Spider-Man is a hero for every man and boy, but some folks seem to think, if you're a girl, you can only like him if he's been pinkified, apparently. D'oh!
Sure, as an adult, fast food tie-in products can seem kind of cheesy, but, when you're a kid, they're the coolest. Chicken nuggets and a free toy? YES. Of course, the trick was to try and get the best of the possible toys.
But I think what most people remember from those Happy Meal days of staring at the plastic case which revealed all the potential toy options was that the choices were very strictly gendered. You're a boy? You get an action figure. You're a girl? Barbie, or some Skipper-flavored equivalent.
But we're talking the distant past, right? Ancient history, right? Surely, in 2014, with the Amazing Spider-Man 2 tie-in toys beng the only Happy Meal set available, things will be different, right? Because we've evolved a little beyond "blue is for boys and pink is for girls," right?
Let's check out the new McDonald's Happy Meal toys and just confirm our obvious assumptions that, as a culture, we're moving on from that strictly enforced gender binary.
Ah. I see. Boys get a car, and girls get a headband. Boys get a spider, girls get heart-shaped everything. Boys get Spider-Man, girls get...pink Spider-Man.
And the thing is, we should be a little angry about this. There should be a little indignation, but it would be short-sighted to dump the blame squarely on the shoulders of Ronald McDonald. The ol' golden arches are doing this because it's what sells. Because we code "blue for boys, pink for girls" into our kids from birth.
But this thing McDonald's does is not helping. Reinforcing a strict binary, even with tie-in trinkets, does neither boys nor girls any favors. If a girl wants to be Spider-Man, she should not need a pink version of his motif to make that possible. Check it -- there are no pink versions of Spider-Girl or Spider-Woman. And, conversely, if a boy likes a pink bracelet or something with hearts on it, we shouldn't tell him that only girls like that stuff. We shouldn't be teaching our kids to other each other over the most superficial of superficials.
So, let's acknowledge that color-coded Spider-Man toys are a symptom of a problem that needs fixing, because all kids should be able to like Spider-Man no matter what color his costume may be.
(via Comics Alliance)