Advanced search

AIBU about gender segregation of annuals in WH Smith?

(197 Posts)
Catsize Thu 21-Sep-17 17:21:13

I think that MN is getting to my inner core.

Photo was taken today in a lovely market town branch of WH Smith. Went in with my partner and 3yr old daughter to see weird subliminal messaging in the display of annuals.

If you are a girl, you'll be interested in the 'Disney Princess, Frozen, pink Paw Patrol(!!), MLP, Beauty and the Beast' shelf.
If you're a boy, you'll be interested in 'Star Wars, Minecraft, Doctor Who, blue Paw Patrol(!!) and Lego Ninjago'.

I've a 5yr old boy and 3yr old girl who like a mixture of these things but the subliminal messaging won't be lost on them.
Tempted to send them an email but want to know if I would be unreasonable in doing so.

My partner stopped me from rearranging the shelves there and then (I felt slightly entitled as I worked there as a teenager).

Catsize Thu 21-Sep-17 17:23:16

Should say - the email would be for the shop, not my children - obviously!

taratill Thu 21-Sep-17 17:25:14

Just buy your kids the annuals they would like! My daughter is happier with Starwars than My Little Pony so I just buy her one of those.

It's like the John Lewis clothing, I don't really get it, if your daughter wants to wear boys clothes or your son wants to wear a skirt they can do so without having a specific gender fluid range.

Coincidentally I was in Waterstones today and I thought that some of the new girls books were really cool/ not too girly.

Babypythagorus Thu 21-Sep-17 17:27:44

Email. I always do, it's the only way they'll change. It is small, but it does all matter. Also - shame them on Twitter! @everydaysexism etc

taratill Thu 21-Sep-17 17:30:00

babypythagorus genuinely can't see how this is sexist. It would be sexist if you were prevented to buy the annual you want because you are a boy or a girl but they are not doing that?

NevilleBennett Thu 21-Sep-17 17:30:51

I can't see what's wrong about it. They're separated by type, but not by gender. I can't see a sign saying "girls here". It's just suggesting that if you like Princess you might also want to look at the other similar ones.

Yes, some children might like Princess and Star Wars, but many won't.

ememem84 Thu 21-Sep-17 17:33:18

I don't see the issue here. There are no signs noting "boys" and "girls" they're just by type or as someone said above "if you like this you might like this"

Just buy the ones you want to buy.

MargaretTwatyer Thu 21-Sep-17 17:34:01

They don't say 'boys' and 'girls'. They have simply sorted them in a way which will make it easier for customers to find what they want.

HoofWankingSpangleCunt Thu 21-Sep-17 17:35:41

Really folks? You don't see the issue. Gawd help us confused

FrustratedTeddyLamp Thu 21-Sep-17 17:36:07

Unless you didn't get the boys / girls sign in the picture you're being silly. This just makes it easier to find things as it's sorted by type it'd be a lot harder if the different types were mixed together

PassiveAgressiveQueen Thu 21-Sep-17 17:36:48

Tweet the photo to lettoysbetoys

Rachie1973 Thu 21-Sep-17 17:37:53

Its a shelf of books. They're organised by type.

People do like to make a fuss over nothing.

Actually nothing would aggravate my OCD more than the dark coloured Avengers type books smack in the middle of the pink My Little Pony ones.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Thu 21-Sep-17 17:38:30

What's the issue? You just buy the annual/s you want surely.

iammargesimpson Thu 21-Sep-17 17:38:38

Weird subliminal messaging? What? All I see are annuals on a shelf! Yabu.

taratill Thu 21-Sep-17 17:39:27

Good grief the extension of this would make shopping a nightmare, I'm always in a hurry if all boys and girls clothes had to be mixed together and toys for that matter it would be a nightmare.

I have no issue with buying boys things for my daughter who prefers them, I just go to the boys section. No problem.

FrustratedTeddyLamp Thu 21-Sep-17 17:40:20


There are no signs indicating they are for boys or girls just grouped together by type it's OPs assumption and own opinion that some are boys and some are girls and they are all grouped together. The shop itself has no indication of who it's for

DeleteOrDecay Thu 21-Sep-17 17:41:37

It's like the John Lewis clothing, I don't really get it, if your daughter wants to wear boys clothes or your son wants to wear a skirt they can do so without having a specific gender fluid range.

The problem is that once kids get to a certain age, they are aware that some things are marketed at girls and other things are marketed at boys. Even if they like the design of clothes of the opposite sex, many won't want to wear them because kids receive messages daily, through tv shows, marketing etc that reinforces the message that x is for boys and y is for girls and that there is something wrong with them if they deviate from these 'norms'.

Aeroflotgirl Thu 21-Sep-17 17:42:03

Nope didn't see an issue. Buy the annual you want.

SpareChangeDownTheSofa Thu 21-Sep-17 17:44:07

As someone who works in a shop, we have a ''shelf map''. This is compulsory and must be followed (if someone comes in to check we can be fined for having things stocked wrongly) as brands pay to have their stocked in particular places on shelves i.e eye level etc.

This could be the same in the shop - please don't rearrange as it just means a shop staff member will have to come and put it all back to the way they're told to.

rwalker Thu 21-Sep-17 17:44:53

nothing to do with gender all the same type of annuals are together .All the disney ,all the star wars When you mechanised a shop you put all the same things/themes together. in adsa they wouldn't put oranges in with a box of lettuce would you .there is no massive sign on a blue shelf with picture of a boy .This is equality struggles to move on due to people looking for issues that aren't there.

AssassinatedBeauty Thu 21-Sep-17 17:45:48

They're not arranged by type, otherwise the two Paw Patrol ones would be together. They're arranged by someone at that WH Smith's idea of sex-based stereotypes, rather than alphabetically, or by topic, or by tv show, etc etc. It's subtle, it's not as bad as it has been in the past but it still isn't up to the job.

The conclusions drawn in the BBC two part show about sex-based stereotyping and how it harms all our children don't seem to have reached far enough or wide enough yet! We should be emphasising similarity not creating artificial differences for young children.

Hotpinkangel19 Thu 21-Sep-17 17:47:23

Does it really matter????

butterfly56 Thu 21-Sep-17 17:47:30


Runaways01 Thu 21-Sep-17 17:49:50

This is ridiculous, it doesn't even say 'boys' and 'girls', they've just put similar types of annuals together so you can easily find something you like.

So you would prefer they were spread around randomly? Should WH Smith start randomly arranging all their fiction books rather than separating them into crime, chicklit, horror etc?

AssassinatedBeauty Thu 21-Sep-17 17:51:27

They could do it alphabetically by show/topic, not exactly a tricky or unusual way to put books on a shelf. No need for it to be randomised which would clearly make shopping trickier!

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: