Kmart

‘Arbitrary boundaries’: Calls for Kmart to stop separating boys and girls clothes in stores

Gender fluidness has taken the world by storm of late. Including now with a recent petition against Kmart Australia. The online petition calls on the retail clothing store to stop separating boys’ and girls’ clothes and have just one “kids” section.

The petition has collected almost 700 signatures at the time of writing this article. Started by Sarah Rogers, those signing are not happy with the current store layout. They feel that both boy’s and girls’ clothes should be in one section together. That way, both parents and kids can select what they want to wear without arbitrary boundaries.[3]

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Call to stop separating boys and girls clothes

Speaking to 7NEWS.com.au, a representative for Kmart says they never intended to stereotype children based on their gender. He went on to say that the layout of Kmart stores was designed specifically. In the way that most of their shoppers prefer to shop.[1][2]

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Petition against Kmart Australia to stop separating boys and girls clothes
GetMeUp.org.au

The online petition which calls for separating boys and girls clothes reads as follows:

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Young children are told which colours, clothing styles and even interests they are permitted to have through the choices they have available in their respective gender’s clothing department.

Many parents of young boys will tell you their son loves pink, rainbows and flowers. But simply cannot wear clothes in these styles like girls do without taking them from the girls’ section. Which sends them a strong message that the things they like are “wrong”. Similarly, many parents of girls lament the lack of dinosaurs, trucks, and non-frilly styles in the girls’ section.

This is a problem that has already been addressed by many smaller and independent retailers, who have done away with “girls” and “boys” sections entirely. In favour of an inclusive children’s one. It is time for Australia’s biggest retailers to follow suit.

Nobody really believes that boys’ interests are limited to cars, diggers, dinosaurs and sharks.
And, nobody honestly thinks girls only like rainbows, flowers, unicorns and ice cream.
Nobody reasonably considers certain colours to belong exclusively to a certain gender.

Enough. Get rid of the gender-separated clothing sections, and let kids choose exactly what they like without arbitrary boundaries.

getup.org.au

What do others think?

Those who have signed the petition to stop separating boys’ and girls’ clothes in Kmart stores think the idea is fantastic. Here are some of the comments left by signers.[3]

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I love this idea. My daughter has a blue school uniform and when kmart ran out of shirts and leggings in her size we went to the boys section. She didn’t want the same item of clothing from the boys section because it was for boys. Kids are a lot more logical and if it says boys then it’s a boundary. I did explain that it was just labeling and they were the same items and she was happy to leave with boys clothes but this could have been avoided.

Sian P

Some feel the stores are color-dominated. It’s impossible to find suitable clothing for their kids, so while they don’t really mind not separating boys’ and girls’ clothes, their choices are the reason for them signing the petition.

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There’s just too much pink, if there were a variety of different colors and patterns offered to children they might feel like they have more of a creative say in what they would like to wear.

Samara D

I am not raising a gender-neutral child, but would like to see more variations of colors. Pink and frilly, and blue with tractors are just not very interesting anymore. The combining of the kids section might see more variations in color, and style, and that’s what I’d like to see.

Simone L

Kmart Responds to separating boys and girls clothes petition

A spokesperson for Kmart says that their stores are not about exclusion and they celebrate diversity and inclusion.[1]

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At Kmart, we are proud to offer customers a wide range of children’s clothing in lots of different styles and it’s certainly not our intention to stereotype children based on gender. The store layout reflects a majority of the way our Kmart customers shop and the difference between our boys and girls apparel range (in terms of fit) is marginal, so all customers have the opportunity to shop both areas for children.

Additionally, we celebrate inclusion and diversity within our marketing campaigns, product packaging and online.”

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Sources

  1. Calls for Kmart to stop separating boys and girls clothes in stores.” 7News. Amy Sinclair. March 16, 2021.
  2. New online petition calls for Kmart to stop separating children’s clothing by gender in Australian stores.” Perth Now. March 21, 2021.
  3. Kmart: Replace the “boys” and “girls” clothing sections with an inclusive kids’ section.” Getup.org. Sarah Rogers.
Jade Small
Freelance Writer
Jade is a freelance writer and content creator from South Africa with over 7 years experience writing and creating. She's also a proud single mom to a super 13 year old boy.
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