Awesome Six-Year-Old Girl Writes to Hasbro About Gender Inequality in Guess Who

Good news, everyone: there’s a new young lady hero to add to our “under ten years old and killing it” list. Honestly, what is with these little dynamos — they’re starting to make me feel pretty bad. I didn’t even regularly brush my hair until I was fifteen years old and these girls are ruling the world. Seriously, ladies, relax. (JK, never stop.)

This time, it’s in the name of of kids’ game gender equality! A six-year-old girl wrote Hasbro to let them know they only have bros (HIGH FIVE!) in their game, Guess Who. You know, the game that’s like memory but all the characters have googly eyes, dodgy mustaches, and baby toupees? Well, guess who’s not in the game? Women. Actually, no, that’s not fair, there are five girls and nineteen boys. Five girls and nineteen boys.

via Awesome Six-Year-Old Girl Writes to Hasbro About Gender Inequality in Guess Who.

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4 thoughts on “Awesome Six-Year-Old Girl Writes to Hasbro About Gender Inequality in Guess Who

  1. It is interesting to think about this. I have played Guess Who many times and have never thought about gender equality when it came to the game. It is very plain to see the lack of gender equality of the game when actually looking at it closely. When playing the game myself I would always choose a male character, because as soon as they found out I was a female character, it would be much easier to win. I viewed it only as strategy and never thought about why only 5 women? It doesn’t make any sense and the fact that they considered ‘female’ to be a characteristic but not male is pretty crazy. I do believe it would be a good idea to add more females because it really discourages the user from picking to be a female character. The fact that a 6-year old girl had to point this out is pretty crazy in itself. Gender equality is a huge issue that is facing the field of technology, and the fact that it is clearly present in child games such as Guess Who shows that it is nowhere close to being solved.

  2. I really like that this article focuses on something that is not specifically technology related. Even though the article refers to an analog game that you play in person with others, I can see where technology can be connected to this post. As someone that is going to go into the field of developing technology solutions for people, I need to consider all aspects of the situation. For example, I need to make sure I understand my client and their needs; I cannot offer a solution targeted at females if the audience is strictly male. I have an interest in HCI and one of the main concepts we learned that I will carry with me is that you must consider all audiences when designing a product. The potential audiences do not always conform to just male/female or boy/girl; you can have variations in age, interest, learning level, disability, etc. I think that it is great that someone so young noticed that not everyone was being represented equally in the game Guess Who. The little girl may not have realized that she was making a major statement, but she was and it is important to always consider who is being left out with any type of design. As people going into the computing field, we have to consider the ethics of representation and insure that we are doing our best to abide by the ethical guidelines. But, if we forget, there could just be someone like this little girl to remind us.

  3. I agree with Taneesha in that I like that we can relate the underlying messages in this article to discussions about gender representation and differences to the broader technology realm. From a young age, children are taught about gender roles and representations and in turn develop their own view of what these mean – if they play games that do not as equally incorporate women these messages could transform into other areas of their life. In the IT world, for instance, women are largely outnumbered by men, but that does not mean they are under appreciated or undermined and by teaching girls from a young age this message, it can really shape the way they view professions like IT. As future computing professionals, we have an obligation to consider the expectations of our audience and work these into the systems we design and develop, and this article is a good example of what can happen when certain subsets of users feel left out.

  4. I think this article is awesome and I am super stoked that kids are noticing these issues and responding to them at such a young age. I think I remember this issue as kid myself but never thought to do anything about it. I’m pretty sure I noticed it, thought it was something I couldn’t do anything about, and then continues to play the game. I noticed someone else connected this with the technological field today and I have to agree. At most there are usually 5 girls in my Informatics classes, but it is kind of reversed in my other ones. I think this article shows how toy companies brainwash children into thinking certain things. I think this shows how we as IT professionals need to consider issues like gender equality and make sure we don’t discriminate in anything we do.

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