Girl Toy or Boy Toy?: McDonald’s and Gender Assumptions
My seven year old daughter Anna loves Star Wars and hates Barbies. For her recent birthday the mom of one of the boys who was invited called the night before and asked Hillary if Anna would want a Barbie. Hillary chuckled and told her that Anna wasn’t quite into Barbies. Anna got a Darth Vader mask and a light saber instead. She was so pumped!
Anna and I have our bi-weekly date after school at McDonald’s. Anna has given into the marketing and can’t get enough of Happy Meals. She gets most excited about the toys. Now that she has moved away from Barbies and anything pink, she has learned that she now has to ask for a “boy toy.” She would rather have the Transformer truck than the My Little Pony.
This time as Anna ate her Happy Meal it struck me that McDonald’s is making some big gender assumptions with their Happy Meal toys. They ask parents, “Would you like a boy toy or a girl toy?” They are assuming that girls will like My Little Pony and boys will like Transformers. What if they are incorrect? With Anna she would much rather have the boy toy than the girl toy.
Couldn’t they just ask, “Would you like the Transformer toy or the My Little Pony toy?”
Not all girls like pink.