Target has a new sweater available for purchase. They're calling it a "Gender Inclusive Gingerbread" Christmas sweater. Not Gingerbread Man sweater. Just Gingerbread whatever-you-think sweater.
Ok. I looked at it and couldn't see any difference. It still looked like the old Gingerbread Man to me. But I'm not known as the most "woke" person around. I never really thought about the gender of my gingerbread cookie before. But now, Target is forcing me to consider it.
Target is such a trendsetter, leading the way, breaking down barriers – even those that protect us. A couple of years ago, the store trumpeted its "wokeness" when it went with gender-neutral restrooms where a man who thought he was a girl might end up in the stall next to me and that was supposed to be okay. All that did for me was make me hold it till I could go somewhere else... and be extra vigilant when my granddaughters just couldn't wait.
Actually, I don't find this new sweater offensive. After thinking about this "new" specimen, I've determined – just like Mattel's new gender-neutral Barbies that aren't really Barbies – it's all in how you talk about it.
Paul Bois of The Daily Wire seems to have read my mind: "As the image shows, the new 'Gender Inclusive Gingerbread' (fill in the blank) has no unique features distinguishing itself from the average Gingerbread Man, and yet, the Target online store literally bills it as the 'Gender Inclusive Gingerbread Long Sleeve Sweater' with absolutely no accompanying description as to what classifies it as 'gender-inclusive.' It's as if the very utterance of Gingerbread Man (or even Gingerbread Woman) is in itself offensive. So what do we get? A sweatshirt with a character that looks exactly like the Gingerbread Man but is instead described as gender-inclusive."
Like I said, it's all in how you talk about it.
What's more concerning to me than the sweater is that we as a society – and Target as a store – now think it's necessary, even important, to alter our conversation and make it "gender-inclusive." Frankly, I don't want to live in a society that eliminates distinctions. I love all the characteristics we have in common as human beings. There are many of them, and they don't change because of the color of our skin, or the shape of our noses, or what kind of car we drive. We're all made in the image of God. We all want to love and be loved. We all want a purpose to our lives, to know we made a difference to someone. We all like to laugh and enjoy our family and friends, especially at this time of year.
But like Mr. Bois, I like the differences and I'm just not offended because the words "man" or "woman" are used. Those distinctions – biological, psychological, and in our DNA – are what have kept the world turning for a very long time. In fact, not acknowledging those differences disparages one or the other. It's ok that it's a gingerbread man. It's ok if it's a gingerbread woman. Either one rhymes with the poem: "Run, run, run as fast as you can," the baker heard it say. "You can't stop me, I'm the Gingerbread…"
But Target and Mattel and others seem to want to jump on the bandwagon of political correctness – I say for a buck – and they aren't helping us as a society. Instead, they're hurting children by encouraging and promoting the confusion out there that says to little boys and little girls that they're not really boys or girls, they're whatever they think they are. That goes to the very core of our existence, the very core of being human. And that's why I don't shop at Target anymore. I'm not big on boycotts, but there are some lies that are just beyond the pale, and I can't play along anymore.