Amazon Didn't Really Eliminate Gender Taxonomy for Toys—Yet

Illustration for article titled Amazon Didnt Really Eliminate Gender Taxonomy for Toys—Yet

A report that Amazon no longer sorts toys into “boy” and “girl” categories is currently sweeping the internet. It’s not exactly true, but it might be a sign that the change might be on the way.

First, a breathless tweet earlier this week claimed Amazon no longer had separate sections for boys and girls toys:

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This was kinda accurate. There was a tiny change to Amazon’s site, but a consumer probably wouldn’t have noticed it. Jason Kottke showed a before-and-after screengrab where the Gender section used to sort search results in the left-hand column had indeed removed the “boys” and “girls” checkboxes:

Illustration for article titled Amazon Didnt Really Eliminate Gender Taxonomy for Toys—Yet

But if you head over to Amazon’s site there’s still dedicated Boys and Girls sections right there in the top navigation, with notably different offerings:

Illustration for article titled Amazon Didnt Really Eliminate Gender Taxonomy for Toys—Yet
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Illustration for article titled Amazon Didnt Really Eliminate Gender Taxonomy for Toys—Yet

It’s a small milestone, perhaps, but this could be a first step that the retailer is making towards making its toy offerings more gender agnostic. We’ve reached out to Amazon for comment.

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DISCUSSION

lollercoaster1
lollercoaster

I’m a guy who considers himself a feminist, and sincerely don’t understand why having a boy/girl filter is problematic.

Is it problematic to make girls toys exclusively pink? Yes.

Is it problematic to make girls selection of clothes more revealing and....well...pink? Yes.

Is it problematic to suggest that girls won’t like action figures? Yes.

Will this move eliminate gender bias in toy manufacturing? Absolutely not. And no, it’s not a “good step,” it just makes it more difficult for a distant relative to give a gift that their niece or nephew might like. It’s not that hard to rework the filter system to be more inclusive, but face it, there are just some toys that 99% of boys WONT like, and vice versa.