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From me to you, highlighting challenges faced by girls

Dear Daughters, Awaiting McDonald’s Response to Our Letter

Dear Daughters,

If you believe something needs to change, you should try to change it. Everyone has a voice. Sometimes you have to scream to be heard and sometimes all you have to do is speak up. None of us like that McDonald’s asks you if you would like a “boy” toy or a “girl” toy with your Happy Meals so we wrote about it here on Dear Daughters with Dear Daughters, I’m Tired of Being Asked “Is that for a boy or a girl?: When it Comes to Happy Meal Toys and Dear Daughters, We Can Stop McDonald’s Genderizing of Toys!

Today we have taken the next step in our quest to eliminate the gender steretyping occuring at McDonald’s restaurants. We have written to McDonald’s Canada with our concerns and to let them know that it is happening. What happens next depends on their response.

For our readers, here is the letter:

To A Concerned McDonald’s Executive:

I am tired of being asked if my children would like to order a “boy” or “girl” toy when they order a Happy Meal from McDonald’s. My children should be given the choice of toy they would like to receive with their meal – the choice should not be made for them based on their gender. I would like all McDonald’s Restaurants to train their employees to ask “which toy would you like”?

I worked for McDonald’s Canada from 1992 – 1996 and I was not specifically trained on how to offer toys to customers. I made sure not to perpetuate the gender stereotyping but the majority of my co-workers did not. They asked customers if they wanted the “girl” or “boy” toy. This was 20 years ago. If you do have a specific training policy in place regarding this issue, it is not being enforced. Just last weekend my three daughters and I ordered Happy Meals at McDonald’s. The employee who served us was very polite, efficient and an employee you would be proud of to have on your team but that still did not prevent him from stereotyping when he looked at my girls and said, “Girl toys with those?” Ironically the toy being offered was the book, The Goat Who Ate Everything.

As a loyal McDonald’s consumer I ask that McDonald’s adopt a policy to train employees to ask customers which toys they would like and not whether they would like a “girl” or a “boy” toy. If such a policy exists, I ask that it be strictly enforced. We know you can effectively train employees to ask questions that are important to your company. They never forget to ask if “we would like fries with that”. In addition, I ask that McDonald’s stop ringing in the Happy Meal toys as “girl toys” and “boy toys”. This shows up on the order screen for all little boys and girls to see. It also perpetuates the gender stereotypes amongst your employees. Training them to say one thing but having them continue to work using the same gender stereotypes is counter-productive.
I wrote to McDonald’s Canada last year regarding this issue and have yet to receive a response. I would appreciate a response to this letter.

And now we wait.

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