggling ( and illicited many a explitive filled rant when stepped on!) I was actually kinda amused when they started having ‘girls sets’ in pink and purple. Had some. That shit never got played with cause they couldn’t make anything “cool”

    • SC

      Back in the 80’s, girls and boys played with the same Lego sets. And the ads were remarkably non-gender-specific, especially considering the time period.

      Here’s a link to some of those ads:

      Do little girls really want pink and purple Legos, or is it just a marketing ploy? Because now, instead of buying one set of Legos for brothers and sisters to share, parents have to buy two sets – one for each kid.

      Sort of like when the body-care companies realized there was a whole untapped market for men’s shower products beyond Irish Spring bar soap; all they had to do was make the bottles black and give the scent a masculine name, like “Axe Muscle Sport.”

  • Amy

    OMG, laugh out loud hilarious and exactly what I was thinking when I heard the signage at Target was changing. I mean, my kids read the signs to know what they want to play with, right? And to think some of these people actually think you are serious!!! Thanks for my dose of humor for today.

  • Amy

    On point, as usual.

    From another parent of a Georgia that loves trucks and Ninja Turtles and toys that are for everyone!

  • Angela

    My boy loves him some sparkly pink shit. Fortunately for me he switches gender at will so he doesn’t care about targets labels but I was happy to see this

  • Wendy

    Love it!! Wonder if they will follow with the clothes next?? … I am from Australia and no signs of them following suit here yet 🙁 I guess we are always behind you guys so maybe in a few years…

  • Kayla

    Well you totally lost all the non-sarcasm reading people with this one! Damnit Janelle why didnt you put it in italicized font or something? LOL. Georgia is so damn cute!

  • Jessica


  • Jennifer

    I was almost ready to ask if you fear that someone may not realize satire when they read it, but I can see that it happens. However, you write so convincingly that had I not read you previously, I may have been confused. Do you think you need to point that out? If it were me, I wouldn’t want anyone, under any circumstance to misunderstand my message. Just a thought. Love reading you!

  • Chloe D

    This is hilarious! Really really funny!!!!

    Please right a blog post on anti-choice people!

  • Patti

    Clearly, people leaving most of these comments don’t read your blog on the regular. I love it. Not trolling here, but just thought you might be interested in my husband’s TEDx Talk he did last December. It’s topical to your post.

  • Jenny

    Janelle, you rock. As usual.

  • Keri Wyatt Kent

    Totally love this. Hilarious. And the comments from folks who were confused by satire (or were they? It’s hard to say) were priceless. Well done.

  • Ellen

    Janelle you’re a woman why would you possibly have anything to do with a tool shed? Said with tongue firmly in cheek.

  • Amanda

    I bet you wish you had smarter kids!!! If you had taught them well and not focused on ignorance a sign wouldn’t matter!!!!

    • renegademama

      True. Perhaps if they had a mother who wrote satirical blog posts attempting to deconstruct archaic gender expectations they would be less ignorant.

      Sad, really.

    • Sarah

      Smart kids are nothing but trouble.

    • Adeline B

      The exclamation point isn’t a go-to, free for all punctuation mark, Amanda. Must have missed that mensa memo.

    • SC

      Amanda, could you please explain how one might “focus on ignorance,” as you say? The act of focusing on something seems to preclude being ignorant of it, including being ignorant of one’s ignorance.

  • Sarah

    You’re the fucking best!!! And by the way, both of my kids (1 boy, 1 girl) LOVE that book! “Hey, pipe down!”

  • Lei

    I’m going to share the fuck out of this!

  • mbwest

    Every time I say something really obvious in my class, some smart kid in the front row points it out and I quietly say, “Just watch.” Someone ALWAYS totally misses it…the classroom equivalent to folks who don’t get satire…feeling your pain…over the noise of my fruity family and their rowdy Obama chants…

  • sara

    I have to agree, the lack of gender terms on target aisles have been bothering me too. It denies the God given differences between boys and girls. It fits in the face of the Lord to try and make them “equal”. But do you really need to swear so much in your posts? It’s not ladylike and a bad example towards your daughter and three son. They need to look to you as the example of womanliness.

    • renegademama

      Hahahahahaha! Sara until I saw the email address and learned it was you I was a little terrified. Now I can’t stop laughing.

      • Sara

        ???????? bwhahahaha!!!

  • Adeline B

    I really wanna be a jerk and post this to fb along with tags of my uber conservative cousins… ‘Because every good parent is afraid of a smart daughter!’ but instead I’ll gloat, knowing that for all my craziness my kid can be whomever and whatever she wants. So much love for this.

  • Lalotus

    I’ve been telling my girl: “toys do not have a penis or vagina, so they are not boy or girl toys. Everyone gets to play with them.” She seems to at least stop and ponder…

  • Tracey

    Love this post, Janelle! My 6 year old girl loves dresses and pink and purple. And blue and green and white and black. She also loves playing with her younger brother in the dirt, and with her dad doing science experiments. My 3 year old son loves everything transport related, especially cars, trucks, trains and diggers. He’s in heaven if he sees any of these. And when he plays dress up’s with his sister, he’s usually wearing a princess dress, tiara or fairy skirt just like she is. And loves it! Bring on the green aisle 🙂

  • Mary-Katherine

    You have fun with these don’t you? Well thank you crazy mama for making my morning, and sorry the satire was lost on some people.
    P.S. My favorite presents when I was a kid were a drill, a wrench, and a microscope.

  • Lisa

    Not sure I could love this more. You made my morning!

  • Annie Jadin

    AMAZING. Too funny, had me cracking up at work.

  • Doni

    I really *heart* you.

  • Joanne

    Fantastic! Laughing out loud at work when I ought to be…well…working.

  • annamarie

    YES to this! so so good

  • Marca

    I went to Walmart recently and noticed that they have removed all the gendered signs in the toy as well. Interesting.

  • Amy

    Absolutely in stitches! As the mother of one boy and one girl, who (GASP!) have always been allowed to shop across genders, often to the dismay of their grandparents, I am dying! I’m sharing this on Facebook (as I usually do with your amazing posts), but this one has me thinking I may weed out the uneducated, unfunny, sexist “friends”. Excellent work – brilliant tool! Wait…I’m a girl…am I allowed to use tools?

  • SC

    Although a huge amount of gendered toy preference is clearly due to socialization and cultural expectations, biology appears to play a not-insignificant role as well. Some part of gender expression is simply innate, as demonstrated by studies that tracked toy preferences among male and female monkeys.

    Gender differences exist. Should we celebrate them? Exaggerate them? Downplay them? Different cultures have different answers.

    Here’s the article from Psychology Today that discusses the monkey study and others.

  • Jason Valentine

    I’m going to sue you.

    You did not post any warnings regarding

    1)Not having food or drink in your mouth while reading.

    2) Emptying one’s bladder prior reading.

    3) Make sure you are sitting on a traditional chair prior reading.

    As a result, I began laughing snorted oatmeal not only up my sinuses, but sprayed it all over my flat screen and keyboard when I widdled in my boxers, thereby wetting the yoga ball I sit on instead of a chair causing me to slip off and land smack on my arse, and clunking my chin on the desk ledge.
    Law…suit to cover my bruised butt, whiplash, ruined keyboard (have you ever tried chipping dried oatmeal out from between keys?? Have you??) and injured pride.

    Loved your writing…keep on keepin on

  • Jack

    Meh, people make too big a deal of it all. Be a parent and teach your children what’s right and stop worrying about the damn stores. It’s ridiculous to be upset with Target and ridiculous to push to change the labels.

    • A

      Hey Jack. Your last name isn’t Ass by chance is it? Just wondering.

  • Geochick

    Hahahaha. I love this post! And the comments are priceless. 🙂

  • leslee

    I don’t know what was better, the blog post or the comments! I’m definitely hooked!

  • Misty

    Thanks for bringing this old post back in my FB feed somehow. Enjoyed it thoroughly.I love love love how you have to label satire as satire even though it is so freaking obvious that it is satire…and people still don’t get it.