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Monday, May 16, 2011

Mad at McDonald's....

So, after spending almost the entire day outside playing in the dirt both in my friends' garden and my own flowerbeds, I was too hot and tired to cook supper - not to mention that I was *starving* and wanted something fast. So the boys and I walked to McDonald's to get food.

Of course, as soon as we walked in, the boys ran to the display of Happy Meal toys to see which ones they wanted. The current options were Batman (I think) or Zoobles. I had never heard of a Zooble, but I thought they looked cute. As per our usual routine, I asked the boys "do you want Batman toys or Zoobles?" They both yelled "Zoobles!!!" So off to the counter to order.

So, I ordered their Happy Meals first, and told the girl behind the counter that they'd like to have Zoobles. She looked flabbergasted and said, "You mean they want the girl toy?"

I about lost it. This has been a pet peeve of mine with McDonald's for as long as I've had kids. Through clenched teeth I informed her "there is no such thing as a 'girl toy' or a 'boy toy'. They would like to have Zoobles please." She was stunned that I could tell her such a thing.

C'mon, McDonald's. Get with the program. Last time I checked, it was 2011. I am not the most politically correct person in the world, but still - 'girl toys' and 'boy toys'?? Really?

Here's a novel concept. If you're going to continue to offer two different toys, TRAIN your employees to ask if they want a Batman or a Zooble, or a doll or a truck, or whatever the two options are. Or, make everyone's lives simple and offer one kind of toy. How about an outdoor toy to promote exercise after eating your food? Or a book? Or crayons?

Be like the Zoobles, McDonald's. Open your eyes.

By the way, the boys are nuts about these things. They *love* them.

And I have brought this up with McDonald's several times - both locally and with the corporate offices. Apparently they're content to continue promoting sexual stereotypes to our youth. I'm content to no longer eat there. I am raising my kids to understand that they can do anything that they want to do, regardless of being a girl or a boy. Sarah wants to play football, and I am encouraging that. If one of the boys wants to do something that someone considers to be "girly", I'm all for it. I refuse to pigeonhole my kids because of their gender.


  1. I'm with ya there. Last time my kids got happy meals, the cashier person asked if it was for a boy or girl. I have both, so I replied, both. Turns out, my daughter likes the batman toys and my son likes the Zooble thing. My daughter plays with trucks and trains, and my son plays with Dora dolls and barbies. There IS NO SUCH THING as a boy toy or a girl toy!

  2. huh, I've never heard of a Zooble. Perhaps I need to get out more. No, actually, perhaps my daughter needs to get out more.

  3. Did you know that Zoobles are marketed as the "girl" version of Bakugan, a really popular "boy toy"? I get sick of this too, Amy, great blog and THANK YOU for giving them your opinion!

  4. THANK YOU!!! Irritates me too, Amy. My niece brought one of the zoobles to Logan's birthday party after they stopped on the way here for lunch. My boys fought tooth and nail over that thing until we had to confiscate it! Yesterday they were walking around with their baby dolls content as could be and minutes later barreling each other over with their giant dump trucks. The girl/boy hang up is stupid...

  5. I hear you, Amy. My step-son loves pink. We don't like pink, but he does and we're not going to tell him he can't wear it. He loves Disney princesses, too. We don't talk about what's a girl toy or a boy toy in our house. (Oh no! That boy is playing with a girl toy! You're gonna make him gay!) Silly.

  6. You know how I feel about this Amy. After that last round with the employee asking.."is your son a fag?" when he wanted the watch. Remember that? We went last week for the zoobles and I was prepared this time. Thought maybe I would have to jump over the counter and rip somebody's eyes out but I didn't. NOT THIS TRIP ANYWAY. lol I so wish society and companies would get stereotyping!!

  7. Great Post, I just went to BK for a kids meal for my 2 year old. The great thing they don't ask boy or girl they just shove a toy in there! It was the alien monster from Thor and she loved it (-: a toy is a toy, boy or girl you are so right. Shame on McDonalds for feeding not only the stereotype to the customers but their employees too.

  8. But... they only make minimum wage Amy, you can't expect them to THINK about what they do at their job!

  9. WOW...not much else to say about that one! That's crazy! and "thebubster'smom" you HAVE to be kidding! they didn't really say that??? wow again..unbelievable..
    *still shaking my head*

  10. Mare, they really did say that. I was shocked when she told me then and it still ticks me off to this day. I sent this blog post to McDonald's corporate office via their website, but have not heard anything from them yet. Doubt that I will either. >:(

  11. Amy- Send in the story to the local news...I bet you will get a response from McDonald's corporate office then!
    If they don't listen to your letter then just "talk louder". :)

  12. It drives me crazy when they try to label things "boy" and "girl." I thought they were supposed to stop doing that a loooong time ago. :(

  13. Gosh, do I wish more parents were like you (and the more blog posts were like this).

    I was always the boy who wanted the girl toy, and I think that imposing those kinds of roles on children really limits their potential and does wider harm to society. People who repress themselves aren't happy.

    My sister (who is seven) always wants the boy toy. We're happy to accommodate her.

  14. My son is 12 and has Autism. He plays with his little sister's dolls and has dressed up in her play clothes. I have never told him that there were "girl toys" he couldn't play with. Most days you'll find my daughter playing with Star Wars toys or Poke'mon cards. Telling a boy he can't play with dolls is like telling a man he can't play with his daughter.

    Oh and FYI I work for Burger King (and have worked and Mc'Donalds in the past)I may make Minimum wage, but I can AND do think very well Heather Reese. I work that god-awfull job to keep a roof over my kids' heads and food in their bellies. Your comment was very insulting. I can't help it that the economy is so bad I can't find a better paying job right now.

  15. Yeah. I know this post is older (I'm new and catching up) but I find that comment highly offensive as well. My husband works for McDonalds (and makes much more than minimum wage by working his butt off to get where he is in the company) to support our family. My oldest two children have also worked there for minimum wage and think quite well thanks. My son just completed his first semester of college. One of my pet peeves is when people judge others based on where they work and what they earn. Most of the people who work with my husband are either students trying to make a life for themselves by getting an education or hard working adults busting their butts to support their families. They are not stupid, not able to think, etc. They are victims of a nasty economy and just trying to take care of the ones they love.

    1. I totally understand where you are coming from on that, Sara. I have no issue with the people who work there (well, other than the one who called my friend's son a fag for wanting a "girl toy") but my problem is that they aren't trained to ask if people want a "Barbie or a car" or a "Zoobles or a Transformer" or whatever the choices are, instead of asking about "girl toys or boy toys". THAT is my problem with McDonalds.

      Thank you very much for your comment!

    2. Yeah, I didn't have a problem with your blog entry, just one of the above comments. That makes sense to offer the toy as opposed to boy/girl. That is what McDonalds trains their employees to say. I'm not sure why but I'm guessing that boy/girl is shorter to say than the actual name of the toy. McDonalds target time for drive-thru is 2 minutes from the time you order to the time you get your food. I'm guessing that's why they do what they do. Not an excuse. It's too bad they didn't pay more attention to your complaint. My husband works for a franchisee, not corporate so their complaints are handled on a much more personal basis. The owner is even available to talk to people if that is what they so desire.
      I love your blog--it's my first experience following one. I am a mother of 6 and spent 7 years as a single mom so I understand your chaos! :) Keep doing what your doing. I am so jealous of your quilting abilities--I would love to learn and am seriously thinking of signing up for a class.


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