Serving Up Gender Stereotypes With Those Fries

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On a trip to the suburbs, I experienced the McDonald’s drive-thru [sic].  Admittedly it was not my finest parenting hour.  And I almost became unhinged when asked by the cashier,  “Do you want a ‘girl’ toy or a ‘boy’ toy with that Happy Meal?”  Far from being some sort of Madonna Ciccone-like cosmic question, it was a practical one: does your kid want the Transformers action figure or the “Littlest Pet Shop” figurine?  

I spared the cashier my inner monologue about gender stereotypes.  Why, I asked myself, is the Transformer the “boy” toy and the Littlest Pet Shop figure is the “girl” toy?  More interestingly, how hard would it be to de-gender the Happy Meal?  Surely if McDonald’s can implement a corporate policy requiring its drive-thru cashiers say, “Hello.  Welcome to McDonald’s.  May I take your order?” then it should not be too difficult to require cashiers to ask, “Would you like a Transformer or a Littlest Pet Shop toy with that Happy Meal?”  

-Bridget Crawford

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0 Responses to Serving Up Gender Stereotypes With Those Fries

  1. My self-proclaimed vegetarian child recently experienced his first happy meal while on a play date. I’m not sure what he ate, but somehow he managed to come away with the Littlest Pet Shop key ring. He loved it. (He would have loved the transformer, too.) But he was crushed when he showed it to a friend and her immediate response was, “Did they think you were a girl?”

  2. Maureen says:

    I agree—if McDonalds can write the script for supersizing, they can surely script gender neutral toy offering.

  3. Maureen says:

    And here is the phone number to call them : 1-800-244-6227.