By Nathan Barton
I don’t know how long the legislative sessions of the sovereign State of Michigan are, but…
According to a story from the Daily Wire, it is apparently too long – way too long. Obviously, all the important and critical legislation was finished and they could get on to other things. Like fast-food toys.
The Michigan legislature has passed a resolution telling fast-food chains to stop giving out toys which are “gender-specific” in their children’s meals.
The reason? Telling children that certain toys are “boy’s” and others are “girl’s” toys promote gender stereotypes. Which apparently results in girls being unable to understand spatial relationships and mathematics. (Hey, could I make this up? And how could I question the wisdom of the duly-elected lawmakers of the great State of Michigan?)
Setting aside the bastardization of the English language (objects have gender, living beings (like humans) have sex), what is a “gender-specific toy” in their eyes?
Apparently, masculine (“boy”) toys are things like Transformers and construction tools and cars and trains. Feminine (“girl”) toys are things like My Little Pony and Disney Princesses.
If there are primary colors, it is a boy’s toy. Pastels? Girl’s toy. Boy’s toys are hard and angular, girl’s toys are soft and fluffy.
(Really? My family clearly is not evidence of any of this. But then, we are all pretty much anarchists and willing to upset people by disagreeing with the political (and religious) beliefs of most of the inhabitants of the Fifty States – and the planet.)
What are, therefore, gender- or sex-neutral toys? Seems to be a lot of disagreement abou that. Some say that blocks and painting supplies (and crayons and such) are “neutral.” Or whatever product that particular store or website is selling. But others point out that gender-neutral toys can be used in gender-stereotype ways. I suppose if you use your painting supplies to draw guns and swords, that is considered male-specific, but if you draw flowers and fluffy clouds, that is female-specific. (And preferred, since drawing guns and swords is verboten in today’s schools.)
But that discussion takes us away from the main problem here. What is the legislature of a state doing condemning private businesses from offering things which are (for now, at least) legal? Even if the condemnation (for now, at least) is non-binding? Does not the legislature of Michigan have anything else on its agenda? Is the state such a utopia that the taxpayers are getting value for their taxes by having these expensive employees spend time figuring out what burger-flippers at hamburger joints need to say and not say? About the color or kind of toys they can offer?
Perhaps the legislature is concerned that the fast-food chains (and the parents) are horning in on the prerogative of their public schools by treating their children as if they were definitely of the sex “assigned at birth” and not what the teachers want the children to be? After all, the public schools now have the mission of removing all sex-based characteristics from their students. Starting in preschool. How horrible that a commercial establishment or its products be teaching children without the guidance of educrats and mental health pros!
(Disclaimer: I learned how to read by learning my letters and words from breakfast cereal boxes. My life continues to be traumatized by that, having sex-specific toys (or turning gender-neutral toys into sex-specific toys) and being raised in liberty.)
Maybe they have run out of things to regulate and control? Every chain of restaurants and fast-food places must now reveal how many calories each item they sell may contain. They are subject to inspection by a huge array of bureaucrats for everything from those calorie notices to the temperature at which they store food and how many bacteria per square meter can be found on their tabletops and how they divvy out the tips.
Or are they receiving such a volume of complaints from parents who are upset that little Kelly (sex-neutral name, note) is forced to choose between a boy’s toy and a girl’s toy? If so, why aren’t these parents (and their do-gooder buddies) complaining first to McD’s or BK or Arby’s or Subway? Do not parents have the responsibility to ask what kind of toy (specifically) is being offered and decide for themselves which they want?
Which may be part of it: the government just figures that parents are too stupid to raise their children rightly, or even decide what “free” toys to get for them when they feed them a burger, fries, and milk.
Even if you believe that government has a legitimate role in a free society, is this really part of that role? We understand that statists more and more believe that there is NOTHING that is not the responsibility of government. But really? Gender-specific toys are so bad, such a danger to society, that they must be addressed by the esteemed members of the people’s representative assembly?
Frankly, it is just a combination of trends: the idea that everything must be controlled, combined with the fear of any sort of unintentional risk. Either way, it is not something that has the faintest odor of liberty about it.