California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) just signed a series of woke bills into law, and two, in particular, are garnering a lot of attention because they have to do with children.
One of the laws signed by Newsom requires stores to have a “gender-neutral” section for kids’ toys and the other requires public schools in California to provide free menstruation products for students.
Let’s start with the toys.
The law signed by Newsom is AB 1084. It comes from Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Campbell).
The law requires retail departments stores to “maintain a gender-neutral section or area . . . in which a reasonable selection of the items and toys for children that it sells shall be displayed, regardless of whether they have been traditionally marketed for either girls or for boys.”
Activists have claimed that the traditional marketing of toys and other items for girls and boys improperly forces children to conform to gender stereotypes. They say it does so, for example, by making boys’ toys blue and girls’ toys pink. So, the bill requires stores to have a section that is not like this.
The bill does not apply to clothes, but to toys and teething products and similar items. Also, it only applies to “retail department stores that are physically located in California that have a total of 500 or more employees across all California retail department store locations.”
The law will start being enforced on January 1, 2024, which means that stores have between now and then to comply. Those who fail to do so will face fines of $250 for the first violation and $500 for subsequent violations.
The other law that we are looking at here is AB 367, called the Menstrual Equity for All Act.
This law requires California’s public schools to provide free menstruation products in their restrooms.
The law applies to all of the state’s public schools, including grades 6 to 12, community colleges, and the state university system.
The bill’s advocates claim this legislation is needed to eliminate educational barriers for students that menstruate. The law’s author, Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D), for example, claims:
Just as toilet paper and paper towels are provided in virtually every public bathroom, so should menstrual products. It is time we recognize and respond to the biology of half the population by prioritizing free access to menstrual products, and eliminating all barriers to them.
These targeted institutions will have to conform to the new law by the 2022-2023 academic year.