Mommy- Why did McDonald's Ask if I was a girl or a boy?



"Mommy, why did McDonald's ask if I was a girl or a boy?"

"Because they're fucking idiots."

True response here.

I'm NOT lovin' it McDonald's.  Not at all.

I yell back into the drive thru intercom - "GIRLS!"

Dammit.  It's 5:30PM and my kids are hungry. Certainly, I'm not going to hold the line up, and give the cashier a lesson in gender identity and equality.

For peace and quiet in the car with two kids, I will play along.  I will play the outdated and offensive game of pin a toy on the private parts.

At the window, we're handed our "happy" meals to which I will happily ... never pay for - ever fuckin' again.

My 5-year old is deep in thought.  I can tell she's still pondering my profane response.  She understands language cues like the rest of us.  Mama is pissed.  She said "fuck."

So, I school her.

I'm fed up (pun intended) with McDonald's and their stupid gender biases.

I say to my daughter, "McDonald's asks if kids ordering the happy meal are girls or boys because apparently they think that girls only like My Little Pony and not superheroes - and that boys only like superheroes and not Barbies and Ponies."

My candid kid says, "That's dumb, because I like to play with Transformers, is that a boy toy?"

Ugh, Yuck! "Boy toy!!!??"  Have I taught them nothing??!!

Clearly, not enough.

I have to go deeper.

"There's no such thing as a 'boy' toy or a 'girl' toy.  We play with toys that we like to play with.  You like to play with Legos, Barbies, paint and puzzles.  Everyone can play with those toys."

McDonald's could simply train their employees to ask, "Would you like the My Little Pony toy or the Spider Man toy today?"

Or, McDonald's could give books, puzzles, or crafts.

Whether I like it or not, gender stereotypes have been shoved down my kids throat.  I may have accidentally taken part in the shoving.  I'm not the kind of mom that goes through extensive lengths to make sure my kids are completely gender neutral.  For example, I didn't choose gender neutral names.  Or insist on gender neutral hair cuts, or yellow-colored clothes, etc. My kids pretty much pick out what they like according to their tastes.  I don't force them to wear pink or purple, but I also don't force them to wear yellow, blue, green -whatever.

I have to think, that Bruce Jenner and other trans-gender, or gender non-conformists would have had easier lives if they didn't have places like McDonald's shoving gender stereotypes down their throats.  If they didn't have constant societal influences forcing them to conform, to check the MALE box or the FEMALE box.  Clearly, all of the blame doesn't lie with McDonald's.  But, they are perpetuating.  They are encouraging gender expectations.  McDonald's is just the tip of the transgender iceberg.

Forty-one percent of transgender adults report having attempted suicide, that compared to 5% in the general population and 10 to 20% of lesbian, gay and bisexual adults according to a study done by The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Dealing with gender expression, gender norms and gender expectations in this country is causing death.  It shouldn't be so hard on people.

If health care professionals can find ways to be sensitive to gender identity, surely, McDonald's can.  If our own kids hear something different at the drive thru other than, "Are your kids boys or girls?" They'll be able to think differently about themselves.  About others.  They'll be able to accept their own behaviors and preferences even if their gender identity and biological sex are not congruent.

I wish my girls could grow in a world, where it's perfectly acceptable for them to wear dinosaur shirts, bows, any hair style they want and play with cars, trucks and Barbies - without someone asking me if they're girls or boys.  I wish my girls could grow in a world, where everyone stops asking if they are girls or boys.

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