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.]