And a Little Child Will Lead

Guess Who?Isaiah 11:6 tells us:

The wolf will live with the lamb,
The leopard will lie down with the goat,
The calf and the lion and the yearling together;
And a little child will lead them.

That time has come my friends. Jennifer O’Connell has posted an email sent from R— (Do you feel like you are in the middle of a 19th century novel?) to Hasbro, the toy and game company. (I assume R— is O’Connell’s daughter, but I don’t know.) She sent the following email to the company regarding their game Guess Who?

My name is R—. I am six years old. I think it’s not fair to only have 5 girls in Guess Who and 19 boys. It is not only boys who are important, girls are important too. If grown ups get into thinking that girls are not important they won’t give little girls much care.

Also if girls want to be a girl in Guess Who they’ll always lose against a boy, and it will be harder for them to win. I am cross about that and if you don’t fix it soon, my mum could throw Guess Who out.

My mum typed this message but I told her what to say.

I hope that this email causes Hasbro to change their game design. However, their initial response was not good. They said:

Guess Who? is a guessing game based on a numerical equation. If you take a look at the characters in the game, you will notice that there are five of any given characteristics. The idea of the game is, that by process of elimination, you narrow down who it isn’t, thus determining who it is. The game is not weighted in favour of any particular character, male or female. Another aspect of the game is to draw attention away from using gender or ethnicity as the focal point, and to concentrate on those things that we all have in common, rather than focus on our differences.

This doesn’t answer the question at all. I can see where they might only put mustaches on men. But there is no reason they couldn’t have 12 men and 12 women characters.

I encourage everyone to write to Hasbro at askhasbro@hasbro.co.uk or most likely askhasbro@hasbro.com, but I can’t find a direct email address—they want me to create an account, the bastards! If you do, tell them you’d like to see 12 or even 13 female characters in Guess Who? (because there are more women in the world than men).

Regardless, I have confidence that R— has it well in hand.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

0 thoughts on “And a Little Child Will Lead

  1. Excellent. And, I think, a totally correct assessment–if we let Hasboro get away with sexism and act like it’s okay, it will have a ripple affect on the rest of society. "If grown ups get into thinking that girls are not important they won’t give little girls much care." Rock on, you righteous, indignant mini-feminist!

  2. Gah! Way to stick it to the kid, Hasbro: "Another aspect of the game is to draw attention away from using gender or ethnicity as the focal point, and to concentrate on those things that we all have in common, rather than focus on our differences." So, we’re not sexist; you are! There is no class warfare; you started it! There is no war on women; you’re making it up! Meanwhile, the game is "not weighted" by having 75% of the characters men, because men are, after all, the universal ideal. Always fun to see imperialistic rhetoric trouncing young mindsj!

  3. @Kristen – What I most liked was her statement that she was "cross" with Hasbro. It is a wonderful British understatement. Don’t mess with the 5-year-olds! They are highly moral and not easily tricked by adult babble.

  4. @RMGosselin – Excellent point! It is a classic conservative maneuver, "The only reason you talk about race is because you’re racist!" There’s more at the link, including O’Connell’s response to the response. I’m hoping she will update it further. It is really interesting. It reminds me of the Crayola skin color controversy. Like I said, "And a little child will lead"!

    I just found this from last year: Michelle Malkin on Fox News was unhappy that Crayola put out a full range of skin colors. Even by Fox standards, Malkin is bad.

    http://mediamatters.org/blog/2011/04/07/fox-amp-friends-outraged-crayola-recognizes-mor/178446

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