Toy story is no child’s play

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - TA­MARA THORN

A Toko­roa mother is shocked at the ag­gres­sive mes­sages she has re­ceived from com­plete strangers fol­low­ing a com­plaint on Mcdon­ald’s Restau­rant Face­book page.

On the week­end Imo­gene Burgess posted on the Face­book page ask­ing why staff had asked for the gen­der of her child when she or­dered a Happy Meal, She did not think the gen­der of her child should de­ter­mine what sort of toy she got.

She posted ‘‘Let me tell you some­thing about my daugh­ter. She loves cars. And trucks. And bikes. And skate­boards. And pretty much any­thing with wheels. LOVES them. I am con­stantly buy­ing her match­box cars to play with. I can guar­an­tee if she was given the choice of a toy ve­hi­cle or a bar­bie doll, the ve­hi­cle would win 9 times out of 10.’’

While Mcdon­alds has been sym­pa­thetic to her re­quest and says it is re­view­ing the way it presents its toys, other mem­bers of the pub­lic have been quite un­pleas­ant.

In the past three days the post has at­tracted 7900 re­ac­tions, in­clud­ing 3200 com­ments and pri­vate mes­sages to her own Face­book page, where she had shared the mes­sage.

‘‘I saw a com­ment where some­one said I should be eu­th­a­nized.’’

An­other per­son sent her a pri­vate mes­sage ’’telling me I’m an id­iot, that I’m stupid, and that I’m a stupid at­ten­tion seek­ing whore.’’

She said she was ac­tu­ally gen­uinely cu­ri­ous as to what Mcdon­ald’s stance on the is­sue was.

‘‘The way that toys are gen­der stereo­typed and sep­a­rated, this is for girls to play with and this is for boys to play with, can be harm­ful for the devel­op­ment for chil­dren.’’

Burgess said doesn’t think it was fair and she ‘‘gen­uinely thought we were past that whole seg­re­gat­ing the toys like that, and that’s why I was sur­prised they were still ask­ing that ques­tion.

‘‘If I was sit­ting in a restau­rant hav­ing this con­ver­sa­tion with the man­ager, peo­ple wouldn’t be cut­ting in say­ing that I should be eu­thanised. That just doesn’t hap­pen.’’

She said Face­book is the eas­i­est way to con­nect with com­pa­nies, and she didn’t think that it would go vi­ral. She did get some sup­port­ive com­ments from strangers as well.

‘‘I hon­estly thought that I would be ig­nored.’’


The Mcdon­alds toy that out­raged a na­tion for all sorts of rea­sons.

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