Target is having a rough month when it comes to gender and toys. After a fantastic announcement that they were removing gendered signs from the toy department, they flubbed badly by releasing an exclusive Star Wars action figure set that left out Rey, the main character, and Captain Phasma, the menacing female hench(wo)man in exchange for a generic Storm Trooper and Tie Fighter Pilot. This was quickly tied to a long pattern of Target excluding female characters from action figure sets.
Still, after all the furor, it was still surprising to see that — while they offered a dress-up costume for bad-ass female villain Captain Phasma — they put it in the boys department labeled Star Wars: Episode VII Boys Deluxe Villain Trooper Costume.
It would be easy to place this as yet another slight by Target against girls and women, but honestly, it is so puzzling that I think I’m going to use Hanlon’s Razor to determine their motivation.
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
I can’t imagine they wanted the backlash from girls and women on this sensitive topic. And they certainly don’t want to hear from the parents of boys when they find out they were accidentally cross-dressing.
We got a screenshot of the costume on Target’s website below before they inevitably fix it.
h/t to Troy Freund