There is another possibility, a patently absurd possibility that makes no sense in enlightened times, a possibility which is all the more absurd because it just happens to be one hundred percent accurate: McDonald’s assigns gender roles to its Happy Meals. Yes, boys, we’ve got neat little journals available, but literacy is overrated. Build yourself a Megazord. Girls, you can grow up to be President, you can be a soldier or a firefighter or anything your heart desires, but you may not build a Megazord.
I do not have the slightest idea what a Megazord is, I assume it’s Latin for “We didn’t land the merchandising contract for Despicable Me 2,” but I do know without question that my testicles do not make me more qualified to build one.
There are bigger problems, of course, which are in desperate need of our attention. Russia, for example. Discriminatory employment and housing laws. Finishing up this whole marriage business once and for all. But I think it’s the overwhelming size and scope of those concerns that makes this McProblem so irritating, because it could be so easily remedied.
All they have to do is be specific in the inquiry. McDonald’s asks if the kid wants fries or apples, not “hot, awesome salty goodness, or cold, raw, healthy sadness.” Similarly, instead of “Girl toy or boy toy,” ask if they’d like the Megazord or the journal or powder puff or whatever pink and purple piece of crap they’re currently offering. It’s not hard, and kids like to know exactly what they’re getting. They crave information. That’s why they’re so nosy and ask embarrassing personal questions.
I was the kind of kid who would’ve wanted the scented My Little Pony, but not because I liked ponies. It’s because I loved things that smelled like food but weren’t, which is why I was at McDonald’s in the first place.
If we’re going to tell these kids they’re extraordinary, that there’s an endless variety of options available to them, why would we then take away half their choices because we arbitrarily decided they don’t fit their gender? I’m not lovin’ that at all.