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A gendered shopping story

Timothy Kincaid

December 10th, 2013

On Saturday I had a toy drive party to attend, so I found myself at Target trying to find something that would appeal to any kid, even those not economically positioned to have seen the latest Hollywood blockbusters. I was in the Disney princess aisle when I heard a young woman behind me squeal and gush over the Ariel princess dress.

“But do you think we’re cementing her gender identity?” asked the young lady with whom she was shopping. I knew immediately that we were family.

They equivocated a bit over the right gift to give the family they had “adopted” and about whom they knew nothing but age and size. But then the first girl found the Ariel wig, an cranberry-red thing that nearly every four year old girl (and a few four year old boys) would find irresistible.

“I want this for myself”, she announced with dreams gleaming in the eyes of her inner child.

And as I grabbed a Cinderella dress and glided off to the unfamiliar world of 2013 boy toys, I heard her girlfriend mutter, “I think we’ll find use for that later”.

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