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Let us all at least agree to agree that the Shamrock Shake is an entirely different animal.

I have just now brushed off the old soapbox to bring up a subject that for some reason keeps bothering me: McDonald’s Happy Meals.

Oh, wait. You probably think I’m going to talk about how unhealthy they are and how the sodium is through the roof and how the chickens are brutalized and LALALALALA I STILL HAVEN’T SEEN “FOOD, INC.” BUT I RECYCLE A LOT AND PROMOTE KALE AT HOME

Yeah, so this isn’t about that. While I respect the parents out there who choose to keep their kids away from all fast-foody, chain-restaurant places, I openly admit that Aura and I drop into the Golden Arches now and then for an easy lunch. She likes the nuggets and gets the apples instead of the fries, no soda blah blah blah.

But all that is besides the point. The point, you see, is FAR more important that childhood nutrition. The point, you see, is Gender Discrimination in Verbal Labeling of Happy Meal Toys. Sure, Aura likes Strawberry Shortcake and American Girl little plastic stuff. But she has also always really liked LEGOs, and trains, and the occasional Pokemon thingie.

Er, my point:

When Aura wants the “boy toy”

Me: Hi. May I have a Happy Meal with six of your much-lauded Nuggets of Doom, the apple dippers, and water?

McDonald’s employee: Sure. With a girl toy, right?

Me: We’d like the Batman toy, please

McD’s employee: You want the boy toy?

Me: Well, she wants the toy that has to do with Batman.

McD’s employee: I understand. So you’re saying she wants the boy toy?

Me: Um, well, see, I kind of have this thing against actually saying “boy toy.” So, yep, Batman.

McD’s employee: Got it. The boy toy.

Me: Now, I don’t want to come across as some kind of crazy ├╝ber-postfeminist mom, but I just feel weird calling it a “boy toy.” My daughter seems to like Batman, so, you know. You know?

McD’s employee:

Me: Not crazy!

McD’s employee:

Me: I mean it!



ugg mcdonald's toy


When Aura wants the “girl toy”

Me: Hi. May I have a Happy Meal with six of your infamous Nuggets of Noxious Nutrition, the apple dippers, and water?

McDonald’s employee: Sure. With a girl toy, right?

Me: We’d like the Polly Pocket, please.

McD’s employee: Yes. That’s the girl toy.

Me: Well, I prefer just calling it a Polly Pocket, since that’s what it is. Seems simpler, you know?

McD’s employee:

Me: Wait. That came out kind of witchy. All I meant is that girls like all sorts of things, and boys like all sorts of things. IT’S A CRAZY, WONDERFUL WORLD. YOU KNOW.

McD’s employee: You need to pay now. I can’t get you the Happy Meal with the girl toy until you pay.



my little pony mcdonald's toy


It is something like 57% possible that I need to pick better battles.


(Feel free to back me up here. I’m feeling vulnerable. Like, kind-of-want-fries-right-now-while-Aura-is-asleep-and-unknowing vulnerable. Because, between the two of us, Apple Dippers kind of suck.)


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