McDonald's Still Just Missing the Point of Non-Gendered Toys
As I mentioned a little bit back when I was talking about my daughter playing with autistic children, I've spent a fair amount of time at McDonald's. It's cheap food, there's an air conditioned playground, the wi fi is free, and it allows my daughter to run around having fun with other kids in a secure environment while I work. The clown is good people in my book.
Jef With One F
However, our lunch break always includes a Happy Meal, and Happy Meals come with toys. Even if the toy isn't that great, my daughter likes the present, but the gendering of toys is really starting to get on my nerves. Maybe she wants the race car more than the My Little Pony. It depends on her mood. I'm fine with McDonald's having options, but this divvying up of girls toys and boys toys is getting ever more ridiculous in this day and age.
That's why I was so happy when Happy Meal toys became all Spider-Man-based in honor of the new movie. In part it's because Peter Parker is my daughter's favorite superhero. She's watched three different animated series from beginning to end, and she was "Spider-Man as a Girl" for Halloween.
More than that, I was glad that Spidey wasn't regulated to just boys. Girls got Spider-Man masks and carrying cases and whatever else was being offered. Finally, I got to see my little girl stand equal in this one tiny, but important to both of us, instance.
Look, I know this sounds like an incredibly silly first world problem, but hear me out. Every time I have to question a cashier about the toys my daughter is listening. She's processing "this is not for you" about a whole slew of background items. Guns are not for you. Kung fu is not for you. LEGO is not for you. That's for boys. Here are your approved playthings, now go be the little princess you're supposed to be.
There's nothing wrong with being a princess, and she frequently is, but there is everything wrong with being forced to be one. When you have a little girl you have to be very, very vigilant about this sort of thing because it builds and builds and builds a wall of expectations and limited choices that has to be taken down one damned brick at a time later on.
So Spider-Man was making my meals truly happy until last week.
"Chicken nugget Happy Meal with apple slices, and apple juice please," I ordered through the drive thru. It was the end of a very long day and I was way too tired to cook.
"Girl or boy?" asked the talkbox.
"Isn't it just Spider-Man either way?" I asked.
"Yes, but there's pink or blue." My head hit the steering wheel.
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