Category Archives: Toys

McDonald’s gender issues

Pressed for time (leisure time, what’s that?) we pull into the local burger place to get the children something to eat. The son always wants a kid’s meal; the daughter has outgrown all that ‘baby stuff’ and gets salads these days, but that boy wants his prize.

Now, I’ve spent untold hours of my life repeating to them “I don’t buy food for the toys, you get a toy with the food” (trying to avoid that “But I got this one last time” argument. It’s never actually worked, but…) only to be asked the following by the window attendant “…Is it for a boy or a girl?”

The McDee’s place frequently does these targeted marketing promo’s with the kids meals. They give the boys trucks or weapons to ‘play’ with, and they give the girls dolls or fluffy bunnies to nurture. AS IF the boys couldn’t do with some training in nurturing, or as if girls don’t have any interest in trucks. (or weapons) Not that McDee’s is the only place with problems. I witnessed a parent LOOSE IT once at the counter when the truly apologetic teen in the spotless uniform offered her son one of the ‘girls toys’ with the explanation “this is all I have left”. She drug her son screaming and stomping (her, not her son) out of the restaurant, but I think the child would have been happier to have the ‘girls toy’ than to listen to mom make a fool of herself in public.

For as long as I’ve had children I have fought a loosing battle not to go to McDee’s. I don’t eat there, but the children beg endlessly to go (television marketing goes a long way) and, really, one burger is pretty much the same as the other. When the window attendant asks the question, I won’t answer it directly. “A truck toy” or “A doll toy” is the best they ever get from me (I have driven on an order when the attendant presses me for a girl or boy answer. There’s always another McDee’s not too far away) They’ve actually started noting it on the register ‘Truck’ and ‘Doll’, which displays on the order screen, but the person on the loudspeaker inevitably asks ‘girl or boy’.

You’re probably wondering where this is all going at this point. Well, I’ll tell ya.

Gave in to the begging again tonight, wandered by the local McDee’s. I pull up to the drive through window and notice that they’ve changed the marketing promo to “Cars” (the new Pixar film, I’ll be seeing it) and they give these cars to both genders of children. Here they’ve built up this 15 year legacy of properly filing the children away in their correct gender roles, only to blow it with this new promo that features ONLY CARS.

Cars for girls.

Fire that new marketing director. He’s clueless. The next thing you know, they’ll be giving ‘dolls’ to boys instead of ‘action figures’.