Excuse me as I sit here a moment to simmer down. Or stop laughing. Or both.
I read a recent article about an 11 year old taking on the McDonald’s Corporation over their assumption on what toys to put in Happy Meal bags based on the gender of the child ordering it. You can read that article here on Huff Post Parents.
What is the actual complaint here? Is it because the McDonald’s employee assumed what toy should be dropped in the Happy Meal bag by stereotyping a child? Or is it the fact that McDonalds is so sexists that it offers one toy geared to boys and one toy geared to girls? Or is it because we have people out in society that are so offended and uptight over products geared to a specific gender that they attack every establishment that can be accused of doing just that? Or is it because an 11 year old thought it would be cool to fight with McDonalds? And then continue that fight for 5 more years reaching the mature age of 16? Or is it all of the above?
I certainly don’t want to beret this child because she isn’t an adult yet and I would probably be really scared of her parents. I appreciate the passion of this child and for standing up for what she believes in, but…
I’m going to make a percentage of you out in Internet land angry. Here’s why.
For the love of all things holy and divine, stop trying to create a world of gray! Here is something I would like you to add to your big bag of “Oh my gosh I am so offended that a girl toy was given to me in my Happy Meal bag!!!” Guess what? Girls like dolls and ponies. And shockingly, no one made us that way. And guess what? Boys like Tonka trucks and Skylanders. And no one made them that way. It is just an innate thing that sort of happens in our brains. Weird, right?
Toy companies are not stereotyping kids. Toy companies are making toys and have been since, forever, that match the things children are innately drawn to.
[Well, that is old school – they need to completely re-do all toys in the world and make them neutral colored and titled and have one big gender-less toy department]
Good luck with that. Because let me tell you something, toy companies make the toys the way they do because that is want kids like and want.
Do we really need to fight about that? Do we not have more pressing things to work out in our suffering nation than getting offended because someone gave a girl a pony in her
Happy Angry Meal bag instead of asking her first!!? “Oh my gosh, they ASSUMED!!! They assumed!!! They can’t assume!! How DARE they assume!!”
I am an adult woman and had plenty of opportunities as a kid to play with my brother’s cars, GI Joes, and construction sets. Did I want to? Not really. I was innately drawn to my Baby dolls and playhouses. That is why when my mother took me to toy stores as a little girl, my feet ran me toward the dolls, and toy tea sets, and soft plush pink animals. If someone had urged me to go pick out a toy in the “boys” section it would have ruined my 6 year old little life.
Now before you starts throwing out insults accusing me of being sexists, let me add something. I couldn’t care less if one of my girls develops a passion for my son’s hot wheel collection. I couldn’t care less if one of my boys enjoys playing with my girl’s doll house. All for one, one for all!
And if I go into McDonald’s with my daughter, who may be really into Skylanders, and she is given a pink pony in her Happy Meal bag because, come on – little girls and ponies? – A match made in heaven; do you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to be understanding as to why the employee made that assumption and nicely hand it back and ask for a Skylander. It is nothing to fight over.