I don’t see the fuss. Nobody’s forcing you to shop there and they’re not forcing your son to wear a dress or draw a moustache on your daughter.
Having said that, I’m convinced moves like this aren’t done to help their audience or be socially progressive, but because they want to provoke people on social media. 10 years or so the motives were pure, but they’ve been contaminated with the “banter” and “lame meme joke” clickbait culture now. Five minutes of attention seeking; nothing solved; no intelligent debate; next please!
It’s all part of the New British Snobbery that began with Blair coming to power and peaked with Brexit: instead of the Tory way of insulting the working classes’ dress, food, or accents, the left/liberal middle class looks down on the working class by viewing them all as bigots.
And they make these moves not because they want to help kids with gender dysphoria, help more female (or LGBT, black, Asian etc. characters) be represented on TV, or help people from different cultures feel welcome at food outlets by helping meet their dietary requirements (i.e. Subway and halal), but because they want to stir things up and have a sense of “New Snobbery” superiority.
You can imagine the John Lewis execs on their foie gras lunch break: “Hey! Let’s see what Gary, a 37-year-old welder from Scunthorpe thinks! He’ll say something angry with poor spelling! CANT BOYS BE BOYS OR GIRLS BE GIRLS IF DEY WONT TOO. Ha ha ha! Yes, I mean I’ve been a socialist all my life, I used to send money to the miners’ strike in 1984 but since 1997 and Tony Blair freed us all with people carriers and more than three types of pasta none of the country matters now apart from London, and parts of cities where people I agree with live! Who could afford to go to university! I mean, I’m SOOOOOOO progressive and have friends from all cultures and orientations, as long as you can pay a few grand for the privilege!” It’s no surprise quite a few people on this forum I don’t get on with have that mentality.
Yes, some people upset by this have transphobic, sexist and far-right views, believing everything they read in the Daily Mail, but there’s plenty who are just everyday people who want to do everyday things like buy food, clothes or watch a TV series they like and not have it aggressively politicised from people who don’t give a crap about people from ‘unfashionable’ backgrounds. I call it left-wing dog whistling, in fact, champagne socialist dog-whistling.
Now there’s a lot of jokes going round i.e. “Yer da’ thinks [x ill informed reactionary opinion]” or “X who thinks [Ill informed reactionary opinion] voted Brexit.” Some of the former ARE very funny, and though I voted Leave (50% to weaken Cameron, 50% to piss off hipsters, 0% about immigration, would now be Remain), I’m lucky to have friends who allow me to pick and mix their opinions rather than divide into simple “red/blue, good/evil” teams.
However, by this constant caricaturing, and constant obsessions with playground insults that don’t go anywhere a la “You’ve dropped your Brexiter card!”, you are never going to get people to come round and change their minds. They’ve been shat on enough by successive governments, whether Tory or (New) Labour, and one reason Corbyn’s lasted as Labour leader despite the constant coups is his unbroken will not to talk down to anyone, even if they are Gary from Scunthorpe with slightly dubious views about immigration. Don’t shout at the problem, ask WHY it occurs, why people think such things, who MADE them think such things, and how this problem can be solved. Stop stabbing people in the back. Start investing in people’s potential. Start embracing. Start loving. Do you really want families to be torn apart over a vote? This is the only way our country can move forward after 23 June, 2016. (Hardly breaking news, but the blow-raspberries-rather-than-talk approach is also how Hillary lost on 9 November, 2016.)
P.S. “Congolesa Rice” on Twitter: stop blaming white people for absolutely everything, eh?