Will McDonald’s really de-gender its toys?

Slate.com just published a great article, written by a high-school junior, about her campaign to de-gender McDonald’s toys. I’m impressed by the article, and the initiative of the girl who wrote it. I wish I had been that committed to change at her age. Heck, I wish I were that committed NOW.

I’m hopeful that the promise she’s been given by McDonald’s chief diversity officer, Patricia Harris, will bear fruit and that they actually are changing their policy. I’m appreciative that though this letter was written in December and it is now late April, that McDonald’s is a very large organization, and that it takes time for such dictates to make their way through to individual franchises.

But I’m not going to get excited until I see it actually happen in my neck of the woods.

Just last week, I went to a McDonald’s with my daughter. I didn’t see anything that told me what the toys were. When I ordered a Happy Meal, I was asked “boy toy or girl toy?” I asked what the toys were. The cashier repeated “We just have a boy toy and a girl toy.” I repeated, “I’d like to know what they actually are, though.”

my_little_pony_mcdonalds_toys_rarityThe cashier, clearly irritated, stomped over to the bins, grabs a couple and shows them to me. In the package, it was impossible to tell what the “boy” toy was.

So I asked, “What is that?” The cashier just shrugged her shoulders, looking more irritated with the second. At this point, as I was already late for something (hence the reason I was at McDonald’s in the first place), and K saw that the girl toy was a horse (a My Little Pony), so we just grabbed the pony and left.

My daughter is a multi-faceted young girl, with a love for superheroes and a budding interest in Star Wars; a girl who also loves animals, dolls and playing house. She wears dresses whenever she can and will fight you with a sword as often as she goes to pick flowers. So for the love of god, stop telling her what she can and can’t play with.

PS To add insult to injury, the My Little Pony doll we received has one hoof “fluffing” her hair with a coquettish look. You’ve got to be kidding me. Now our freaking horses have to be obsessed with their looks? #NotBuyingIt