Why Do Happy Meals Have To Be Sexist?

Rose has a problem with McDonald’s. It’s a relatively tiny one, but something that she wishes McDonald’s would fix. See, for her occasional visits to buy Happy Meals for her kids, she would prefer not to be asked whether she wants a “girl toy” or a “boy toy.”

Simple enough? One would think.

Rose wrote to Consumerist originally:

Maybe this is dumb, I don’t know. I take my three children (one girl, two boys) to McDonald’s about twice a month, usually while on road trips to visit family. (I get them apple slices, 2% milk, and all white meat chicken nuggets, but nutrition isn’t the topic at hand.) When I go to McDonald’s, I’m in variably asked the same question:

“Girl toy or boy toy?”

This kills me, and it kills my daughter, especially when I specify that I want three Bakugans or three cars or three whatever, and they still pass out a ‘girl’ toy after they see my daughter in the car. Tonight was the last straw. I can’t keep quiet anymore. Would it REALLY be so hard for them so say ‘Would you like a Bakugan or a Hello Kitty toy?’ Really?

She wrote to and tweeted at McDonald’s about her concerns, and the answers she received weren’t satisfying. The Twitter rep tried to help, noting:

I read your posting and I understand- maybe you could just say which toys your children would prefer-hope that helps

Not really–especially when, as Rose notes, employees are giving Rose’s daughter the “girl” toy as soon as they see a girl in the car. Maybe it’s time to complain to the management of the individual McDonald’s franchises that are doing this. It sounds like the “girl toy/boy toy” shorthand (which has been around since I was a tiny little Consumerist demanding Transformers and friction-motor cars with my cheeseburgers) isn’t about to go away.

When ordering Happy Meals, do you encounter the same terminology and any confusion when choosing toys? What does your family do?

McDonald’s Sexism Fail [You Do What…? A Homeschooling Blog.]


Edit Your Comment

  1. spazztastic says:

    This is…dumb. Kids who like Happy Meals are at an age where they know the toys they like. McDonalds knows that all children don’t like the same toy, so they offer different toys for different kids. They even offer special toys for younger kids.

    Just like those robot hamsters. There’s the near-universal ‘Zhu-Zhu Pets’, and the boy-centric ‘King Zhu Ninja’ that are the same thing in different cloth.

    • Roclawzi says:

      I wouldn’t be so quick about that. My daughter is 5, and she’s a princess and a tom boy in the same breath. She likes being a girl when things are labeled for a girl, but she likes her toys to be toys. Sometimes the girl choice blows. The Hello Kitty watches go right in the trash, while the Bakugan transforming ball thingy got played with for a quite a while. But if you say “boy or girl toy” in front of her, and I say “boy”, I’ve then got to explain it to her that the boy toy is better, and she accepts it, but it’s annoying to have to explain every time.

      On the other hand, it’s not just parents that take the kids to McDonald’s, and not every parent knows what the toy choices are, and certain not everyone knows what the kids want. I would be just be happier if they had a decent toy for both. But when they don’t, but have something cool for boys and crap for girls, or vice versa, leave the crap out and give them all the same toys.

  2. sufreak says:

    I’m glad this is massive consumer issue is being addressed. Once this is done, we can handle all the little stuff.

    Am I the only one noticing a massive quality drop lately here?

    • sufreak says:

      lack of edit button:
      *this massive instead of this is massive

    • The_IT_Crone says:

      I think this is important. People are paying for an item they are not being given because of their gender. Toy or not, that’s wrong.

      When you specifically ask for “X” and are given “Y” and it is a pattern because of sex, gender, race, etc, that IS a consumer issue.

      • BluePlastic says:

        Yes, this. At first I thought this was going to be a trivial issue, but when I read that the McD’s employees still try to give them a “girl toy” even though they specifically requested the “boy toy,” that pissed me off. The McD employee should be able to figure out that the parent/kid knows which toy the kid wants. Handing out a “girl toy” just because they see a girl in the car, after a “boy toy” has specifically been requested…argh! That’s just dumb! Also, what if a boy wanted a “girl toy” ? I guess McD’s would still hand out a boy toy.

        • partofme says:

          If the OP is around, I would really like to know if “boy toy” or “girl toy” is specified on your receipt. If not, what’s probably happening is the order taker isn’t recording the selection (might not know how), and just relying on someone up front to hear it over the headset. That would easily lead to “looking into the car”. If everyone’s actually doing their job as McDonald’s intends, no one would even have a chance to look into the car before their part of the order is fulfilled.

          • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

            So the OP can’t complain that employees at their locations aren’t performing their jobs as intended?

            OK, I’ll bite: What is an OP allowed to complain about?

            • partofme says:

              They’re definitely allowed to. But there are two mostly distinct issues brought up here. The first and most focused on (by the quote given) was the simple naming of the toys as “boy” or “girl”. This is an interesting sociological discussion that I’m not quite decided on (a lot of the gender theory that I learned in college makes sense, but I think it’s incomplete as it struggles with the concept of correlation).

              The second issue is the customer service issue (I asked for this, I was given that). I’ve posited a mechanism for how it could be happening. I’d like some information to help support the mechanism. At that point, we can present a very focused complaint to address this specific problem (to local McD manager: “I noticed that you’re not recording boy/girl toy in the system, as it’s not on my receipt. This has led to my child getting the wrong toy. I would appreciate it if you would emphasize this to your order-takers.”) It’s a legitimate complaint, but if we have more information and a reasonable mechanism, it’s a lot easier to get a positive response (as opposed to whining about gender norms to a McD manager who may or may not have a high school diploma).

            • kajillion123 says:

              The OP can’t complain about rigid gender roles because I’m a man and they’ve never bothered me so obviously she’s just being hysterical.

          • marsneedsrabbits says:

            I’m not the original poster, but in my experience, the answer is ‘yes’.

            I still had the receipt from our trip right before Christmas, so I pulled it out of my wallet just now and looked.

            If you order through the drive-through, the person at the register asks which sort of toy you’d like when you order at the speaker. It’s printed in the same area as the other choices – type of drink, type of side order, etc.

            We go to McDonalds on average less than once a year. Because we go so infrequently (due to allergies, food sensitivities and health nuts in the family), my daughter would be pretty bummed to get a boy toy in place of her beloved girl toy.

            So I’m glad that they ask, but agree with the OP. If her daughter wants a Pokemon or whatever, she should get it without another word from the employees. Her daughter should not be made to feel odd or inadequate for wanting a “boy” toy.

          • Rose says:

            I’m the OP and my receipts do usually say ‘BOY TOY’ under the sandwich name. This happens at McDonald’s throughout Oklahoma and Texas, because I travel alot.

            Again, maybe it’s not a huge problem, but it would be soooo easy to fix. Replace the words ‘girl’ and ‘boy’ with ‘Bakugan’ and ‘Hello Kitty’ or whatever the toy are that month, and end of gender-shaming through the box.

    • pop top says:

      This is actually a legitimate consumer issue that many parents struggle with on behalf of their kids.

      I have to say that I have noticed a massive quality drop lately w/r/t commenters…

      • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:


      • TaraMisu says:


      • c!tizen says:

        I’d agree, but the problem is that the commenting rules are subjective and even sometimes encouraged by the staff to be broken, lemme essplane…

        “The Consumerist Comments Code, which we repost every now and again, is intended to promote a discussion filled with substantive information, insights, humorous observations and relevant personal experiences.”

        Most of that is subjective. What I find funny, you may find offensive. Granted, common sense should be used and people know when they’re being offensive and either post something like the traditional “/sarcasm” or thy’re being serious in which case they’ll get flamed by the thread. When you tell people to provide “humorous insights” you open yourself up to subjective humor, period.

        Then you have rules like: ” Don’t attack people. Assume good faith. Tipsters need help, not ridicule.”

        This is important, we’re supposed to be here to help people with consumer issues and push companies into playing ball by making their snafu public. Here’s where the confusion lies… I was “disemvoweled” yesterday on the article Laura posted about the $3000 oven. I was being sarcastic when I said “who pays $3000.00 for a stove, blah blah blah. You deserve it, yack yack yack.” Everyone that replied knew I was poking fun of the people who blame the OP for having money to spend, but I was censored for it. Yet today, I open up The Consumerist to see a post from Laura with a poll containing the option: “It’s the parent’s own fault for not providing freshly-found grass-fed beef burgers and oven-baked organic potato fries and a handmade toy made of fair-trade materials.” I know that’s not supposed to be a serious option, but come on. Double standards? Mixed messages? Do as I say, not as I do?

        I try to keep a light hearted sense of humor sometimes, other times I offer what I feel is legitimate advice/questions/answers, usually it’s a mix of both. I’ll admit sometimes I just post to say something that might make 1 or 2 people chuckle, but has no real substance behind it, but it’s funny when you see the staff doing the same things that you just got your hand slapped for.


        • bhr says:

          no, you offer anti-government screeds, personal attacks and irrational arguments.

          • c!tizen says:

            again, subjective, but I appreciate you being honest about how you feel.

          • c!tizen says:

            Again, subjective.

            What you consider “anti-government screeds” I consider calling the government out on it’s over-reaching policies that suffocate our constitutional rights. I’m not going to bend over just because someone with a government title tells me to. And if that’s how you view my comments I can see where the “irrational arguments” came in; fair enough… opinion noted.

            And I don’t do “personal attacks” unless I’ve been personally attacked. And by that comment I’m going to assume that I’ve “personally attacked” you somehow, or are you just vigilantly standing up for those whom I’ve oppressed?

      • cardigan says:

        In fact, I’d say it’s the greatest struggle in American history.

    • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

      Why don’t you give me your consumer issues and I can dismiss those as being unimportant to me if you like- I won’t even pretend I’m making a valid contribution to the discussion.

      • Shadowfax says:

        No, come on. This is stupid. She’s talking about highschool kids making minimum wage and wearing paper hats, and she wants to use them as her political correctness whipping boys? If they hand you the wrong toy, tell them to give you the right one. If they insist your girl can’t have the car because she doesn’t have the right attachments, take it up with the manager.

        Or if it upsets you and your daughter that much, stop patronizing McDonalds meal and go somewhere else. All the other chains have kids meals too.

        But launching a campaign on Consumerist over this kind of issue isn’t what this site is supposed to be about.

        • outlulz says:

          Which McDonalds do you go to that actually hires high school kids?

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          if they’re that young, they can still be taught to respect people’s wishes

        • imasqre says:

          No, come on, she’s spending money and is voicing something that bothers her. She admits “maybe this is dumb”.

          Campaign? Really? Or a question/topic that you don’t need to be a part of?

  3. Spook Man says:

    Yea, well this is VERY dumb..

    Why? I don’t want my son getting a Hello Kitty doll when there’s a Transformers robots which he’s going to have more fun with.. So I am going to say toddler boy toy..

    If you don’t like it, then order food from the dollar menu.. You can get more food items for a cheaper price than if you were to buy a happy meal.. And, you don’t have to worry about specifying a toy.. Done, taken care of..

    • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

      Yes, but the article has already indicated that she *does* specify the toys she wants, and still gets an unwanted girl-toy.

      I miss the days when the toys were based on recent movie franchises and popular childrens’ video games and were not sex-specific.

      • jebarringer says:

        When was that? Because they’ve been doing girl/boy toys for at least 15 years.

      • goodfellow_puck says:

        Nah. One week they’d do Beauty & the Beast general toys and the next week they’d do Barbie vs Hot Wheels. Maybe you don’t remember that because you only asked for the toys when it was a movie or vid game? ;)

      • coren says:

        You shoulda seen the burger king ones for Iron Man 2. Boys get robots, girls jewlery

    • goodfellow_puck says:

      What? I don’t understand what point you are trying to make. That you don’t want to have to say “Transformers” instead of “boy”? Or that if one says “Transformers” and gets “Hello Kitty” due to sexism, then they should just order something else? Oh-kay.

    • Chaosium says:

      “Why? I don’t want my son getting a Hello Kitty doll when there’s a Transformers robots which he’s going to have more fun with.. So I am going to say toddler boy toy..”

      Hahahha, “MY SON AIN’T NO FRUIT”, classy.

    • jesusofcool says:

      Just because you like to restrict your children to certain toys based on their sex doesn’t mean the world has to. We live in a world where one of the biggest corporations in the country should no longer be segregating children by “girl toy” and “boy toy” and instead should ask which option is preferred based on what it actually is.
      I seriously cannot believe the amount of people here complaining about this as a non-issue. Unfortunately, it’s small issue that’s built up for years into a huge issue with the way corporations market to children. I am so incredibly tired of walking into a toy store and seeing boys aisles all in blue and green and girls aisles entirely pink and yellow, segregated on opposite ends of the store. We need to stop corporate America from encourage parents to mold their children and their expectations and instead learn to let kids go where their creativity takes them.

  4. pgh9fan1 says:

    Q: If nutrition isn’t the issue here, why did she bring up the fact that she gets her kids apples and milk?
    A: So she sounds like the best person in the history of ever.

    Ego, get over it.

  5. Snoofin says:

    I think they should get rid of the toys all together and perhaps replace them with a book. Half the time when I go to McDonalds the kids in the restaurant are playing with the damnned toys instead of eating. Youre not supposed to play until youre done eating. IF I did as a kid I wouldve gotten my hair pulled.

    • donnie5 says:

      I love your comment.

    • rahntwo says:

      WOW If I am a bad boy would you pull MY hair? : )

    • veritybrown says:

      Seems to me that they’re better off playing with the toy than eating the food.

    • shemnon says:

      My kids get their happy meal toy when they are buckled in their booster/car seat. However, they are playing in playland instead of eating still.

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      a book is a good idea but then Rose would be forced to teach them how to read and mom’s just cannot do that today, I mean, with having FB and their cell phone to text everyone every minute of the hour. tsk,,,just don’t have the time, remember?

    • Rose says:

      Actually, I homeschool my children and I did teach them to read. I’d love it if they gave out books, Chick-Fil-A style, but I think that McD’s gets paid to promote the toys they give out, so I don’t see that happening. (I could be wrong about that.)

  6. Michaela says:

    I think they use “boy toy” and “girl toy” so they do not confuse parents. My mother never knew what my sister and I were playing with, so just naming some toy wouldn’t be very helpful for her.

    From a sociological perspective though, this is annoying. The idea that certain toys are for boys and others are for girls implies that one should not want the toy for the opposite sex, and thus promotes out-dated gender norms. I suggest the reader finds some more people in the area that understand and experience her same frustration with McDonald’s. They can raise awareness of the issue to McDonald’s and hopefully find a better alternative to “boy toy” and “girl toy.”

    • Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

      I think this is the point the OP was trying to get across, even if the complaint itself seems kind of silly and arbitrary at first glance.

      Thanks for not being one of ‘Those Guys’, by the way.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Boys like guns and robots. Girls like dolls and cooking. How hard is this to understand?!

      /sarc (hoping I didn’t really need this)

    • RickN says:

      >>The idea that certain toys are for boys and others are for girls implies that one should not want the toy for the opposite sex,

      McDonalds does not imply that — you infer that.

      Fact – more girls than boys like Hello Kitty. Referring to Hello Kitty toys as “girl toys” does not mean boys cannot like them.

      Referring to small houses as “starter homes” does not imply that 70-year old couples cannot live there. Referring to Corvettes as “chick magnets” does not mean that heterosexual women cannot drive them. Referring to toy guns as “boy toys” does not mean girls cannot play with them.

      • reddbettie says:

        “Fact – more girls than boys like Hello Kitty. Referring to Hello Kitty toys as “girl toys” does not mean boys cannot like them.”

        But that’s exactly what is means to children. When a 6 year old boy sees Hello Kitty he might think “I want to play with that!” Then he hears that it’s a “girl toy.” Now what is he supposed to think?

        That is where the problem lies. Of course grown-ups know that a “starter home” is just the name some people call a type of house. Children do not.

        • MrEvil says:

          It’s not quite that cut and dry. There’s much more to gender identification than goading your child into liking certain things or trying not to. ABC news did a special on gender identity once and had a family on with two twin boys, one of the boys was a typical boy. He was into Shooter video games and GI-Joes and what-not. His twin brother on the other hand was into more (for lack of a word that makes me not sound like a dick) “fruity” things like Ponies and and soft pink things. Both boys were raised in the exact same fashion yet one preferred more girly things than the twin brother.

          Best course of action…do NOTHING and let biology handle it and be happy that your kids are your kids and love ’em just the same.

    • partofme says:

      Either they’re in some evil scheme to promote horrible horrible outdated gender norms….. or, there currently exists a fairly widespread difference in toy tastes between girls/boys. Are you arguing that this difference doesn’t exist? If it does exist, well, then “gender norms” might be outdated, but “gender correlations” aren’t. The reason “gender norms” is demonized is because it does imply that people who don’t follow them aren’t normal. But you can’t just slap the phrase “gender norms” on something and make is sexist. If you instead say boy/girl toys are “promoting gender correlations”, would you still think it’s troubling?

    • Rose says:

      In fact, I’ve seen the gender-shaming happen. My son once got the male kid toy (The one with a top hat.) when they were giving out Madame Alexander toys. Later, another child asked him why he was playing with the ‘boy toy’. Now, why would a boy think that a plastic male figure would be a ‘girl toy’?

      Maybe because he’s repeatedly heard that it’s a ‘girl toy’. And that’s how sexism and gender-shaming works, even in 2011.

    • Kryndar says:

      Frankly I don’t see why they don’t just ask “Which toy would you like?” That way parents who don’t care can ask for the “boy’s” or “girl’s” and those who do can refer to them by name, or something else if they don’t know.

    • Chaosium says:

      “I think they use “boy toy” and “girl toy” so they do not confuse parents”

      Well, yeah. Enforcing standards is (lazily) easier, but that doesn’t make it right, as with using all sorts of stereotypes.

  7. slim150 says:

    Oh gods, is it time for more political correct self-loathing already?

  8. Pibbs says:

    I can see Rose’s point here, but the easiest way to explain it to most parents is “boy toy” or “girl toy”. Do some parents even know what a Zhu-zhu is? The quickest and easiest explanation for the McD’s employee that has to deal with a lunchtime rush is boy or girl. It’s not sexist, just simplistic.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I don’t buy that. McDonald’s employees are supposed to know what toys are being offered. If the boy’s toy is a car and the girl’s toy is a pony, the employees should know the difference between the car and the pony and when a parent says “I want three cars” the employee should fulfill the request. When the employee gives the parent two cars and one pony because there’s a girl in the car, he or she isn’t giving the OP what she ordered.

      • leprechaunshawn says:

        I actually wouldn’t expect a McEmployee to know what toys are being offered. THEY WORK AT MCDONALDS, they aren’t exactly Ivy League graduates.

      • partofme says:

        This post takes me way back to my days working at McDonalds. Sometimes, we would have really obviously different toys (cars v. ponies like you mention)… other times, it was one cartoon versus another cartoon and I wouldn’t even know what we had. Many times, when told “girl v. boy”, I just looked at the color of the toys. It never came up and the strategy was simple. I sometimes had customers want to change the toy they got. This was never a problem. We always tried to give them what they wanted. Or I might have parents say “she wants a boy toy”… no problem.

        As far as “seeing the girl in the car and giving a girl toy”, I’m actually kinda surprised. Usually the people in the front have the order mostly ready before they even get a glimpse of the passengers in the car. The person in the back has the order entered (including choice of toy) before the car is visible. This is probably a matter of poor training at this one specific McDonalds. If the order-taker is asking about the toy, but not bothering to enter the selection into the system (just relying on someone up front with a headset to hear it), then the person up front is likely to just look into the car and pick the toy accordingly. If I were the OP, I’d check my receipts for a line that specifies which type of toy. This information (or lack of information) would help a lot.

      • Clyde Barrow says:

        Pecan,,,Who cares. It’s a stupid. free. toy. It’s not a conspiracy of McDs to “wire” boys and girls into thinking that they can only be a certain “thing” in life.

  9. rmorin says:

    If a company does something that really irks you, why are you still visiting it twice a month?? If she feels that the company is pushing kids into rigid gender roles (its not) then she should stop going. This is a perfect example of senseless entitlement and then sentiment of “why doesn’t a business cater to MY every whim??” These workers seem like they where just trying to help, not a mass conspiracy to get her daughter to play with “girl” toys.

    • rmorin says:

      Also: “Would it REALLY be so hard for them so say ‘Would you like a Bakugan or a Hello Kitty toy?’ Really?”

      What a gross sense of entitlement. If you do not like the way the business operates DO NOT GO THERE. McDonalds is not a right, its a private corporation. Additionally most parents don’t know what a Bakugan or a Hello Kitty is, so boy/girl is an easier distinction. If that offends you don’t go there. McDonalds has decided that their private corporation makes the most money by referring them as boy/girl toys to simplify things for parents, if that is not progressive enough for you do not go there.

      The cashier probably forgot how many of each toy was said, and glanced at the car thinking that they were being helpful, instead of asking twice. An error, sure, but hardly a calculated attempt to condition your children. I am POSITIVE that if you asked to exchange the toys, they would have. They are in no way descriminating against you or your children. They are not actively witholding toys from certain genders, that is just how they label the toys. This is an error in the scope of “I asked for no mayo, and there was mayo”. Stop trying to find injustices that are not there and instead focus on the real issues of oppression in our society.

      • 99 1/2 Days says:

        The worker shouldn’t assume who the meal is for. Maybe the little girl just ate and the meal is for her brother back home.

        • rmorin says:

          That is exactly what I said if you read my comment. It was an error by the cashier/food preparer but nothing worse then putting mayo on a burger that said “no mayo” … People make mistakes and that does not mean that they are trying to condition your children to their version of gender roles, which is what the OP insinuates.

      • Rose says:

        If you do not like the way the business operates DO NOT GO THERE.

        Yes, God forbid that I alert the company to this issue to allow them to address it. I should just stop going there, without any attempt at redress. Thanks for this great advice!

        Also, as the post indicated, this has happened multiple times, at multiple locations, so it wasn’t a one-off mistake.

        • rmorin says:

          NO. The post did not indicate this. Please show me in the post where it was listed multiple locations?? They seemingly ask her the question “boy or girl toy” at multiple locations. But she does not specify at all that they routinely give her the wrong toy across locations and visits.

          “This kills me, and it kills my daughter, especially when I specify that I want three Bakugans or three cars or three whatever, and they still pass out a ‘girl’ toy after they see my daughter in the car. Tonight was the last straw. I can’t keep quiet anymore. Would it REALLY be so hard for them so say ‘Would you like a Bakugan or a Hello Kitty toy?’ Really?”

          That does not specify this has happened more then once at all. Please if you are going to call someone out about reading an article, read it yourself.

          This is an example of an individual upset about a practice (labeling toys “boy” or “girl”) who then uses an either mistake or bonehead employee acting out of their power to validate their argument. I would literally wager anything that there is no policy, publicly, or privately stated to employees about giving toys to match individuals perceived genders. When you start out with a conclusion (McDonalds is enforcing gender roles I don’t agree with!) it is easy to skew a situation to back it up. Telling the manager that they gave her the wrong toy is enough of letting them now. Writing to consumerist and insinuating that Ronald McDonald himself is sitting around in an evil lair plotting to mold boys and girls after his idea of gender roles is ridiculous. This site decrying it as “sexist” is completely sensationalism.

          No one seems to realize that this type of “finding patterns that are not there”, actually pushes away legitimate issues of oppression from the forefront of society. Let us please focus on actual issues rather then a misconstrued mistake or at worst an idiot cashier acting beyond their power.

          • Rose says:

            The post did not indicate this.

            The sections of the post that Consumerist chose to use did not indicate this.

            ^^There, I fixed it for you.

            • rmorin says:

              You are a legitimate idiot.

              “This kills me, and it kills my daughter, especially when I specify that I want three Bakugans or three cars or three whatever, and they still pass out a ‘girl’ toy after they see my daughter in the car. Tonight was the last straw. I can’t keep quiet anymore. Would it REALLY be so hard for them so say ‘Would you like a Bakugan or a Hello Kitty toy?’ Really?”

              Please, please, please, get an English major to back you up that this means there where multiple occasions, across multiple locations. Frankly, without specification that this occurred many times over many locations (as I said multiple times) you can not judge this corporation as having a sexist agenda.

              You have commented multiple times on this site for a variety of issues… all of it seems to be about how you have been wronged by various systems by the government or private sector … Perhaps if you picked one legitimate system that you have been wrong by people would believe you … McDonalds has always, and will never owe you anything. Way to try to tag-a-long a fake issue. There is terrible inequality in our country. And none of it starts with a MCDONALDS TOY so please focus on actual issues or inequality in your comments.

              • Rose says:

                So my posts sympathizing with other posters, offering solutions, and explaining policies don’t count to you, huh? And I should only comment on issues that you think are important, then? I see. You’re just an egotistical asshole. Have a nice day. :)

          • Rose says:

            Did you miss the plural adjectives? Not ‘this killed me the one time that it happens’ but ‘this kills me when it happens”. I’m sorry that you can’t follow the post (and even sorrier that you like to make assumptions when you’re not spoon-fed info) but that doesn’t mean it’s not there.

    • crunchberries says:

      Maybe, and I know this is really hard to follow for you, so stay with me here, she wants to change the status quo of the restaurant and not just stick her head in the sand until things go away. Shocker, I know, but some people actually do that these days. You, clearly, are not one of those people.

  10. donnie5 says:

    I ordered two happy meals for my two young boys. The lady behind the counter put “Hello Kitty” watches in them instead of transformers. My almost 4-year-old was angry. He wanted to know why the lady failed to put the awesome transformer in their happy meals. See, he is male (has the anatomy to prove it) and has an interest in things that are inherently male. It is not our fault he falls into the majority of boys who like to play with things that shoot, destroy, look like vehicles, etc. and found no use for a Hello Kitty watch.
    Of course, it might have to do with the fact he got his first watch for Christmas and it has a “digger truck” on it.

    FACE IT! BOYS AND GIRLS CAN BE AND SHOULD BE DIFFERENT! I mean, come on, all through school people want me to believe we are some individual little snowflake. While we all have differences, there are some things inherently male or female. Take a look at any developmental studies of boys and girls, THEY ARE DIFFERENT! Quit playing the sexist card and learn to leave in the real effing world.

    • katarzyna says:

      So I guess because I played with cars and trucks as a kid, that means I wasn’t a girl?

      • The_IT_Crone says:

        I guess we’re just “confused,” right? Because I hate Hello Kitty with a passion, I must have a screwed up gender identity :)

      • trellis23 says:

        It’s not your fault, you weren’t raised by him. If you had been, you would have been taught to hate those things and known that it was in your chromosomes to love pink baby dolls and kitchen sets.

        Sarcasm aside, it blows my mind that so many people think that the majority of our likes and dislikes are not a learned behavior. If it wasn’t, marketing people wouldn’t be paid so heavily.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          I’m sure some of these people are the kind who freak out when their precious baby boy takes a liking to toy stoves, learning how to cook, and doing “women’s work.” I have a friend whose kid likes to help his parents cook dinner, and he doesn’t seem to be any less masculine (for a 6 year old boy) for it. He plays with his trucks and robots and when it’s time to make dinner, he’s excited to be in the kitchen. It’s about example. Both parents in that household cook dinner, both clean, and he gets a hands-on lesson about gender equality.

          • FatLynn says:

            The vast majority of superstar chefs are male, FTR.

            • pop top says:

              Yes but being a celebrity chef and cooking every day in the kitchen are two different things. One is seen as “woman’s work” and the other is respected.

              • partofme says:

                Why can’t “woman’s work” be respected? Maybe the problem isn’t that the different sexes tend to do different things (sometimes, of course.. certainly not always.. I’m a guy and I cook more than most of my female friends). Maybe the problem is that we’ve not taught people how to respect others. If we did that, we probably wouldn’t have to bother with picking at who tends to do what.

                • katarzyna says:

                  “Why can’t “woman’s work” be respected?”

                  It should be, but in the “real world” it isn’t. Studies have shown that identical work is valued more when it’s done by a man than when it’s done by a woman.

                  • partofme says:

                    That justifies my idea that it’s not the nature of the work that matters. It’s not whether a kind of work is typically done by men or women. It’s simply people not being taught to respect others.

                  • AlphaLackey says:

                    [citation needed]

                • pecan 3.14159265 says:

                  Because women used to be second class citizens who weren’t allowed to vote or own land, and anything women were “relegated” to was considered women’s work, and by association, was not prestigious or respected. We are fascinated by female figures who went against their cultural norms to achieve amazing things.

                  • partofme says:

                    So, again, if we teach our children to respect women…. then it’s probably not a problem to have different types of work that tend to be dominated by different genders. The problem is the lack of respect, not the differentiation of work.

    • The_IT_Crone says:

      Are you kidding me? Because one boy likes one thing then all girls are prohibited from liking it? Maybe the Hello Kitty stuff just sucks and BOTH girls and boys don’t want it?

    • pop top says:

      Why are Transformers inherently masculine? Because they’re a bunch of cars and trucks? Why can’t girls play with cars and trucks? I’m a woman (I have the anatomy to prove it) and I played with Transformers when I was little because they were awesome. You sound like the kind of parent that if your son picked up a doll or something with pink on it, you’d chastise him for being a girl (as though anything feminine is something to be hated and feared).

      • partofme says:

        To answer your question, either they have to be considered inherently masculine, or the word “masculine” has no meaning. Give me a definition of masculine that would make sense with your reasoning. Either we ascribe ‘masculine’ to things that are typically very correlated with things boys/men do or like, or, well, I don’t know what else masculine would mean. If our definition of masculine means “no girl can ever possibly like it”, then it will simply cease to exist. In effect, your question is ill-posed. This is the way our language and our society works. We use words to describe correlations. We use universal quantifiers to describe absolutes. “Masculine” is a typical word that describes a correlation.

        • pop top says:

          You used a hell of a lot of words to not say very much.

          • partofme says:

            I answered your question. But I wanted to explain it, because it might be a little difficult for people to understand. In a nutshell: “Why are Transformers inherently masculine?” “Because the word masculine exists.” You probably wouldn’t have followed that, would you?

          • nutbastard says:

            And you’ve used very few to say nothing at all :

      • Chaosium says:

        “Why are Transformers inherently masculine? “

        Because idiots don’t want women in the sciences, they want them at home.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      That doesn’t make sense. You say boys and girls should be able to like different things, and no one is saying otherwise, but why shouldn’t boys and girls be able to like the same things? Liking different things is the same as liking the same things. You’re showing preference. It’s absolutely normal for girls to enjoy playing with trucks, and it’s perfectly normal for boys to like toy vaccuum cleaners.

      Your kid liked the Transformers toy. I would have liked the Transformer toy too, if I were his age. And I’m a girl.

      • Toffeemama is looking for a few good Otters says:

        Exactly. I always wanted the “boy toy” as a kid, because they were just so much cooler than the “girl toys”. Those damn Barbies didn’t even do anything; you couldn’t even brush the hair because it was usually plastic. I spent much of my childhood playing with my cousins’ Transformers and Batman toys, wishing that somebody would get some for me.

      • selkie says:

        The action cartoons I watched growing up always seemed to have one or two token female characters. I assumed it was for those of us girls who would rather watch G.I. Joe (Scarlett, Lady J.) Battle of the Planets (Princess) or Starblazers (Nova) than go play ‘house’ or schoolteacher like girls were allegedly supposed to want to do.

        Though I admit I did have a pretty good Barbie stash. And of course she had to be out fighting evil with the pirzed 12 inch tall GI Joe doll and they’d have to have like joint missions to rescue that wuss Ken from that play session’s Bad Guy.

        IMO, it’s not an either or thing, but a lot of the time, the boys toys and tv was just so much more interesting than the stuff in the pink ghetto.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          I agree. I loved Spider-Man when I was a kid, and always preferred to hang out with Peter Parker rather than Mary Jane, who just seemed really high maintenance. Also, being a damsel in distress always just seemed to be a lot of waiting. I mean, if I were Mary Jane, I’d probably be grabbing a pipe for a weapon instead of waiting for Spider-Man.

          I’ve never watched an episode of My Little Pony, nor have I ever owned a My Little Pony.

    • NettyM says:

      donnie, you’re right that kids should be different, but the point is that they’re not all different in the SAME ways. The OP has a girl who sometimes wants the boy-targeted toy; I have boys that sometimes prefer the girl-targeted toy.

      The main problem as I see it is that if you’re given a choice, they should honor it instead of making their own judgments.

      It’s up to me as a parent and them as independent little thinkers to make that choice – not the minimum wage drive through employee and not the corporation. From your own experience, your kid got upset when given the toy he didn’t want. Why should other kids be forced toys they don’t want – especially when they’ve asked for the other option?

    • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

      Should be different?

      Like it’s up to you.

      • donnie5 says:

        Yes, they SHOULD be different. That is why they are born with differences in chromosomes, body parts, and hormones

        • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

          Let’s say I’m a man who likes to play with barbies. Or let’s say my son does.

          You’re going to stop me? You going to stop him

          No. No you’re not. That’s the issue that pops up when you use words like “should”.

          Also, learn something about anthropology, or psychology, or biology before you use big words like “chromosomes”. Or you might hurt yourself.

          There are cultures where what we call “girly” things are considered “manly” things and vice-versa. Are they defying their chromosomes, or are we? Or is gender an entirely subjective experience? It is, and it not only changes from culture to culture, but from decade to decade- or does women wearing pants also bother you. After all, it’s so highly unfeminine.

    • Bativac says:

      When I was a kid, my brother and I naturally gravitated towards things like Ghostbusters and He-Man. Meanwhile my sister had one of the biggest Barbie collections on Earth, I think. So I think it is safe to generalize, for the purposes of a Happy Meal toy, which toy boys will prefer and which toy girls will prefer.

      That doesn’t mean Barbies are “for” girls and He-Man is “for” boys – I can remember my brother playing Barbies with my sister, and he didn’t turn into a bank robber or anything. It just means that generally, sexes are attracted to different toys at early ages. I mean, how can anyone tell me there’s a socialogical aspect to a 3 year old girl wanting to play with dolls, when she isn’t exposed to TV and her parents aren’t pointing her in either direction?

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Parents, whether consciously or not, are influencing their children in their choice of toys. Just because kids aren’t watching TV doesn’t mean there aren’t influences that signal to children what parents think is acceptable. These kinds of gender roles were enforced long before we even had television. Enforcing specific gender roles is detrimental to the development of both genders.

        • partofme says:

          “Enforcing” might be detrimental. But you’ve not made an argument that “enforcement” is happening. You’ve made an argument that “subtle influence” is happening. Can you show that this subtle influence is detrimental compared to not having that subtle influence (one of the arguments presented back when I took gender theory was that not having this influence actually promoted confusion)? Can you show that this subtle influence is any worse than the myriad of other subtle influences society provides them?

          • mobiuschic42 says:

            Hmm…my parents also subtly influenced me to speak English with a certain accent, and to prefer certan cuisine just because that’s how they spoke and what they ate. “Subtle influence” from care-givers can have a drastic effect on a child’s attitudes and preferences – that’s one thing that has definitely been shown in studies.

            • partofme says:

              I do not challenge the idea that subtle influence has an effect. I also do not challenge that this effect can be “drastic” (human development is probably an example of a chaotic system… whether it’s deterministic chaos or a stochastic process or whatever can be an even more philosophical discussion). I’m still waiting for justification that it is “detrimental”.

              • pecan 3.14159265 says:

                Enforcing specific gender roles implies that you have a set of boundaries or limits (girls do this, boys do that) and this can sometimes emphasize that idea that not complying to those gender roles is negative.

                If you emphasize that boys play with trucks and girls play with dolls and girls should take care of babies and boys should be at work, what message are you sending? If you want to teach children to be self-sufficient but overemphasize certain traditional gender roles, don’t you take away from that message of self-sufficience? Whether it’s teaching girls they should be good homemakers or that boys should be breadwinners, parents are the model by which children see the world. It’s subtle, but saying “mom takes care of the baby, dad goes to work” without clarifying the lack of boundaries (a boundary is like “mom’s job is to take care of the baby”) implies that “dad doesn’t take care of the baby, and mom doesn’t go to work.” Shouldn’t we be emphasizing the importance of equal participation in parenting?

                • partofme says:

                  You should probably emphasize whatever you value. Most households are somewhere in the spectrum from traditional gender roles to total equality to the opposite of traditional gender roles. One thing I value and will without question teach my children is the correct role of universal quantifiers (though I won’t refer to them as such until the appropriate time). I feel that if I teach a child to understand why we can’t use words like “always” and “never” (except when the actually do apply), then they’ll probably not struggle too much with the idea that while they know the way our family has done things (which I don’t even yet know how it will be, because I’m not there yet), it’s not always the way it has to happen. There will definitely be a matter of “this is the way things are done here”, and if that happens to be “mom takes care of the baby, dad goes to work”, then I’m not going to jump at every opportunity to say “BUT NOT ALWAYS”. Maybe we both work, but at different times. I’ll say “mom is going to work at this time, dad is going to work at this time”. Simply stating how it currently is will not destroy them psychologically.

                  Of course, they will make some associations purely based on what they see while young, but that’s simply going to be a function of how our household happens to operate at that time. The problem is, when they’re really at the young age to be doing that, reasoning with them about universal qualifiers and theories of gender equality would be useless. But you better believe I’ll reason with them on these topics when they are old enough to think about them. My young experiences with a stay-at-home mom and a working dad didn’t destroy my ability to understand how things can work differently. My mom wanted us to be able to be self-sufficient, so I absolutely learned to cook and sow, and my sister learned to manage finances (this is sometimes considered the man’s job and I’m sure she learned other things that I don’t remember.. so don’t flame me for failing to mention others). This happened well after the critical time of influence where children make assumptions based on the subtle things they see/hear. We were taught how to do things, not that one person has to do certain things or that others shouldn’t be respected. Does that mean that my household can’t be one in which my wife does the cooking? No. Does that mean that my household can’t be one in which I do the cooking? Also no.

                  Finally, let’s put this back in context (I’m a very long-winded academic at times). We’re trying to say that calling toys “boy/girl” or acknowledging the current way a household operates is detrimental to their development. This still seems absurd. Of course the way we operate is going to have small effects on what they decide to want to do. But this is NOT enforcement, and it is NOT detrimental. The enforcement aspect only comes into play if you absolutely deny the child the ability to do something they want just because of their gender. We may influence the otherwise uninhibited mind to begin choosing one path, but how can you call this detrimental? They’re going to end up choosing based on some arbitrary factor anyway. So treat a little boy like a little boy and a little girl like a little girl… and when they’re old enough to make choices, help them make choices that will help them. When they’re old enough to begin reasoning, help them reason correctly. And for society’s sake, help them respect others.

              • alex says:

                You’re waiting to see proof that gender roles are detrimental? Really?

                How about these.

                Among 6th and 7th graders who score more than 700 on the math SAT, boys outnumber girls 3 to 1 — but 30 years ago it was 13 to 1. Could this be because teachers routinely discourage girls from doing math? The change in numbers from 30 years is not biological, they’re social. Evolutionary changes wouldn’t take place that quickly. Could this mean that the current 3 to 1 figure could have a social reason behind it too? Could this mean we have further to go as far as equal encouragement?

                Girls have less confidence in their math abilities than boys with equivalent achievement levels. Could this also be because we tell our children that boys will be better at math than girls?

                Women earn around a quarter of what men earn. Could this be because women are taught to be polite and not aggressive and this could lead to maybe not asking for a raise? Could this be because our gender stereotypes suggest that men are more capable than women?

                Less than 10% of the world’s billionaires are women. Could this be because many of us don’t see them as equal to men but rather as “complimentary” and are perhaps not giving them equal opportunities? Over half the American workforce are women, yet they’re not getting as many promotions as men, could this be because their superiors are biased, sometimes without even realizing it? The idea that women should still be limited to being homemakers is an extremely common one, even today. Could some of those people who hold that idea be bosses? or teachers?

                The socialization of girls to like pink, be docile, play with dolls and play with kitchen toys comes from an antiquated idea that women will be homemakers. What it leads to is a subtle but cumulative discouragement. Now, women are in the workplace, doing the same jobs, are needing the same education and skills, and yet our girls are still being socialized to play with pink oven toys and even cleaning toys? Being discouraged by teachers who do in fact call on boys 70% of the time? And we’re asking if gender stereotyping is detrimental?

                • partofme says:

                  I love that your questions are “…could…?” Because you don’t know. There could easily be other reasons. Sure, there are social influences. There always will be. But does what you call a toy rank up in the “detrimental” category? No.

                  As for the rest of your rant, a few notes: 1) Your number is wrong. Women make about 75% of what men make. Could this be because women simply are more likely to pass up promotions or take more time off for their family? Is this trend because of social pressure? Probably. Is this detrimental, or does it actually lead to more happiness? You don’t know, because you’ve cited one aggregate measure that doesn’t tell us much. Biologically, there is a wonderful suite of chemical experiences that lead to a greater attachment between the mother and child which encourages this type of behavior. You can do all the counter-socializing you want, but chemicals don’t lie.

                  2) The achievement gap is interesting. There have been many theories proposed. One is that since boys tend to be more disruptive, they receive more individual attention in the classroom. That explains your 70% number (though, I’m not convinced this is true since I know your other number is false) and a good portion of the achievement gap. Our schools have focused on these things, which is why you’re seeing the change… not because we quit letting boys be boys and girls be girls. Every educator I know starts from the idea that boys and girls will present unique challenges and that we need to recognize them so that we can best address them. Could this have led to the change, rather than a desire to counter-socialize the female out of them?

                  3) Men are more aggressive than women. This is a fact of our genes. This is consistent with many related species. There are some species where males are less aggressive (social bees, for example), but that is directly due to the unique ways they pass on their genes (hint: it’s not the way we do).

                  4) Liking pink or playing with kitchen toys does not damage a mind any more than liking blue or ramming cars into each other. In fact, you could make an argument that one group is learning to participate in productive activities while the other group participates in destructive activities. Could this be why a much higher percentage of our prison population is male? I’m tempted to go cherrypicking for statistics in which men perform worse than women, but it’s unnecessary. Quit worrying about the horrible horrible effects of the subtle social influences or trying to treat everyone exactly the same. Spend your time trying to figure out how we can address the unique challenges of each gender, race, etc… actually, the unique challenges of each individual… so that we can all achieve the most we can achieve. I have a feeling that if you do this, your answer won’t be “stop calling them boy/girl toys”.

                  • alex says:

                    I ask “could” because I’m asking you to think about those reasons. But they are true, and I know because those reasons are things I have experienced firsthand, throughout my life, systematically, repeatedly and unavoidably. People make all kinds of incorrect assumptions about me because I’m female. Actually, I’m an individual person. And so are all the little girls who are assumed to want a pink cooking/cleaning/parenting toy – and all the little boys who are made fun of if they want the pink one.

                    Recently, there was a study done that showed that women’s and men’s brains, on average, are only 3% different, which is less than the difference between individual people. Women do in fact have the same capabilities as men, and we can reach equality once there’s opportunity.

                    1) I did say that women earn a quarter of what men earn– and you’re right, I mistyped, I meant three quarters. However, that’s for doing the same job as a man would–so it can’t be because a woman would turn down a promotion. Because then it would be a different job. Since we’re talking about men and women doing the same exact job, equal work, with that kind of pay difference, it’s absolutely detrimental. Women are more likely to be poor. You think those women aren’t working hard to feed their kids? I just read a statistic that women actually take 3 days less vacation time on average than men do. And men have families too, and they can and do take off family time. As far as maternity leave goes, most or all of that is paid time, and it is illegal to pay a woman less per hour because of it (ie because she is a woman and has the capacity to have a kid). Men get paternity time as well. Increased family time for men has been proven to improve men’s happiness levels. The assumption that they don’t want/shouldn’t have time with family hurts men too.

                    2) The achievement gap starts with little kids. In classrooms, boys are called on 70% of the time, and when a boy is called on a teacher is much more likely to lead him to the correct answer if he is wrong on the first try. If a girl answers incorrectly, the teacher usually calls on a boy instead of leading her to the answer. Focusing on encouraging boys and girls equally isn’t some new special thing we’re doing, because in fact we’re not doing it.

                    3) Yes, there’s a difference in hormones. But the assertiveness required in asking for a raise isn’t dictated by testosterone. Testosterone contributes to making quick or rash decisions, which men can act on or not act on, but it wouldn’t necessarily come into play with a well thought out decision like asking for a raise.

                    4) As some commenters have mentioned, toys like transformers with more moving parts and more engineering behind them do make kids think more than, say, a doll. All throughout the tiny details, men are given more opportunities to learn and do what they want. As you mentioned, the unique challenges of each individual is how we should approach children’s development. Not gender policing and assumptions.

                    But you can’t tell me to stop worrying about it when stuff happens to me personally every single day. When being a woman stops being a societal disadvantage, I’ll stop worrying about it.

      • rmorin says:

        There is also slight hormonal variation even in prepubscent children, which many behavioral neurologists theorize explain certain gender roles such as caring for children for females and rough play for males. It is widely demonstrated throughout the animal kingdom in other species that gender has an effect on behavior that is innate. Development is nature AND nurture, so yes there are inherent traits LIKELY but not definitely associated with being male or female.

        /thinks the cashier just put the wrong toy in on accident and that Ronald McDonald is not in a lair somewhere trying to enforce gender roles.

      • Red Cat Linux says:

        But is that because she individually wants this collection? Or because she has been conditioned to this tendency?

        I’m not generally of a nature to wield the gender card, but when buying presents for the niece or nephew, I was startled by the predominance of material marketed at girls in pink, purple, aqua and sparkly. Boys mostly primary colors, or neon.

        It’s now a chicken and egg thing. Are we conditioning them to prefer certain colors, therefore people market and manufacture using these colors making the cycle go around again?

        I personally Hated pink as a child, much to my mother’s dismay. That did not stop her from outfitting my environment in Holly Hobby pink gingham. And sometimes, me. I was one girl in a sea of boys.

        I was so disappointed when i didn’t get a Tonka truck one Christmas, my mother finally got it. Next year I got an HO scale train set. That was an awesome Christmas!

        Flash forward 30 years. My sister in law does stocking stuffers, Happy Meal Style. All the males get those teeny remote control cars that were all the rage. My husband let me play with his. The females got Estee Lauder trial size fingernail polish. My cousin’s wife was playing with her husband’s car too.

        We played crash derby with each other and had tons of fun. Had I been raised by my sister in law, as lovely a woman as she is, I would have been indoctrinated into the Cult of Barbie.

    • mobiuschic42 says:

      Um, yeah, those developmental studies that you “cited”? Most of them conclude that environment (ie the parents, friends, commercials, places like McDonalds…) has a very strong impact on whether toys are considered “for girls” or “for boys”, and that it’s next to impossible for the parents to not give *some* indication to that effect, even if they’re trying their hardest. They also conclude that’s it’s currently not knowable what behaviors are a result of inborn traits vs learned – ever hear of Nature vs Nurture?

      (My source – undergrad degree in Cognitive Psychology with coursework on gender & sociology)

      • donnie5 says:

        Not so.

        SOME studies conclude nature vs. nurture. There is still much debate and many studies to conclude it is hormonal based and not environment.

        • mobiuschic42 says:

          Hmm…and are those studies letting the children raise themselves in the wilderness before they test? Sorry, there just really is no way, at this point, to truly separate nature and nurture. We can see some patterns between societies, but the vast majority of societies are male-dominated, and very few have the same types of toys that we have.

          • nutbastard says:

            I haven’t got humans, but I’ve got chimps.

            “Richard Wrangham of Harvard University and Sonya Kahlenberg of Bates College in Maine published research in the December 21, 2010, issue of Current Biology, a Cell Press publication that demonstrates the first evidence that chimpanzee youngsters in the wild may tend to play differently depending on their sex.

            Female chimpanzees play with sticks in a manner resembling a mother chimpanzee caring for an infant.

            A biological (evolutionary) predisposition to play with dolls in a manner imitating mothers caring for infants is proposed as superlative to sex-stereotyped socialization roles in female humans.”

            • Spider Jerusalem says:

              Chimps also still have sexual dysmorphia and a whole host of social issues we’ve evolved past. It still benefits chimps to have males in a protective role and females in a caretaking role.

              Not so for humans. Women work, even in construction or other “traditional” male roles. My stepdaughter wouldn’t want a hello kitty watch, not because its hello kitty (she’s apathetic), but because a watch doesn’t DO anything. She would want something she could play with. My kid wants science sets for Channukah, not dollies. She wanted karate lessons (she got judo and kendo instead, but whatever), and not dance. And she’s not the only girl in her class like her. So deal with the fact that kids today DON’T fall into rigid gender stereotypes.

              • partofme says:

                By all means, give your daughter what she wants. But deal with the fact that there are many children out there who like things that are in line with traditional gender roles. They are not rigid (nothing ever is, and we’re not trying to enforce them, just want to be allowed to acknowledge the trends). And all I can say to the idea that we’ve evolved beyond sexual dysmorphia is lol.

        • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

          SOME studies also say that thermite was used in the Towers on 9/11. Being an actual chemist- I know they’re a complete joke.

          Being of scientific persuasion- ANY study that concludes something so broad and ridiculous as “nature v. nurture” is a crappy one. Experiments and research done properly only ever answer small and simple questions. The best verdict to date based on multiple studies? It’s mixed. Of course it is. We all do things based on both genetics and environmental factors. We’re a species that works on instinct (which is why we still have fight or flight responses) and one that can incorporate learned behaviors into our repertoire extremely well (which is why you can experience fight or flight while simultaneously braking and swerving onto an exit ramp while checking your blind spot to avoid a wreckless eighteen-wheeler* without having to think through each step.) To argue that it’s one or the other? A pointless waste of time, and a demonstration of a remarkable lack of education on the matter.

          *Having driven cross country a lot recently, I must admit truckers I’ve encountered have been generally safe and I’m not trying to perpetuate stereotypes, just trying to amp up the terror of the example.

    • spanky says:

      You’ve gotten yourself worked up into quite the little tizzy, haven’t you?

    • psm321 says:
    • NickelMD says:


      Can, yes. Should – that’s where you turn into an asshole.

      Why not let kids play with what they want? Not everyone is straight and gender conforming. Speaking as a gay man who has always been gender non-conforming, those kind of assumptions that work for your kids don’t work for a lot of kids. Some girls like to play with trucks and some boys like to play with dolls. Telling them that they shouldn’t be doing that can be damaging and from an adult who should know better is simply mean.

      Moreover the message you send that everyone SHOULD fit into nice little boxes of gender conforming behavior, is a toxic idea that, when your kids are older may lead them to believe that anything else is wrong. Those are the kind of kids that grow up to bully the queers in school.

      In many cases that might work, in some cased like mine, that might mean they end up with a black eye, or a broken rib or jaw. (Some queers bash back. In my case I generally won the fight). Perhaps more importantly to you as a parent, kids like that are also less likely to finish their schooling and do well in life. That’s the best revenge after all. Breaking John B’s jaw for repeatedly calling me a faggot cost me about $500 in work to ‘pay it off’ to his parents. But going back home to visit family in Appalachia (now as a well off physician) and having him recognize me as I held hands with my husband’s while he sliced my cold cuts at the local grocery was priceless.

  11. slim150 says:

    I, for one, welcome a day were we get non sex, non religious, non offensive, non violent, non cruelty to animal, non sharp, non chokeable CUBES in our happy meal

  12. slim150 says:

    I, for one, welcome a day were we get non sex, non religious, non offensive, non violent, non cruelty to animal, non sharp, non chokeable CUBES in our happy meal

    • slim150 says:

      omg double post. the first one gave me an error

      • donnie5 says:

        Those cubes are called “legos” and the problem is they come in different colors. If you get the wrong color, say, pink when you are a boy, you might then have to raise hell about it.

        Even legos are not safe.

        • pop top says:

          Why is pink the wrong color for a boy? Will it turn him into a girl?

          • pecan 3.14159265 says:

            On the flip side, doesn’t it seem awfully insulting to presume that girls will like pink blocks and boys will like red blocks? It’s one thing if the kid prefers one color over the other, but it’s another to force that kind of gender specific toy on the person.

            If you’re perplexed by a girl who seems to really like “boy” things, like comic books, science, and robots, maybe the problem is your perception, not the person.

            • Griking says:

              “I read your posting and I understand- maybe you could just say which toys your children would prefer-hope that helps”

              Because obviously that’s too hard.

    • Johnny Longtorso says:

      Come on, yet another video game tie-in?

  13. raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

    Part of the problem though, is that children that are around the age to eat happy meals are themselves becoming aware of the difference between boys and girls, and most of them have solid ideas of what is a “Boy” thing and what is a “Girl” thing. I remember dividing all of the things up, down to colors and words, as being for boys or for girls.

    Does anyone remember the little girl from last month, who was teased for liking Star Wars; she was a girl and “not cool enough” to have a Star Wars lunch box.

    • trellis23 says:

      And these solid ideas are subtly and not so subtly learned (from birth) from our family, friends, and media/marketing (in this case McDs). I will not deny that there are innate differences between the sexes, but the majority of our likes and dislikes are not innate, they are learned. And that wouldn’t be so horrible except for how those who stand as an individual are made to feel about their choices (as even you point out with your example).

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        I agree. But what a lot of people (not pointing at you specifically, raydeebug) fail to see is that what is typically a “boy” thing or a “girl” thing is entirely subjective. There was a time when teaching was a male dominated job. At that point, teaching was a job more specific to a man. As culture changes, ideas of what is associated with gender change.

        I think at the very least, most of us acknowledge that girls and boys can like whatever toys they like, and ponies don’t have to be a “girl” thing if the boy doesn’t want it to be.

        • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

          Right. I learned, simply by observation of others, that I “should” like pink and ruffles and I “should not” like dragons and dinosaurs. I still liked dragons and dinosaurs, and it took me a while to realize that it was OK to like things that interested me, and that I didn’t have to like what I was “supposed” to like. Nobody really told me, I had to figure it out for myself.

          I was still offended, though, that the Boy and Girl departments at stores always had the more interesting t-shirts in the Boys’ area. Glitter and pink has its place, but I always liked bright colors.

  14. Polish Engineer says:

    Look on the bright side, whether it’s a boy or girl toy they both have the same levels of cadmium. No discrimination in that regard.

    On another note, I really think this points to the fact that people are truly impossible to please. If there was only one toy, people would complain that it was geared towards one sex or the other. If they just threw the toys in the meals indiscriminately people would complain they didn’t get a choice. Now they complain that the choice somehow invalidates their kids sexual identity.

    Let’s get a grip. It’s the TOY SELECTION at a FAST FOOD place. Next will we complain that the barbies aren’t on the same aisle as the nerf guns?

    Besides, not getting the happy meal toy you were hoping for is an integral part of the childhood experience. It’s happened to everyone….

    • jesirose says:

      Win. Thank you.

    • sufreak says:

      Well said.

    • The_IT_Crone says:

      She’s not even complaining that there ARE girl and boy toys. She’s upset that they often refuse her wishes and give her daughter the wrong toy BECAUSE she’s a girl.

      These are different issues. If she asks for Toy 1 and she is given Toy 2 constantly because her child is a certain sex, race, class, etc, it is WRONG.

      • partofme says:

        Read again. The major complaint was the simple distinction between girl/boy toy. The secondary complaint at the end was the lack of customer service. We can pretty much all agree on the secondary point. If you ask for a specific type of toy, they should give it to you. I have posited a scenario above that might explain this breakdown in customer service. But she IS complaining that there ARE boy and girl toys (at least, by those names).

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          I think the complaint is mashed together. She’s complaining that despite her efforts to specifically name the toys she wants, McDonald’s is making assumptions. They’re tossing in a “girl toy” based on seeing a girl in the car. This is regardless of what Rose has said she wanted.

        • rmorin says:

          I would go farther and say that it was not likely a concious choice to disobey the mom’s wishes about toy preference. The cashier probably forgot and thought they were being helpful by glancing in the cars for the childrens genders. People make mistakes.

        • Rose says:

          The major complaint is gender-shaming. If they said ‘Do you want a robot or a cat?’ a child can safely answer with their preference. If they say ‘girl’ or ‘boy’, they’re forced to make a gender choice. That’s pretty crappy when you’re a girl who likes robots or a boy who likes cats.

          The gender shaming gets even worse when your choices are repeatedly ignored and you’re given the toys that corresponds to your gender, rather than the toy that you asked for. (Also, the one that appears on your receipt.)

          Again, to be clear, I have no problem with their general wide disparity in types of toys. Variety is good, because not everyone likes robots. Some people prefer cats. I just wish that they would specify the type of toy, rather than the gender they think that toys belongs to. Again, two words. A very easy fix.

  15. Master Medic: Now with more Haldol says:

  16. rahntwo says:

    Poor Rose! How I don’t wish I could feel your pain. Perhaps a bag over your daughters head before you drive up to the window. Or tell the 16 year old employee that – yes she’s a girl but she is searching for her true sexual identity and would currently be happier with a monster truck rather than a girly doll. Or- here’s a thought! Take your children somewhere for lunch instead of somewhere to buy toys. I’m so glad I could help!

  17. roben.anderson says:

    why not go somewhere that doesn’t have different toys for boys and girls? I know McDonalds is a cheap place to go, and is more appealing to kids, but BK, Taco Bell (although not too easy to eat in the car), Arby’s, etc, are all viable options.

    McDonald’s should refrain from using the terms they use, not that I like any of the PC stuff, it wouldn’t make people so mad, and might actually invite customers to come back.

    • rmorin says:

      By “terms they use” do you mean boys and girls?

    • mrscoach says:

      Not all Happy Meals toys are divided into two categories. They recently had toys that were a ‘one size fits all’ and everyone got the same toy that day or week.

  18. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    This is a case to be treated like best buy. Open the package before you leave the store (or the drive through) to make sure you didn’t get a box full of bricks.

    • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

      Thank you. Here’s what I didn’t see in the letter:

      “I’ve had this problem in the past {dealing with distracted and busy 16 year old employees, it’s understandable} so I took a quick look inside the bags before I pulled away. When I found a girl’s toy I asked the window guy to swap it out, and he refused, telling me that if I give my daughter a boy’s toy she’ll turn into a lesbian!”

      Then I might get mad on her behalf. But if she doesn’t understand that it’s just a simple mistake that she could fix with a quick request–whatever, whiner.

      • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

        Definitely complain-able if that were the actual case, but I seriously doubt the employee would FAIL to switch the toy out unless they were totally out of stock (which happens sometimes).

  19. jesirose says:

    So when they give the girl toy, hand it back and say “I asked for 3 of the other toy”. Or, buy them a few nice toys to play with in the car before the trip, and don’t shop at McDonald’s, since you clearly don’t agree with their practices.

  20. parv says:

    Boy toy or girl toy, eh? Do they come in adult version?

  21. odarkshineo says:

    This is part of a much larger issue. My fiancée and I were having this argument the other day. Girls are raised to play with simple toys – change the dolls shoes, instead of transformers which tend to have more moving parts and involve some albeit simple engineering….fast forward 15 years then we are surprised not enough girls are interested in math and sciences… McDonald’s is just playing their part in a MUCH larger problem.

    • Polish Engineer says:

      Yes, because matchbox cars and buckets of green army men are so complicated with all their moving parts. I’m surprised little boys heads don’t explode with all the intellectual stimulation going on during play.

    • ReaperRob says:

      Ding ding ding, we have a winner. I’ve noticed this myself. Most of my cousins are female, the ones that played with legos and transformers went into math or science fields, the ones that played with dolls are ALL teachers.

      • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

        Or maybe: that’s just what the kids were interested in (caring/people play vs. mechanical/science play) when they were little and that orientation continued into adulthood?

      • Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

        What happened to the males that played with dolls?

      • mobiuschic42 says:

        Hmm…that’s funny, because my sister and I are both girls. My parents tried to raise us “gender-neutral” but she gravitated toward legos and science toys, while I wanted dolls and liked to play house. The result?
        I’m a computer programmer and she’s in the foreign service.

        • Chaosium says:

          Which is great, but women are by and large dissuaded from entering the fields of engineering, and much of greater science.

          • partofme says:

            Citation? Is this dissuasion because parents don’t give them legos or because the powers that be in engineering/sciences have conspired against women? If you think it’s the latter, you’d be dead wrong. In both engineering programs I’ve been in, women are like gold. Men are a dime a dozen. Nobody cares, we’ll just take the top X% and let the others sink. Women on the other hand must be recruited and given as many resources as possible. Same thing happens in grad school with the domestic/international thing, too. A department will get hundreds of international applications, but handfuls of domestic applicants. The result? Nobody cares about the internationals, we’ll just take the top Y%, and if there is an oddity, let them go away and have the next step up. On the other hand, solid domestic applicants are recruited (one of the few times I’ve actually benefited from being a white male, lol). A female domestic grad student application is like diamonds bathed in gold… unless she’s really not qualified.

      • nutbastard says:

        How do you determine whether or not they got into legos because they had a predisposition to mathematics and mechanics or if playing with legos somehow flipped those switches in their brains?

        It’s chicken and egg, but I’d argue that they were naturally bright kids who found complicated toys more compelling.

        When I was a kid I used to love to count and sort coins. So I did this a lot, and lo and behold, in middle school I was one of 2 kids out of 2,000 selected for some Stanford accelerated math program. Keep going until now and you’ll find I do electromechanical CAD design.

        Was it the coins that made me good at juggling numbers in my head, or was it my ability to juggle numbers that attracted me to coins? Again, I’d argue it’s almost entirely inherent. You’re born as intelligent as you’ll ever be, and that shapes the things that interest you.

    • PadThai says:

      There is a school of thought that more complicated toys; toys that have specific roles and do specific things (like a Transformer perhaps), instead of toys that require imagination are actually hindering childrens’ development because they do not use imagination to play with them. You can give a kid a bunch of blocks and miss matched animals and dolls and they will still have fun playing with them using their imagination. Unless of course, they’re used to playing DS all day, and think simple things are stupid.

      • NumberSix says:

        I give my kid blocks. Lots and lots of blocks in all kinds of colors and types (wood, lego, “other”). That way he can build whatever he wants. If he runs out trying to build something, I get him more.

    • drizzt380 says:

      15 years later the collegiate population is 57% female. Maybe I should give my son a few pink dolls to play with as well.

  22. snowtires says:

    In the paraphrased words of Garfield (Jim Davis), “Anyone who cares this much about Happy Meal toys should be drug out into the street and shot.”

    • pop top says:

      Yeah, especially all those kids who throw the tantrums when they don’t get what they want, amirite?

  23. NORMLgirl says:

    I usually selected the “boy” toys when I was a kid and it never made me feel bad. I was excited to get the toy that I wanted.

  24. sj_user1 says:

    What is a “Bakugan”? I would only know that it was typically more appropriate for a boy because the other option was Hello Kitty. When I used to go to McDonalds drive through, I would try to remember to check my order before I pulled away. If I did not check, 10-50% of the time they got my order wrong depending on which location it was.

    I wouldn’t brag about getting my kids McDonald’s chicken nuggets. I have seen how they make them and where they come from.

  25. Jane_Gage says:

    “They’re all hermaphrodites.”

  26. tape says:

    Having remedied every other problem plaguing humanity since the beginning of recorded history, from disease to war to economics, humanity turned the full weight of its minds and efforts to the final massive and debilitating problem vexing the human race, which toy their kids get at the McDonald’s drive through window.

  27. chucklebuck says:

    In this case, they McD’s people should just give her what she asks for, but I don’t have a problem in general with the terms “boy toy” and “girl toy”. I’m a 38 year old man – I had no idea what the hell a Bakugan is until I looked it up, and I suspect I’m not alone. Not everyone can whip out the old iPhone and look up Bakugan while ordering at the drive-thru.

    Just stick the words “marketed to a…” in front of the phrases in your mind, because that’s what they really mean. The Hello Kitty watch is a “marketed to a girl toy”, which just means that’s who they’re TRYING to sell it to, not who they’ll exclusively let play with it.

    But, again in THIS case, she asked for 3 Bakugans (Bakugi?) and they gave her something else. I don’t think they should’ve done that unless they were out of Baku . . . out of “marketed to a boy toys” to give out.

  28. HannahK says:

    If we’re talking about McDonald’s “killing” the OP’s children, I’d be far more inclined to get worked up about the fact that the restaurant uses those stupid toys to start kids early on a lifetime of enjoying junk food. They are marketing to and manipulating both her sons and her daughter, so if she wants to take a stand about something, maybe she should turn down the toys altogether.

    The employees probably just didn’t remember which toys she ordered, so they looked in the car to refresh their memories. If they made a mistake all she had to do was let them know. The twitter response is perfectly rational.

  29. kalaratri says:

    As a former McD’s employee, we say ‘boy or girl toy?’ because a) parents are usually ignorant of whatever stupid toy we were giving out, b) most parents do encourage their children to conform to gender norms and c) drive-thru speakers suck and good luck hearing Byakugan or Transformers or whatever clearly. It sucks that the workers couldn’t be damned to actually listen and follow your preference (there’s a button on the register to specify toy) but that’s the individual employee failing. The majority of kids do want the toy that falls along gender lines, so to save time that’s what goes in the box unless it’s otherwise specified.

    Personally, I thought the under-3 toys were a lot cooler. They were usually more sturdy, gender neutral and to be honest I have a little collection of them. My little Fisher-Price fishbowl is on my computer desk as we speak.

  30. BluePlastic says:

    Maybe OP should talk to the manager of the McDonald’s. Long shot, but *maybe* the manager would be willing to instruct the employees at the local level to give the toy requested and not just based on the gender of the kid sitting in the car.

  31. mrscoach says:

    How are they seeing the kids before they are handing out the food? Around here the person handing out the food for the drive thru is the LAST person to see who is in the car, and the person taking the money doesn’t care what toy is handed out. Heck, the person handing out the food doesn’t even know what is in the happy meals, they just hand it out, someone else is usually gathering the order.

    Simple answer for her, stay where you are and check the orders, then pass back the unwanted toy and point out the correct item needed. McDonald’s has a satisfaction guarantee, and that includes the toys. No one should ever just accept what they are handed if it is wrong.

    Yes, I work for McD’s and we have given out plenty of toys to the supposed ‘opposite’ sex. We really don’t care. When we ask boy or girl we are asking which toy you want, not what sex your child is. Plenty of boys wanted the “Hello Kitty” watches, even teen boys.

  32. Kevinsky says:

    Don’t people go back up to the counter (or back through the drive through) anymore when their order is wrong?

    I tend not to get too fussy about mistaken orders, unless it’s a BIG mistake, but I’ll happily go back and say, excuse me, you got this wrong. Nicely. Usually it involves tomatoes or ketchup. It’s not easy to convince people that I really mean it when I ask for NO tomatoes or ketchup. I can pull the tomatoes off, but ketchup just wrecks the food.

    If it’s a food item and they have to throw it away, or if it takes up their valuable time during a lunch rush, then maybe the kid behind the counter will learn to pay better attention to what customers asks for

    • Rose says:

      I have done that on three occasions (twice in OKC, once in Lubbock), but by the time I’ve exchanged the toy, the damage is really done. My kids were forced to listen to a gender-directed question, choose the ‘wrong’ toy, and have the ‘right’ toy forced on them, and then watch Mom exchange the toys with the surly (especially at this point) crew member.

      Also, for the record, my receipt usually does say ‘BOY TOY’ under the sandwich. Not always (and I don’t always look at it) but usually.

      • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

        You don’t seem to grasp that not everyone shares your horror at this supposed “damage” over “gender shaming.”

        Go ahead and believe whatever you want and teach your kids whatever you want, but you sound irrational when you expect everyone to share those viewpoints.

  33. VOIDMunashii says:

    Most of the stores around me ask “Truck toy, or doll toy?” (when they even bother to ask). This threw me off the first time they did it because the boy toy was not supposed to be a truck, but an action figure.

    • mrscoach says:

      It is how the options are labeled on the computer screen, so the order taker is just reading from their screen. Stupid, I know.

  34. anime_runs_my_life says:

    I feel for her. When I was growing up, there were not boy toys/girl toys choices. You got whatever the toy was at the time. I still have the Star Trek Motion Picture items and probably a few other items that were definitely boy toys. It didn’t bother me because I didn’t care for Barbies.

    If it’s such a hassle, take the toy back in and exchange it for the one you want. Or take your daughter in with you so you can have her ask for the toy she’d like.

  35. caradrake says:

    I’ve run into this before… why doesn’t OP check the happy meal bags/boxes, and if a girl toy has been sent out, hand it back and request the other toy. Has she tried doing this?

    • malamikigio says:

      i’m with you (and everybody else who’s said something similar) on this. can’t she just go back and tell the cashier she wants a different toy? and if the cashier protests (if he/she would), just tell them the meal isn’t for the little girl. why is this so difficult???

  36. Brunette Bookworm says:

    I see I’m in the minority on the responses here but I agree with Rose. I agreed with her when I worked at McDonald’s and would usually ask them if they wanted a Barbie or a Transformers toy or whatever was there at the time. When I was a kid I had both of those and let’s face it, sometimes the “boy” toys are cooler and do more than the doll that comes with the “girl” happy meal. Just let the kid pick which toy they want and don’t specify a gender.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Um, you’re not in the minority. Go back and read all the comments. Most of us have very obviously agreed that Rose should get the toy she wanted, and that boys and girls can both choose what toys they want without being ridiculed for it.

      • Rose says:

        I have done that on three occasions (twice in OKC, once in Lubbock), but by the time I’ve exchanged the toy, the damage is really done. My kids were forced to listen to a gender-directed question, choose the ‘wrong’ toy, and have the ‘right’ toy forced on them, and then watch Mom exchange the toys with the surly (especially at this point) crew member.

        Also, for the record, my receipt usually does say ‘BOY TOY’ under the sandwich. Not always (and I don’t always look at it) but usually.

      • Rose says:

        Sorry, I replied to the wrong comment. :P

  37. Mole90 says:

    This a lot of BS. If she wanted three Bakugans then she could have said 3 boy happy meals. I have found nothing but amazing service at any McDonald I go to when it comes to kids meals.

    I have asked for a specific color (transformer, skateboard, superhero) and the employees always do there best to give me the one that I ask for. Its a $1 toy, get over it or be more specific.

    I doubt the person on the other side of the building taking her order scanned her car and deliberately sabotaged her kid’s meal against her wishes. If you want more specific service, don’t go through the drive through. Just like Joe Pecci said…..

    • pop top says:

      Can you not read? “This kills me, and it kills my daughter, especially when I specify that I want three Bakugans or three cars or three whatever, and they still pass out a ‘girl’ toy after they see my daughter in the car.” She specifically asked for the toys based on what they were. Why should she have to specify “boy toy” when she’s already saying which toy she wants?

      • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

        Did the LW ever say that she asked for the situation to be rectified and they refused? No, she assumes that the 16 YO kid at the register gives a crap about pushing gender roles on her daughter. It was a simple mistake that she is blowing way out of proportion.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          But from her letter, you can gather that it has happened quite a few times.

          • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

            So why hasn’t she concluded by now that they usually goof up the stupid toy and check the bag before she leaves the drive-thru, instead of failing to even ASK for a simple fix, repeatedly, and then whine about it later?

            Gimme a break.

            • Rose says:

              I have done that on three occasions (twice in OKC, once in Lubbock), but by the time I’ve exchanged the toy, the damage is really done. My kids were forced to listen to a gender-directed question, choose the ‘wrong’ toy, and have the ‘right’ toy forced on them, and then watch Mom exchange the toys with the surly (especially at this point) crew member.

              Also, for the record, my receipt usually does say ‘BOY TOY’ under the sandwich. Not always (and I don’t always look at it) but usually.

              This reply isn’t for you (You’re clearly a troll, as I’ve seen you stalking from post to post, blaming the OP.), but for the people who might read it later.

              • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

                I love how in some of your worlds, ‘disagreeing with actions and worldview of OP’ equals trolling.

  38. mrmcd says:

    She should team up with this ladies: http://gawker.com/166214/the-park-slope-hat-spat-read-all-the-emails

    Together they can fight the rampant injustice pervading trivial children’s products industry, and leave the rest of us alone.

  39. MeOhMy says:

    What is the actual issue? Complaining about the use of the term “boy toy” vs “girl toy” seems really ridiculous. And I’m a card-carrying women’s studies scholar.

    Specifying one and then having the employee call an audible and giving you something else? That’s a problem. Give the customer what they asked for. If you’re not sure, then double-check. You’ll get a follow-up post on consumerist that “I hate when the PFY at the counter asks me to repeat myself” but it’s better than doing your job wrong.

  40. HogwartsProfessor says:

    It bothers me too. If they gave the girl toy instead of the one I asked for I would probably hand it back and say “I asked for the Transformer (or whatever).” As a kid, I used to like Barbies but I also wanted a Hot Wheel racetrack really really really bad and never got one. So I find this kind of shit more annoying, I guess.

    I’m traumatized by toy discrimination!! Give me $10 million dollars!!! ;)

  41. windycitygirl68 says:

    When I went to McDonald’s with my parents as a child in the late 60s/early 70s, we got a hamburger, small fry (well, regular size back then) and a small orange drink (again, regular size back then.) NO TOY! No expectations of a toy! No tears over which toy I got or didn’t get! I finished my meal just being happy that my parents took me out to McDonald’s, which was a real treat for us. When McDonald’s introduced the Happy Meal in 1979, I don’t think they understood the slippery slope they were setting up in terms of entitlement. Since then, everything a child does has to be for a reward. Go potty, get a sticker. Go to the dentist, reach in the treasure chest. Go to school, earn tickets for prizes. Our children don’t know how to do anything unless there is a tangible reward dangled in front of them. And if there isn’t a reward offered, you’ll get nothing out of them. (This I know, as a teacher who must constantly shell out money for treasure chest items. Intrinsic motivators simply do not exist anymore.) Most of the Happy Meal toys are junk and not worth keeping for the duration of the meal, let alone taken home. My son and I have collected his Happy Meal toys over the years and sent them to soldiers to hand out to children in war zones who have no other toys to play with. IMHO, Rose needs to get a life.

  42. privax says:

    what actually bothered me the most about this post is how the submitter mentioned what she actually orders for her children

    (I get them apple slices, 2% milk, and all white meat chicken nuggets, but nutrition isn’t the topic at hand.)

    If you agree nutrition isn’t the topic at hand, why is true why bother even mentioning what you order — also notice how she puts the two healthy items first and isntead of writing nuggets or mcnuggets.. she writes “all white meat chicken nuggets” to make it sound even healthier than it is.

    i almost wanted to stop reading it once i past that point but because i’m bored.. i decided to not only finish but also add my opinion.

    and about the toys….. majority rules… if your daughter wants a bakugan or if your son wants a my little pony who cares.. just say boy or girl toy.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      She did specify what she wanted. She gave the employee the NAME of the toy she wanted. That’s really as specific as it gets. “Boy’s toy” is phrasing the employee used. Rose basically said “I want three robots” and because one of Rose’s kids is a girl, the employee gave her two robots and a flower.

    • pop top says:

      She added the part about what she ordered because some Consumerist commenters are assholes and would flood the comments section with “OH MY GOD WHY ARE YOU FEEDING YOUR KIDS MCDONALDS YOU ARE A HORRIBLE MOTHER WHO SHOULD DIE”, so she was trying to circumvent that. And in doing so, ending up riling up another contingent of commenters who complain about the fact that she added what she ordered. What a vicious Catch-22.

  43. Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

    The first four words of the OP’s letter pretty much sums it up.

  44. TeraGram says:

    I’ve run into the issue as Rose. We don’t frequent McDonald’s very often (and generally, it’s just me running in for coffee) but we did go in maybe once a month when my daughter was small, specifically for that Happy Meal. It was cheap entertainment and her diet is solid enough that it can handle “the damage” potentially lurking in a Happy Meal. Anyway, I’d just bring it back to the counter and say, “excuse me, she specifically asked for the truck toy”. The first time it happened I thought it was a simple mistake. The third, fourth and 10th times? It seemed like a conspiracy.

    Now, why did I go back? Because here there aren’t McDonald’s every other block. There’s one in my town of ~15,000 people. The whole point was to be able to take her out and educate her on proper manners in restaurants and out in public. I wanted a bit of time out with my young daughter. I would even try to make a point of returning to the clerk who took the order. Watching them in motion, however? I realized the issue was the clerk who took the order wasn’t the one putting the toy in the bag. There seemed to be no mark on the bag and I suspect there’s no check box on their electronic system to denote “child wants truck toy”.

    Now what bugs me, more than this issue, is the advertising for specific toys. Around here its more like “this is the toy we USED to have” because EVERY TIME we’ve seen an ad and going to McDonald’s at the next opportunity we’re told “oh we stopped giving out that toy weeks ago”. Not days. Weeks.

    BAH. McDonald’s.

    The good news is, my child handles disappointment rather well.l Perhaps I have McDonald’s to thank for that.

    • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

      I like your last sentence.

      One of the things that bugged me about the LW is the overblown nature of it–yeah, I get that it’s annoying, but “it kills me, and kills my daughter?”

      I’m sorry, but she’s blowing it way out of proportion. If this kind of thing happens to my kids I say, “Hon, I know you’re disappointed and I’m sorry, but sometimes people make mistakes and it’s an important part of growing up to learn to accept others’ mistakes with grace. I know that you were looking forward to X, but it’s not really a huge part of the good things that are happening to you today, is it?” And for the most part, they get it, and aren’t growing up with the notion that not getting your way in petty shit = world crisis.

  45. KCDebi says:

    I’ve never had that problem. My daughter frequently prefers the “boy” toys and she receives them without question. Maybe she just needs to talk to the manager of the location where she’s having the problem. I don’t think it’s systemic.

  46. inogeni says:

    I used to work at McDonalds.. its actually policy to ask the parent if they want (toy name here) or (toy name there). However.. most parents dont know or care what the toy is, let alone the many many many parents who dont speak english as well. It’s harder for some people to say “Hello Kitty” or “Build a Bear” when they can just say girl or boy.
    Sometimes there isnt 2 separate toys… Which made our jobs so much easier… unless they wanted a toddler toy.

  47. cytoman says:

    Simple solution – dine somewhere else. Either that or look at what you were given and ask for a replacement if it isn’t suitable. Get a grip.

  48. IWanaGoFishing says:

    This is just plane stupid. You guys must be disparate for content.

  49. Destra says:

    Keep on fighting, Rose!

    What bothers me more is not that Rose’s kids might get the wrong toys, but that they are being taught what toys they should want. Let the kids figure out their own likes, and stop making bigoted distinctions.

    • Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

      And Rose discussing this with her child and using it as a teachable moment would have been so hard? “Yes sweetie, many people think that there are certain toys that only girls or only boys should play with, but remember that you really can play with anything you want”. Is that so difficult? Or is her schnookums irretrievably broken because of the “gender-shaming” incident?

      “Gender-shaming”. She keeps using that phrase. I don’t believe that phrase means what she thinks it means, especially in this context.

      • Rose says:

        I use most everything as a teachable moment, so my children are probably less broken than you appear to be. (Schnookums? Really? You seem to have a lot of hostility towards my children. I hope you’re getting help with those issues.)

        Please note that using something as a lesson doesn’t preclude trying to change things for the better. In fact, my children have been following this situation as well, listening to McDonald’s responses, and talking about what they thing should be done, so my children are getting multiple lessons out of this situation.

        The most important lesson is to speak up when things bother you, because even the best businesses can’t read your mind. :)

        • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

          Go ahead and speak up, but prepared to be told to get bent, especially if you are in the 1% of consumers who have their panties in a wad over that particular issue. Then don’t shop there anymore. Done.

  50. sufreak says:

    My consumer issues include banks and lenders screwing people. They include companies falsely charging for services/products, or making defective ones. People who have no defense because they get are screwed legally. How about articles helping the countless people screwed over by timeshares?

    If it was an article or complaint that McDonald’s uses toys to sucker kids in to feed them unhealthy food, that would be different.

    This isn’t about gender roles, or biases. Its a ‘free’ toy as part of a happy meal. I hardly find it to be a significant issue. A minimum wage earning employee is trying to make quota by getting customers through the queue. One person takes the order, another processes. They see a girl, *poof* girl toy.

    If this is really the issue the OP is getting worked up over, then I’m jealous. I’m more worried about the screwed up economy, country and people’s hypersensitivity.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      On a macro level, I’m concerned about the environment, excess consumerism, greed, large corporations mishandling money, and many other things. However, these topics affect my daily life a whole lot less than going to the coffee shop every morning hoping that the guy who screws up my order every single time isn’t working. Some things are much, much more trivial in the grand scheme of things, but are more frustrating because they directly affect you. I’m not saying we shouldn’t save the whales, but I still spend more money maintaining the health of my own pet.

      • sufreak says:

        I agree with you. The guy screwing up the morning coffee is an issue. It happens to my wife all the time. And I think micro concerns are important. But do we need to call up the soldiers of the internet because a happy meal toy was wrong?

        If the happy meal toy was a doll of a KKK member, thats a different story.

    • JulesNoctambule says:

      So it’s only possible to care about a finite number of things at any given time? Fascinating.

    • Destra says:

      Bigotry should always be fought in whatever size it comes in.

  51. mobiuschic42 says:

    While I sympathize with this issue, I think it’s important that the mother express her frustration to her children (all of them) than it is that her daughter actually gets the toy on the first try (mom should definitely ask for a trade, though!).
    I believe that the message that the mother sends that, regardless of what society might think is the norm for their genders, any of her children can do anything they want. My mother and father tried to raise my sister and me as “gender-neutral” as possible, but I still gravitated toward Barbie dolls and my sister wanted Legos, etc.
    However, since they let us know that gender isn’t as important as our culture sometimes makes it seem, I’m perfectly content to be a computer programmer who likes makeup and babies, while my sister is a diplomatic employee who likes science and engineering.
    Bottom line: neither of us see any contradiction between our personal desires & professions and our gender.

  52. neilb says:

    McDs is the world’s largest distributor of toys. Whatever they are doing is certainly working!

    Why do toys have gender-specificity? Toy preference is highly correlated to gender, but not entirely. Keep in mind that toy stores and toy aisles do the same segregation by gender. This suggests that the correlation is strong enough to emerge on their own. [I doubt that there is a conspiracy wherein a group of business leaders set genderization policies across toy distributors. :) ] In other words, whatever EVERYONE is doing seems to be working.
    I don’t think it is right, but I don’t think it is avoidable either.

  53. HB says:

    If companies could sell the same toys to both boys and girls, they’d be a LOT richer. This is an old (and dumb) argument that’s been settled many times over.

    Boys and girls like different toys. Boys and girls are DIFFERENT.

  54. Red Cat Linux says:

    Uhm. I hate it myself. Because I buy Happy Meals for me. That’s all I want at McDonald’s. A cheeseburger, small fries and a drink.

    Every time it would be the boy or girl question, and I’m stuck with a toy I don’t want because “Please, keep the toy” does not compute.

    Finally, in frustration, I started ordering a small fry, cheeseburger and a drink. Occasionally I get the “do you want a Happy Meal?” question, to which I respond, “Only if you ditch the toy.”

    • HB says:

      My wife is the same way — she now orders an “All American Meal”, which is a Happy Meal without the Happy Meal box and toy.

      • Red Cat Linux says:

        They used to have that here. Just the Cheeseburger meal. Then they turned it into a Double Cheeseburger meal. Not a Double Cheeseburger… two regular cheeseburgers. I would order just the one, they’d give me the two.

        ‘Have it your way’ is Burger Thing, I guess. At McD’s it’s ‘have it our way, damnit’.

  55. 44Wadeable says:

    Clearly, we should all blame the OP. It’s not like she’s consistently asking for one thing and being given another or anything like that. If everyone weren’t so busy focusing on gender roles and interests, we could actually focus on the OP’s problem at hand.

  56. The Marionette says:

    God forbid a company gives you an option of a choice, because we all know if they didn’t there would be an alternate story about how they DON’T offer a girl and a boy’s toy.

  57. cys_av8r says:

    Sounds like this lady needs a job.

  58. YokoOhNo says:

    After Scalia’s recent comments, the girls should be happy to get anything at all!!! (the constitution, or any of its amendments, don’t give women the same inalienable rights as it gives men)

  59. zegron says:

    This is stupid, little boys want cool toys, little girls want pretty ones, stop being such an idiot lady. Stop trying to force your politically correct opinions on small children that just want some food and a toy they LIKE to play with.

  60. outlulz says:

    Maybe OP should go after toy companies for only including boys in commercials for some toys and only including girls in commercials for other toys, creating the stigma of boy toys and girl toys.

    • Rose says:

      I don’t believe that commercials that my kids don’t watch create a stigma. (Thank you, Netflix.)

  61. Ocyrus says:

    Simple solution: McDonalds’ employees ask: Would you like Toy A, or Toy B.

  62. PercyChuggs Was Found At JFK Airport says:


    Just, wow. What kind of person has a problem with answering a simple question? Would they rather their kids just get 3 random toys, with the possibility that all 3 are little pony’s with brushable hair that NO little boy would find fun? Sorry if I am buying into “out-dated gender norms”. I didn’t know that in 2011, 7 year old boys like to play with little girl toys. When I was a kid, me and all my friends played with BOY toys, and the few young girls we knew played with GIRL toys. You sociological types need to stop trying to redefine what is a “norm”.

    And to the person who suggested McDonalds should be giving kids books and not toys: man am I glad you weren’t my mom or dad. Depriving a child of toys is like telling a hipster they have to go an entire morning without their mixed ice mocha drink.

  63. Jerem43 says:

    It is dumb. This is yet another idiot left-wing nut bitching that society is forcing gender roles on children. This isn’t a troll, I am a left-leaning Democrat and I cannot stand the loony left, and she is exemplifying this crap.

  64. CPENinja says:

    This is a non-issue – the woman simply needs to complain to the manager about the issues. The girl toy / boy toy (*childish immature snicker*) thing doesn’t matter – if you ask for A and you receive B, the restaurant is wrong. This is no different than ordering a burger and getting chicken nuggets – it isn’t what you asked for, so complain. If the problem occurs often (which is the case here), complain to the manager. If the problem persists, step up to the next level. I know, it is annoying, but it is the process.

    Also, may I be the asshole that points out the large percentage of ESL workers that McD’s hires that may not fully understand the order and are simply guessing which toy to give based on customers? I know I will forever have to pick the pickles off of my McRib (*holy angels singing sound*) because my local McD’s has a cashier who doesn’t know the word.

  65. regenerator says:

    This actually bothered me when I was a wee little feminist. I’d ask my mom why McDonald’s assumed girls only wanted the Barbie toys, and boys only the Hot Wheels. So yeah, it’s a problem. Our culture has a definite issue with gender norms, and this is just one example of that.

  66. mdoneil says:

    85% of the people on the face of the earth are idiots; simplicity in the query from the McDonalds cashier is imperative. Making the decision which happy meal to get is hard enough for the general population as it is. Deciding what toy might requiure Mensan like brainpower they simply cannot muster. I certainly don’t know what either of the two toy choices are, one sounds more like a disease than a toy.

    Wouldn’t it simply be prudent to respond, when asked girl toy or boy toy by the clerk, what the toys are so that you might select the one your children would prefer.

    It sounds like the OP is setting her child up to be a victim whenever possible. Meeting people half way would go a long way to making her child fit in, OP is past that point if she is upset about this.

  67. NumberSix says:

    The under 3 toy is androgynous. Perhaps they should just adopt gender neutral toys.

  68. ginnel says:

    Why does she include what she feeds them? And how frequently.
    What a load of crap. What a charmed life she must have if this is a big problem.

  69. Jenn98765 says:

    Oh Christ. If you as a consumer have an issue with perceived gender discrimination, then don’t go to McDonalds if the way they conduct business bothers you – and really, if this is the biggest issue that you have as far as consumer issues go, then pat yourself on the back.

    Someone should introduce her to the anti-fast food contingent and let them wear her down with lectures about what she is feeding her children.

  70. human_shield says:

    Next she’ll be complaining that clothing stores are separated into “girl” and “boy” sections.

  71. Clyde Barrow says:

    This is dumb and a non-issue.

    There is no conspiracy to shape boys and girls in one manner to fit a perfect society of girlie-girl homemakers and boys to like cars.

    Rose, you have either a boy or girl or both. McDs makes two types of toys; one for girls and one for boys. They ask you because they don’t want to mistakenly give a boy a girl toy and vice-versa. God forbid that happen or else the woman behind you, in line, will be waiting behind you in the management office waiting to scream why her little snowflake daughter received a boy toy.

    Ya see Rose, it works both ways. The world cannot make everyone happy. Get over it.

  72. prismatist says:

    Attention OP: Get over it. Answer the boy toy/girl toy question with the names of the toys. Let me spell it out for you:

    McD’s employee: “Boy toys or girl toys?”
    You: “Three cars please.”

    Now, with this horribly pressing issue of national security taken care of, you can return to something less important, like not feeding your kids McDonalds food.

    • Red Cat Linux says:

      RTFA. This is exactly what she did. The employee looked in the car, saw a girl and decided that her mother was mistaken and gave her two cars and a flower (or whatever the frack the girl got).

      • Greely says:

        GTFO. The issue would be how did we make the leap from the equivalent of “you didn’t put cheese on my hamburger” to “McDonald’s is trying to brainwash our children”. I also think it’s much more likely that the employee assumed the wrong button was pressed as opposed to being some sort of maniacal gender-biased bigot.

        Stupidity before malice. Hanlon knew what he was talking about.

  73. Kibit says:

    Next time tell them that you want 3 boy toys or specifically 3 Bakugan toys. When you receive your order, check to see which toys you were given while sitting at the drive thru window. If they gave you 2 boy toys and 1 girl toy. Let the cashier know and tell them you asked for 3 boy toys and have them exchange it. You ordered 3 boy toys, they didn’t give you what you ordered. Its just like if you ordered a Big Mac and they gave you a Filet o Fish.

    If they give you problems let the manager know. Most drive thru’s are timed. They don’t want you sitting there any longer than you are suppose to, so sit there until they give you what you ordered.

  74. outoftheblew says:

    Get whichever toy you want them to have. When I was a kid (I’m female), there was just one toy. I *LOVED* the Matchbox cars when they were the toy du jour. Just find out what the two toys are and pick whichever. I’m guessing MORE people complained about the single toy, causing them to do boy/girl toys, than are complaining now about the boy/girl toys and wanting a single toy.

    • regenerator says:

      But this is the issue. Rose is telling the cashier what she wants, yet the employees are *still* imposing their idea of what her children *should* have. She asks for three Matchbox Happy Meals, for example, but when she pulls up to the window the cashier assumes Rose ordered wrong and gives her two Matchbox HMs and one Barbie.
      That’s ridiculous and sexist.

      • Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

        Is there room in the universe for the possibility that it’s less about “sexism” and more about poor customer service/lack of communication of the McD crewmembers part?

        Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence. The OP needs some perspective.

  75. GuidedByLemons says:

    “Girl toy”/”boy toy” is useful shorthand that doesn’t need to be changed.

    But if she specifically asked for one toy and the employees of the store gave her another, management should have a talk with those employees and tell them to listen to what the customer asked for.

  76. MattyC says:

    The funny thing is, they probably ask boy or girl because the same type of person had already complained that its sexiest to just pass out toys geared more towards boys and the should have the freedom of choice. If she specifies the toys and she gets the ones she didn’t want then she can go exchange the toy, like everybody else does if maybe they get a toy they already have. She can also go to a fast food place with more competent people working there too. People just need drama and debate.

  77. soj4life says:

    McDonalds does this to offer different toys to different genders, this is the result of people complaining that one toy does not fit all.

  78. Wburg says:

    I would have been pissed when I was that age to get a Hello Kitty toy. Asking what toy they wants opens up a few problems; parents will their kids which specific toy they want, forcing workers to look through the box for that collectible, or parents won’t know what TV show has toys out at the time and workers would spend time explaining. Both of these situations waste a lot of time. To make it easier for all parties involved, they offer one toy centered around boys, one for girls. If you know that there are cars and hello kitty toys, and that your boy wants, a hello kitty toy, just ignore them and ask for a boy toy. If your girl wants a car, tell them you want a boy toy. The only problem I see is if the workers heard you say you want a car and gave you the cat anyways. That can be fixed by talking to the manager, not writing to corporate.

  79. Pax says:

    It’s not a problem that McDonalds offers toys in “boy” and “girl” varieties. The actual problem here is, the employees are not adhering to the expressed preferences of the customer. If she SAYS “three cars” when asked “girl toys or boy toys”, then don’t hand her “two cars, and one of the girl toys”, no matter WHO OR WHAT you see in the car.

  80. dvdchris says:

    McDonalds is simply trying to reinforce gender stereotypes. What else do you expect from a multinational corporation?

  81. Duke_Newcombe-Making children and adults as fat as pigs says:

    Maybe this is dumb, I don’t know.

    Let me help you with that. In the grand scheme of things, it is.

  82. Miss Emeryn says:

    I feel Rose’s pain. I honestly wish that society in general would stop declaring things like toys to be masculine or feminine. Kids are impressionable and a lot of habits/behaviors are learned.

    Why does Hello Kitty have to be for girls and cars have to be for boys? They’re freakin’ toys, stop pigeon-holing youth into the gender roles that society deems proper and let them choose themselves. If a boy chooses Hello Kitty, do not call him gay or a sissy- let him play with it in peace. If a girl chooses a truck or Transformer, do not call her butch- let her play with it in peace. I see nothing wrong with a girl holding a doll or a boy holding a GI Joe, if that’s what they truly want, but I do see a lot wrong with people assuming without asking that those would be what they choose.

    When I have kids, they’ll have an assortment of everything to play with, same as I did at that age.

    • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

      When you have kids, you will discover that no matter how gender-neutral you try to raise them, the boys will hit things with sticks and be irresistably drawn to wheels, and the girls will want to have imaginary conversations with their stuffed animals and brush each others’ hair.

      I know; I tried. Three girls and a boy later, I know of what I speak.

      You have to just let them like what they like, play with what they want to play with. Kids aren’t there to be socially experimented on.

  83. rdclark says:

    Just don’t move until you have the toys you want. It’s not a Federal issue.

    I don’t fault McDonald’s for using the shortcut. Boys and girls are different. Asking “boy or girl toy” is undoubtedly the fastest way to complete the transaction, and the operative word in “fast food” is not “food.”

  84. BlkSwanPres says:

    The terminology doesn’t bother me, the lack of following directions is unacceptable. I have a daughter who quite often prefers the bot toys so we say boy toy when asked and have always received it.

  85. Vitae says:

    People are too sensitive, really. When I was little and they had “girl” and “boy” toys, depending on which one I wanted I’d say one or the other. I’m a girl, and if I wanted a girl toy I’d say “girl”, if I wanted a boy toy I’d say “boy”. It’s that simple.

  86. bbf says:

    sarcasm on…
    Because “everybody” knows that there are no differences between boys and girls. And getting a “boy’s” toy for a girl will scar her for life.
    sarcasm off…

    Does the original blogger actually expect a minimum wage McDonalds employee to know every detail of the toys they’re giving out with the happy meals to know exactly what “Bakugan” is?

    Sheesh, I’m happy if McDonalds staff can understand English these days.

    I’ve long given up on the expectation that anybody in retail shouldn’t look at me funny when I give them $2.12 for something that cost $1.87 so I get a quarter back in change. ;-)

  87. ericlewis91 says:

    The Reason: Source: I work at McDonalds in Canada

    You punch a girl or boy toy on the till when a customer orders. These toys do change every few weeks so its much easier to ask just Boy or Girl toy. If your daughter wants the boy toy, just say boy toy please and someone will punch in boy toy. Its not that complicated.

  88. Chaosium says:

    Because toys market movies, and even g-rated movie marketing is HEAVILY sexist/gender based.

  89. george69 says:

    could it be …. oh I dont know….. maybe boys and girls are different..

    Drop the PC crap.

  90. SilverBlade2k says:

    does she REALLY want to be asked if she wants a ‘boy toy’ ?

  91. Greely says:

    Where is the “Get a real problem.” option on the poll?

    And road trips “about” twice a month with three kids? I smell money.

    • Rose says:

      Money? That would be nice. You smell small town, which is (ironically enough) where I moved because it was too expensive to live in the city.

  92. Kingeryck says:

    Get over it. Seriously. Everything can’t be cushioned and PC to your exact specifications.

  93. Cantras says:

    From having worked at mcdonalds, this is why:

    “Okay, and did you want yu-gi-oh toys or betty spaghetti toys?”
    “For the toys? Yu-gi-oh? or Betty Spaghetti?”
    “Action figures or dolls for the happy meals?”
    “they’re for girls.”

    I worked at mcdonalds, I’d say about 3 and a half years total. and I’d say i had less than a dozen people ever order the toy by what is was. *this conversation* (toy names varying) has happened more times than that. And people will frequently just order and say “boy” or “girl” sans prompting.

  94. Telekinesis123 says:

    Psst, guess what, boys and girls *are* different and it’s been proven many times, so there’s nothing wrong with going with the vast statistical majority for public inquaries. Durr

  95. Telekinesis123 says:

    Psst, guess what, boys and girls *are* different and it’s been proven many times, so there’s nothing wrong with going with the vast statistical majority for public inquiries. Durr

    • Chaosium says:

      “Psst, guess what, boys and girls *are* different and it’s been proven many times,”

      My god, the stupid, it burns. Gender is culturally assigned. Sex is biology. You’re confusing sex for gender.

  96. edbdqt says:

    “Would you like a girl toy or a boy toy?”

    “Would you like a girl toy or a boy toy?”
    “That depends, what else ya got?”

    “Would you like a girl toy or a boy toy?”
    “What do you recommend for a child with gender identification issues?”

  97. Mphone says:

    I understand.

    However, just take the extra time and make sure you get the toy you want. Sure, I agree the employees shouldn’t make the call. It isn’t their job.

  98. Jeepman says:

    And there it is . . . living proof that I have not yet heard every stupid, inane, ridiculous comment available. LADY, PLEASE, get a friggin’ life.

  99. selmorestuff says:

    Important stuff indeed.
    I got a large order of fries when I only ordered a small. Should I take it back?

  100. MythArc says:

    Sexism? Oh please. The whole point of having a choice of two toys is that one is marketed specifically towards boys and the other towards girls. And it obviously works, for the overwhelming majority. Sure, there are exceptions such as the case here, but you have to realize you are in the minority.
    This is not a case of McDonald’s supporting rigid gender roles. This is a case of McDonald’s successfully making an assload of cash.

  101. leihei says:

    OMG what a First World Problem.

  102. pot_roast says:

    Rose must be a real blast at parties. Heavens knows what else Rose finds offensive and sexist.


  103. km9v says:

    This is not a problem in San Francisco.

  104. botulismo says:

    Calling it a “girl toy” and “boy toy” rather than an “action figure” or “doll” is still not going to solve any problem. The only thing in this article that would annoy me is that they are ignoring what I’ve requested and giving me a toy I didn’t request simply because they saw I had a boy or a girl.

    That’s simply the best way to summarize the toy. Girls and boys generally play with different toys, though of course there is some overlap. Unfortunately, while it’s okay for a girl to be interested in boy’s things it’s not nearly as acceptable for a boy to be interested in girls’ things. That’s why being called a tomboy is not an insult while being called a sissy most certainly is.

    Uneducated McDonalds employees simply aren’t going to care about the sociology behind learned behaviors and the gendered behavior modeling that toys teach children. You may complain about semantics all you want, but at the end of the day, what actually matters is that someone asks you what you want and then gives you something different.

  105. CappyCobra says:

    Easy Solution. Inform them your ‘daughter’ is a hermaphrodite and tell them to always give ‘boy toys’ so you don’t have to bring up the sensitive subject again. Well up with tears for maximum effect.

  106. flychinook says:

    “Boy or Girl toy?” is easier to say than “My Little Pony or Bakugan toy?” (Which would probably sound more like “MMFFFLLLPFFYRRBAAKGNNTOY” through a drive-thru intercom). Don’t like it? Vote with your wallet (or purse, or non-gender-implying money carrying device).

  107. chaelyc says:

    This has pissed me off since I was a child. In the 80’s it wasn’t uncommon for the “Boy” toy to be the hot action hero of the moment or some weird transformers-type car. The “girl” toy was almost always some static figurine of a princess or a kitty. I always wanted the boy toy & could rarely convince them to give it to me.

  108. mumucachu366 says:

    I’m a girl, and I remember going to McDonalds when I was little and the whole Hot Wheels/Barbie thing was real big back then (the 90s) and I always had my mom specify that I wanted a boy toy. I never liked Barbies and still don’t, Most of the time once they saw me in the car they put a Barbie toy in my Happy Meal, which always pissed me off. Ha.