Amazon Drops Gendered Taxonomy for Its Toys

The taxonomy team at Amazon is dropping "Boy" and "Girl" as categories for organizing its toys, as friends of those working at the online goods distributor recently announced on Twitter.

The taxonomy team at Amazon is dropping "Boy" and "Girl" as categories for organizing its toys, as friends of those working at the online goods distributor recently announced on Twitter.


This week Amazon eliminated the gendered taxonomy of toys: http://t.co/fn8Afi7Kvq There are no more "boys" and "girls" sections!

— Jack Danger (@jackdanger) May 2, 2015

You can still search for toys using the keyword "girl" and "boy" in Amazon's search box, and you'll still get the pretty standard returns of "construction vehicles and futuristic action figures" for boys and "dolls and cooking appliances" for girls.

But the move is a recognition of how families are changing, just as Amazon moved to include men in its conception of parenting by changing "Amazon Mom" to "Amazon Family" — a discount program for parents of toddlers.

I must admit that in my family, the boys played with action figures; the girls played with dolls; and we shared gender-neutral toys like a chemistry set, musical instruments, board games, even video games (maybe because our mom prohibited violent ones). I suppose we were free to play with whatever toy we wanted, absent a supervening social order, and that's how it felt.

But maybe Amazon's move foreshadows a different future, one in which toys have blended foci. The appearance of action figures and dolls, for example, are remarkably similar. Both are humanoid; both are occupied with worthwhile activities (e.g., saving the universe, having a picnic with friends, etc.) But why not do both? It's all in a day's work for boys and girls.

Whatever the causes of discrimination, we need men to take up the cause, explains PwC Talent Manager Michael Fenlon.

1 in 100 water molecules started in solar nebulae

New research identifies an unexpected source for some of earth's water.

Surprising Science
  • A lot of Earth's water is asteroidal in origin, but some of it may come from dissolved solar nebula gas.
  • Our planet hides majority of its water inside: two oceans in the mantle and 4–5 in the core.
  • New reason to suspect that water is abundant throughout the universe.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

Elon Musk's SpaceX approved to launch 7,518 Starlink satellites into orbit

SpaceX plans to launch about 12,000 internet-providing satellites into orbit over the next six years.

Technology & Innovation
  • SpaceX plans to launch 1,600 satellites over the next few years, and to complete its full network over the next six.
  • Blanketing the globe with wireless internet-providing satellites could have big implications for financial institutions and people in rural areas.
  • Some are concerned about the proliferation of space debris in Earth's orbit.
Keep reading Show less