So… I have a confession to make. It’s something I find kind of embarrassing, but it’s true. It’s something that I know many, many adults around the world do, but… it’s still embarrassing.
I still eat Happy Meals sometimes.
Not often! Just once in a while, when I really want a specific toy, or I feel the need to feel a little more kid like, or I want to do something fun, or I just need a little snack.
Oh wow, it actually sort of feels good to admit that. Like maybe I can quit feeling like it’s something I have to hide and be ashamed of. I mean come on, you know some of you do this, right?
Wow, silence. Okay then, moving on.
The current Happy Meal toys are Transformers and My Little Pony. Nice choices, actually (though I hate that stupid pony mask they keep giving me).
So the other day my wife and I went to get a Happy Meal for each of us, and I noticed something interesting and troublesome. The cashier working the counter asked if it was for a boy or a girl. And I remembered we were asked this the last time as well. In fact, it seems all the McDonald’s around here ask that. Even more, it wasn’t just the person taking the order, but when the people brought it to the table (confused because our number matched, but there were no children at the table), they said something like “two girl happy meals?” to us.
Is anyone else kind of infuriated by this?
What, so girls like the purple and pink ponies while boys only like the blue robots? Talk about sexist. This is teaching kids that there are important differences, that they better learn to like what their gender is supposed to like and not like what it’s not. It teaches girls that cute little ponies are for them, but that the seriously sci-fi robots are for the boys. Girls can’t like robots that change into cars?
What, ’cause we’re just not smart in science and stuff? We’re supposed to be all frilly and docile? That we should just play with our little dolls and stay in the kitchen?
And boys can’t like ponies? They’re supposed to be all tough and sciency? They have to play with action figures that are always at war, that they should learn to play fight so when they get older they can be tough and ready for the real thing? ‘Cause, ya know, only pansies and little girls like ponies?
News Flash: Some girls like robots and playing war! Some boys like ponies!
This is sexist. This propagates the idea that it’s girly to like pastel colors and dislike war. It propagates the idea that girls aren’t tough enough to fight or smart enough to enjoy robots. It propagates the idea that kids can’t play the same as the opposite gender.
SOME BOYS LIKE MY LITTLE PONY!
SOME GIRLS LIKE TRANSFORMERS!
McDonald’s, please stop pushing gender stereotypes on us, okay? Please.
And now I’ll step off my soap box.
Have a good weekend everyone!