Target's gender-neutral move prompts outrage, epic trolling

Can we get a controversial gender check, aisle 11?

Can we get a controversial gender check, aisle 11?

The pendulum of internet opinion can be a tricky beast. Placate one angry mob and another’s pitchforks are at the ready.

But we don’t have to tell that to Target’s social media staff. After an Ohio woman’s June tweet knocking the heavyweight retailer’s aisle signs for “building sets” and “girls’ building sets” got more than 3,000 retweets, the lefty Twitterati went crazy. Why should marketers or some Target “team” member tell kids which toys are for them, they cried?

— Abi Bechtel (@abianne) June 1, 2015
Being the responsive money maker it fancies itself, Target took the outcry to corporate heart, or maybe just did what it thought was best for the “brand.” Last week Target announced it would move toward gender-neutral signage in certain sections of its stores, including toy aisles and kids’ bedding area. Stereotypical boy-girl colors will also be removed from the backs of toy shelves.

“We heard you, and we agree,” the corporate citizen wrote on its website. “Right now, our teams are working across the store to identify areas where we can phase out gender-based signage to help strike a better balance.”

While backers praised the decision, another set of shoppers were naturally enraged and vowed to shred their REDcards and head to Walmart. The dearly disgruntled accused the company of pandering to the P.C. police and an “extreme agenda,” contributing to what one commenter labeled the “pussification of America!” Others worried it would simply take longer to find the children’s gifts they were looking for.

I'll never step foot in your Anti-gun, Gender-neutral, PC filled Crappy Store....BYE, Libturds!

Posted by Charles F. Easter on Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Could it lead to an epidemic of dudes mistakenly trying on bikinis? Stocking tampons next to beard trimmers? Doesn’t sound like it, as certain items like clothing and feminine hygiene products will still be sorted with gender labels. But the furor over the neutrality play did lead to some serious trolling.

Posing as Target’s customer service arm, Facebooker Mike Melgaard responded to many of the complaints with a fire-worthy tone (you know, if he actually worked there). While the comments have been deleted from Target’s page and the two bulls-eye-logoed accounts he set up have been deleted, a screenshot photo album of his exploits has since gone viral.

So, who wins here? The “Libturds"? Girls who hate the color pink? As always, the internet wins.