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Gender Equality

Guess Who? Game Sparks Gender Equality Debate

Guess Who?
Photo Credit: Hasbro

With Black Friday gone and Cyber Monday continuing to fuel sales, the holiday season is in full swing. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, or Festivus, department stores and online retailers are fighting hard to sell you things you don’t need. Unfortunately, while companies are careful to avoid insensitivity to cultural or religious differences at this time of year, they are less concerned about whether their games and marketing treat girls and boys fairly.

Last week, a 6-year-old girl took Hasbro to task for its dismal representation of women in its “Guess Who?” game. With her mother’s help, the girl wrote a letter to Hasbro (the self-proclaimed “Greatest Name in Games…Anytime, Anywhere, For Everyone!”) complaining about the inequity and asking for it to be fixed:

Dear Hasbro,

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.

Hasbro side-stepped the criticism, responding that the game is based on numerical equation and there are five characteristics for each character to aid in the process of elimination. In response to Hasbro, the little girl’s mum asked why female gender is considered a characteristic, but male gender is not. Read more »