Poor Franklin Graham. He seems to be tired of living in the shadow of his famous daddy, the Reverend Billy Graham. So he has to keep saying stupid things to get himself noticed. Like talking about scary “Mooslims.” Or flipping out over marriage equality. Apparently, Graham hasn’t been in the news enough lately, so he had to weigh in on Target’s decision to go gender neutral in promoting children’s products in their stores.
On August 11, Graham posted the following comment on his Facebook account:
Because (in his deluded mind, anyway) it’s anti-god if you put the boys’ sheet sets and the girls’ sheet sets together? I guess you never know. You put those sheets with GI Joe all over them next to the ones featuring Barbie, and the next thing you know, Barbie has left Ken, and run off with Joe to commit adultery.
Then there’s his outrage over Target allegedly not using pink and blue to identify sexes. That comes from where in the Bible? People like Graham like to say that god created “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.” And so the Bible says that god did that.
But I guess I missed the part that said God dressed Adam in a sharp blue blazer, and Eve in a pink, floral patterned dress. Or the commandment: “Thou shalt not allow boys to identify with pink, nor girls with blue.” That one must have been number 11, on the original copy that Moses broke, and God forgot it when he produced the duplicate.
Graham says that it wasn’t “gender neutral” people who helped Target become a retail giant. It was “working American families, fathers and mothers with boys and girls they love.” Does he really think that in those American families there aren’t a few little girls who want to grow up to work construction, or a few little boys who want to be hair stylists, and might want to play with toys that suit their interest?
In Graham’s world, apparently everything needs to look like a 1950’s sitcom. We don’t want those women getting the idea that they can be anything more than a baby factory, do we?
What Graham seemed to completely miss is that what Target did is an example of capitalism at its best. The whole issue started in June, after a mother of three named Abi Bechtel took a picture of a sign in a Target store that said “Building sets/Girls Building Sets.” (If you’re wondering what the difference is, welcome to the club.) Bechtel posted that picture on Twitter. Target then started hearing from their customers, and, like any good business would do, they responded. On August 7, the chain issued this press release:
We heard you, and we agree. 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. For example, in the kids’ Bedding area, signs will no longer feature suggestions for boys or girls, just kids. In the Toys aisles, we’ll also remove reference to gender, including the use of pink, blue, yellow or green paper on the back walls of our shelves. You’ll see these changes start to happen over the next few months.
So now Franklin Graham is whining about a store making a change that customers demanded. Target obviously wasn’t getting deluged with requests to maintain separate departments for boys and girls, so, when customers spoke up, Target decided to go along with what they wanted. Now Graham, and his allies on the right, think that this is yet another sign of the coming apocalypse.
Surely somewhere out there is a guy who is coveting his neighbor’s ass. Graham might find talking to him a better use of his time, instead of worrying about what color the wallpaper is at Target.