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Things to Do With Your Kids

Six-Year-Old Girl (Board) Gamer Calls out Guess Who? on Its Gender Inequality; Hasbro’s Response is Both Hilarious and Awful

I never played Guess Who? all that much as a child, which might explain why I never realized how imbalanced it is in terms of gender. Or maybe I just wasn’t as perceptive as this six-year-old girl, who not only noticed that there are only five girls compared to 19 boys, but also took the time to write to Hasbro about it. Reads her letter:

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.

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

And that would be the whole thing if it weren’t for Hasbro’s somewhat dickish response to the six-year-old, which cites the game’s basis in “numerical equation” as the reason gender isn’t a relevant factor. “The game is not weighted in favor of any particular gender, male or female,” writes 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.”

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t identifying physical differences the whole point of Guess Who? Unless I’ve completely forgotten how to play the game, “Are you male [or female, either/or]?” is one of the first questions you ask—and if you happen to be playing one of the game’s five ladies then you’ve given your opponent a distinct tactical advantage. OK, maybe that terminology’s a bit over-serious (my low-level military history obsession has been acting up lately, so sue me), but way to not answer that little girl’s question in a way that makes any sense, Hasbro.

Luckily the girl’s mother called the toy company out on their nonsense, noting in a letter of her own that:

Unfortunately, she is now no clearer as to why there are only five female characters for her to choose from in her favourite board game, compared to the 19 male characters her brother can pick. (Obviously, she could choose to be a male character, but as you know, that’s not usually how children work).

If anything, your response has left her more confused than before. She is a smart girl, but she is only 6 and still in senior infants at primary school, so she is a long way from being able to grasp concepts like numerical equations and weighting.

As a company that makes toys for children, I would have anticipated you would communicate with your youngest customers in a more direct and child-friendly way.

But I must confess that, despite being 37 years of age and educated to Masters level, I am equally at a loss.

Why is female gender regarded as a “characteristic”, while male gender is not?

You just got burned, Hasbro. The toy company responded, noting their agreement that girls are equal to boys and that they would consider adding more female characters to the game in the future.

I’m vacillating between being frustrated and amused by this, but I’m making a conscious decision to favor the latter for blood pressure reasons. How is Hasbro so bad at interacting with kids?!

Also: That is one amazing six year old. Video game companies had better watch out—give her a few years and she’ll be calling out your games on their sexism. Unless you clean it up before then. You still have time. Don’t waste it.

(via Jezebel)

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  • Anonymous

    Outstanding observation, regardless of who noticed it. Tho I could note that you could make the same observation if you chose based on any number of other physical differences. See this clip from cracked.

    I’d rather play Guess Doctor Who.

    Gold mine, Hasbro.


  • Bittersweet Fountain

    A friend of mine and I the other day were just talking about the terrible gender imbalance in Guess Who? the other day, discussing the tactical disadvantage of picking a female. No one chooses to be a girl. Why would they? Choosing to be a girl is tantamount to losing.

    Also, we were wondering why Guess Who? hasn’t made any media-tie in games. How awesome would Star Wars Guess Who be?

  • Sara Green Williams

    I love both kid and mom for this – very awesome.

  • Amanda

    This has bothered me for as long as I’ve known about “Guess Who?”. I can remember a sense of dread when drawing cards (We always did this as a random, blind draw) and if I DID wind up pulling a female character’s card then it was actually a disappointment, it was almost always a sure bet I would lose. The first question is boy/girl for most people, it knocks out so many possibilities if your opponent is “unlucky” enough to have drawn a girl card. There shouldn’t be a sense of dread that fills children when they are female, there shouldn’t be such a huge advantage to those playing as males. :(

  • Anonymous

    Yes! Or Harry Potter! That would be awesome. Some might require more advanced knowledge of the characters, like, “Are you Muggle-born?” or “Are you alive at the end of Book 7?”

  • Ladies Making Comics

    They did make a Marvel Guess Who at one point! It had a similar gender problem :(

  • CommentsSectionsAreDumb

    I agree that girls got another short end of another stick on this one, but I understand the numerical equation argument. If there was a more equal gender mix of characters then a larger number of cards would be eliminated after the first question of every game, not just the games where one player is a girl, thus making every game shorter and less fun. Solutions? Two versions of the game? Adding a scattering of androgeny? Pre-game postulation of the possibilty of transvestites?

  • Joanna

    It’s better to eliminate 50% of the characters rather than 90% surely =P

  • Greg Kirkland

    This is why SORRY! is the best board game.

  • Canisa

    Your argument makes no sense at all. Everything you have said in support of your point actually works against it. Just thought I’d throw that out there.

  • CommentsSectionsAreDumb

    Of course, but if you’re choosing your character randomly, 90% would be eliminated 10% of the time. With a 50-50 mix 50% would be eliminated 100% of the time.

  • CommentsSectionsAreDumb

    Don’t just throw something out there. Make an argument. Explain please.

  • Canisa

    The problem with this is that you’re falling onto the bad old ‘male as default’ shtick. You’re saying that being a woman is a physical characteristic on par with hair colour or whether or not you’re wearing a hat.

    To say that this is not quite accurate is possibly an understatement.

  • Miranda Feenstra

    I was thinking of getting this game for my son in the next year. Since I doubt it will be changed by then, I could always instate the rule that you are not allowed to ask if it’s a boy or girl. It’s a short term, hopefully temporary option.

  • Anonymous

    I’m pretty sure when I played as a kid we banned the gender question. You could still ask about facial hair, though, but that doesn’t knock down as many in one go.

  • Vicky Maloy

    I’m going to go with, “This game needs more Robots.”

  • Kim Pittman

    And this is why you should play good board games like Puerto Rico, Modern Art, and Settlers of Catan.

    Citadels, Dominion, Fluxx, Zombies… The list goes on and on… Board Game Geek is a great site to look them up. :)

  • CommentsSectionsAreDumb

    I was thinking animals, and then kids could learn about taxonomy.

  • CommentsSectionsAreDumb

    I think House Rules make most games more fun.

  • electrasteph

    Two versions of the cards with the gender imbalances inverse on each one, would do the trick. Chose at the beginning whether to use one or the other.

  • Anonymous

    “Male or female” is a physical characteristic, and usually one of the first questions asked in the game, or any guessing game like 20 question or Botticelli. And in a game like this, if you choose ANY of the weighted characteristics, and your opponent has picked one on the light end, you have a big advantage.

    Having said that, It makes perfect sense that there should be an equal number of male and female characters t choose from, and any attempt to give an answer to the contrary is going to garner responses like this. It’s the most commonly asked questions of the game; it should rightly only allow you to winnow the playing field by half.

    Here’s an amazing thing – Hasbro has made alternate character sheets available, including dinosaurs, GI JOE characters and Littlest Pet Shop.
    And yes, the m/f distribution on the GI Joe sheets is still male-weighted.

    (Young people DO know what Botticelli is, yes?)

  • Rebecca Pahle

    Hmmm… don’t think I could’ve handled many of those when I was six.

  • Joanna

    Yes but I could be a girl 100% of the time and still have equal chances of winning against a guy =)

  • Anatasia Beaverhousen

    Yeah, that’s always pissed me off about Guess Who that you basically have to pick a guy’s card to stand any chance of winning the game. Two female cards and it lasts about thirty seconds.

  • CommentsSectionsAreDumb

    Would you take more satisfaction playing, and possibly winning, a more challenging game with the dissappointment that there is a gender discrepancy, or playing as a girl character in a less challenging game? Just curious, not trying to add to my argument.

  • Guest

    Or Doctor Who?, which would actually work well to counteract the gender imbalance.
    Oop, somebody below already mentioned it.

  • CommentsSectionsAreDumb

    Just realized that having more males also allows for more facial hair options. I think that there are legit gameplay reasons for this gender gap.

  • Joanna

    It doesn’t make it less challenging if both members have equal chances of winning or losing. The ideal solution would be to eliminate gender altogether but if gender is going to be featured I want to be a girl.

  • Joanna

    Different hair-do’s/makeup for girls =)

  • CommentsSectionsAreDumb

    Pigtails maybe, guys can have short or long hair too.

  • CommentsSectionsAreDumb

    I think being able to wipe out half the board on the first turn makes it less challenging.

  • Joe Walsh

    After changing the game to include a more-equal proportion of men to women, should we then further alter it to include similar proportions based on race and age?

  • Joanna

    How about a reverse Guess Who? Where female is the default gender and male is the characteristic. ^_^

  • Joanna

    Pigtails, ponytail, up-and-down, fringe, bangs, curly, straight, long, short, beehive, braid, bun, dreadlocks, mohawk, afro, hairclips, hairband, ribbons, bows etc etc etc.

  • CommentsSectionsAreDumb

    I don’t think male is the default gender. I think it is a more efficient gender as it allows for more options for general facial features. If a female dominant board can be made that allows for as many combinations I wouldn’t care. My concern is mathematical not sociological.

  • CommentsSectionsAreDumb

    This is for kids so I wouldn’t depend on specific styles more than general characteristics; long, short, bald, thick, or thin. A kid would know mustache, beard, or mustache and beard even if they didn’t know handlebar, pencil-line, goatee, etc.

  • Joanna

    You underestimate kids. Seriously.

  • Joanna

    The only feature guys have that girls don’t is facial hair. You’re incredibly unimaginative =P

  • Bittersweet Fountain

    Yes, I would buy that game in a second. And since there are movies, they could just totally use actor headshots. And they could see it at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure.

    Man, why hasn’t this happened?

  • Bittersweet Fountain

    Love this idea! And you could include a ton of aliens. And the first question would be “Are you a Timelord?” If the answer is no, second question “Are you an alien (non-Timelord)?” :)

  • CommentsSectionsAreDumb

    This is a mass produced game. You can’t ignore the lowest common denominator. The more generic, the wider the appeal.

  • Emily

    I remember the version of the game I had as a child only had three female characters. Often I picked the same female over and over, but I played it often enough that sometimes I played as other characters like the old guy with a mustache. I do remember the frustration of how easily my brother would win if I played a girl.

  • CommentsSectionsAreDumb

    And that facial hair has 4 basic variations to use to differentiate and exclude a number of characters. Which branch off into more specific characteristics for each variation.

  • Joanna

    Not to THIS little girl =P

  • ZeonChar

    Wow, hasbro’s response seem like quite the BS. If you pick a female character you are just going to lose, considering there are only 5; plain and simple.

  • Joanna

    Girls wear makeup that comes in different colours. They also have a lot more variety in hair styles and wear hair accessories… Or is that too complicated than facial hair? =P

  • Joanna

    Not to THIS little girl =P

  • CommentsSectionsAreDumb

    Well, ONE little girl is the opposite of wide appeal ain’t it?

  • CommentsSectionsAreDumb

    In tiny inch and a half, stylized pictures on a board game? Just maybe.

  • Joanna

    She’s not alone I assure you. Girls want to play girl characters. I don’t see the harm in balancing gender in toys at all.

  • Joanna

    They’re cartoony. Cartoony features are often exaggerated to stand out more.

  • CommentsSectionsAreDumb

    OK, but a 6 year old girl will know what a mustache and a beard is but would a 6 year old boy know what eyeshadow or rouge are. Makeup gets turned into an either or category while facial hair maintains its multiple classifications.

  • Joanna

    I’m pretty sure boys can tell the difference between red lipstick and pink lipstick. How stupid do you think kids are? O.o

  • CommentsSectionsAreDumb

    That’s pretty specific details to start differentiating in a field of 24 characters.

  • Joanna


  • Bel

    I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who felt like this as a kid.

  • Bel

    Yes, holy shit, boys know what makeup is and they know what colours are. The pictures are also big enough that they will be able to distinguish RED from BLUE. You are completely ridiculous.

  • Sophie

    Or thy could just add more characters. Enough the half the characters being out on the first round wouldn’t matter.

  • Isabel

    I feel like you are just trying to be a troll. Just look at your name. Your logic goes around in circles.

  • Joanna

    Yeah I just gave up after a while.

  • frogjitsu

    When I play the game the first 2 questions are for gender, and skin color. There is 1 black female, so if you draw her, you’re screwed.

  • Dana Seilhan

    Ah, the default male. White people make the same mistake about whiteness, which is why Republicans can ask, with a straight face, the incredible question of “why did we make the 2008 election about race?” when this is only the first black man we’ve elected President after 43 out of 44 previous white ones, and was NOT the first black man who ever ran, nor the only one who was ever qualified. I have taken to reminding people lately that white is a race too, whether anyone wants to admit it or not.

  • Thalia Sutton

    This was actually the reason I stopped playing Guess Who? when I was about 8. I had no idea one could complain to the company back then, though. Go R__, go! (And her Mom!)

  • Thalia Sutton

    It’s also possible to just outlaw “are you a boy or girl” from the game. That’d be interesting. I like the comments below about animals, too.

  • Greg Sanders

    That is why I will not buy this game, or anything from Hasbro really. TheIR shitty production values are more than enough reasons, but come on, my daughter wants to be a girl, and you lop off more than half the game for her. It’s just unfair and sexist. Add more girls, add make up, add all kinds of variable options to ensure girls have just as much of a chance at being played with fairly as the boys. Kids aren’t stupid.

  • Chanel Diaz

    I’ve never really played Guess Who? But now it’s become more of a game of Guess Why? Answer: Girls and Colored People are Inferior and White Boys are Superior.

    If a game that’s suppose to use physical differences as the whole point, why not take advantage of actual human differences such as sex and race and not just of clothing? Way to be ‘different,’ from the sexist, racist, mind, Hasbro!

  • Bridget

    It was the same with video games; I grew up only having a couple girls to pick in Mortal Kombat while my brother had like 20 different guys to choose from.

  • Mel Woodall

    I never thought about it as a child. And I ALWAYS lost. I was sadly not as quick as this 6 year old apparently. I always picked a lady because that is who I identified with.
    I still prefer games where I can be a female character. And own 1 game out of my 25 games that has a male option only (harvest moon).

  • Rose – Heroine

    This is win!

  • Canisa

    We absolutely should, yes. Although I wouldn’t go for ‘after’, I’d do it at the same time.

  • Sara Sakana

    How exactly do you figure that being able to wipe out all but 5 characters on the first turn is MORE challenging than only being able to wipe out half of them?

  • Sara Sakana

    What planet do you live on where women don’t have as many “options for general facial features” as men?

  • Sara Sakana

    And some women wear NO makeup or hair accessories.

  • Alia Gee

    We own Star Wars Guess Who. However, out of 24 characters, only 5 are female. There are actually more non-humans (12) than females. Sigh. Darth Vader gets in twice, once as Anakin. There are both droids and aliens.

  • Anonymous

    It looks to me like Hasbro was responding to the girls mother, who actually typed and sent the original letter. Hasbro never interacted with the little girl, except through the mother who comes off as being more concerned with the matter than the child is, especially seeing as “mum could throw Guess Who? out.”

    And I don’t mean to sound rude, but I don’t see much of an issue here. The girl’s mom bought the classic edition, which features 5 women to 19 men. But Hasbro’s been making new game editions and new character sheets for a while now. They released quite a few sheets in 2010, which you can freely print off of their website. There are also numerous special editions of the game that you can buy online and in stores, including girl-oriented ones, such as the Littlest Pet Shop edition. There are also several Disney editions that are nearly (if not definitely) equal in male and female characters.

  • Anonymous

    They have a ton of those, actually. There’s a couple of Star Wars editions, a Spongebob edition, a Littlest Pet Shop edition, a general Nickelodeon edition, various Disney editions, and a few Marvel editions. There’s probably more, but that’s what I thought of off the top of my head.

  • Gwenyvere

    I made a flowchart visualizing the problem:

    This is how I would solve it…. perhaps there are even faster ways? Have played it only once, but noticed this situation from the beginning and wondered, how the game could survive like this, being as popular as it is, and still being the way it is. It would be even harder with her bigger diversity ;)

  • Gwenyvere

    There is a wonderful DIY Video on Youtube for your own Doctor Who Guess Who. Doing one for my boyfriend for christmas :)

  • Gwenyvere
  • Mudz

    If both genders are equal, what’s the fuss?

  • Gwenyn Bright

    The fuzz is that one gender is not fairly represented in the media, despite both of them being equals.

  • Zedith Starr

    Kids know what pigtails are. They can also tell the difference between straight hair and curly hair, and they know what mohawks and afros are. Bows are also pretty easy for kids to understand (what with the stereotypical female character in many things having a hair bow and all). These are basic attributes that kids use to describe people. And hey, women can be bald, too. It happens. Showing a bald female or two would probably be good because it’d remind kids that women can be bald, so if they happen to see a bald woman in real life, they don’t think it’s weird.

    Also, you can have earrings vs no earrings and necklaces vs no necklaces. You don’t necessarily have to go into the kinds of earrings and necklaces.

    Between a few basic hair styles and accessories, females have as many options, if not more, than facial hair on males.

  • Benjamin

    Wow. I was a poor kid who never had Guess Who, but… That’s actually really awful. And I’m not even looking at it from the sexism angle so much as the game balance angle. D: Why would any even vaguely half-intellegent game designer do that?

  • Lindsay Willett

    A friend of mine pointed out a fun variation where you ask questions like, “Would this person skateboard?” “Would this person speak a foreign language?” That might be a bit advanced for littler children, but it would certainly take away the inherent advantage male cards have.


    Just make it a rule not to ask the stupid gender question. That’s how we play it wen i was a kid

  • Jess

    “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 always had this problem as a kid… although small in the grand scheme of things, it matters to little girls! How frustrating. I hope they change it.

  • Kim Williams

    Wow! It’s just like the US Republican House committee leaders!

  • Kim Williams

    We will buy almost anything Doctor Who!

  • Siobhan Smith

    Being quite clever at maths when I was younger, after my first few games, I learnt quickly and always choose to be a boy. There was no way I was giving anyone that sort of advantage! However, I would definitely have enjoyed being able to have more choice in females to pick from. There are 2 ways I can think of to make the game the game more challenging and stop it becoming too easy when 50% of the board is wiped out. Either ban that question from being asked and only allow questions about ‘features’ this could also be made more challenging if there were women with moustaches and men who wore make up and would generally make the game a lot more interesting. Or simply make the game bigger so that when half the characters are knocked out there are still a lot of characters to guess from.

  • Christian Lee

    My little girl wants to me TMNT Michelangelo, not April. Batman, not Batgirl. Guess my one little girl invalidates the argument as well? @commentssectionsaredumb:disqus is correct. It is about different facial hair options. It’s also OK to point out these things to kids without turning it into a campaign. There are far more issues to get me upset as a parent than having less girls than boys on Guess Who. I’ll stick with worrying over Drug addicted mothers poisoning their kids…that the kid who told my son they can’t be friends because he’s black, has douche-bag parents…assuring him he won’t get starved in my house like he was previously. There are bigger issues.

  • Christian Lee

    Who would be the female characters in Star Wars Guess Who? Would it include 3 different Leias? Slave-girl Leia?

  • Constance

    Um…I complained about this as a child, and I was told that there couldn’t be as many girls in it as boys because then boys wouldn’t play it. The sad thing is, I actually ate that drivel up. At least I got a couple more decades of ignorant bliss out of Hollywood before I started questioning gender imbalance, again.

  • Anonymous

    Except that the BBC will never authorize a license for a game based on Doctor Who using this game concept, so you’ll have to do it yourself.

  • Anonymous
  • Free hat

    Hasbro can’t deal with talking to kids properly, because they don’t make toys for kids. They make toys for adults to buy for kids.

  • Neville Ross

    Petitions are counted as one letter and don’t really work (they also end up getting thrown in the wastepaper basket.) If you want to effect change, you’ve got to have a massive letter writing campaign (with physical paper letters) sent to Hasbro, or nothing will happen.

  • Anonymous

    Clise – a petition is seen as one letter; each signature is seen as a phone call. It’s measured by the amount of time the act takes. S in the case of an Internet petition, clicking a mouse takes even less time than signing your name, so is seen as even less than a phone call.

  • Anonymous

    I did notice, growing up. We had a house rule that we couldn’t ask about the gender when we played, so that the board couldn’t get wiped out so quickly. No other question gets rid of this many faces, by far. And that’s the biggest issue.

  • The Nerdy Nutritionist

    My brother and I agreed early on that we would not ask the gender in order to make the game more fun regardless of which character we had drawn. It worked out well for us!

  • Neville Ross

    You should also be playing games like Dungeons & Dragons, and any other d10-d20 game.

  • Neville Ross

    There are other toys from Hasbro to play with, you know. And other games. Throwing a whole company under the bus for this is counterproductive.

  • Justin St. Giles Payne

    If all the questions winnow the search space by exactly the same amount (i.e. half) then you’ve taken the game out of the game, because there’s no reason to choose any one question over any other. Now it’s just a game of memorizing a list of six questions and reciting them.

    The point of Guess Who is that you’re searching weighted trees. Unweight the trees and you’re playing a different game. You’re not even playing, actually, because there’s no way to lose.

  • Anonymous

    If ALL the questions were exactly half and half, I’d agree with you. But we’re discussing a single characteristic, one that in the real world is spread fairly close to 50/50. And it’s the one question asked more than any other in these kinds of games, and the one that most people “Identify” with, I’d say even more than race. Nobody’s in a twist over the fact that hat-wearers are unfairly represented in the game, for example.

    Making that one question more balance would not, I think, change the game too much.

    Since the game is essentially a binary dichotomic search of a limited number of possibilities, there likely is a golden chain of questions that get you to a winner in..lemme see, six turns. And I bet if I look for it, someone will have graphed it.

  • Anonymous

    World of Darkness! Hellz yeah!

  • Aria Clements

    No one seems to have any problem with the almost complete lack of racial diversity and face sizes. Next time you play, pay attention to how many black, Latin, and Middle-Eastern faces there are, or Native American or Asian. Look also at how many faces represent larger people.

    There will never be a way to represent every single variation in a simple game.

  • LordStar

    On another note: What the heck happened to the artstyle? It looks way worse than it did in the late 80′s/early 90′s edition that I had as a child. Stop chasing the flat = interesting bandwagon that Windows Phone Metro UI started!

  • Candice Kamencik

    While I understand and am behind the sociological points people have made about this gender dependency, you are 100% spot on with the mathematical logistics. The fact that you’ve stated that is where you’re coming from, yet still are receiving tons of down votes is sad. Either the people voting are too stupid to understand basic math, or just do not care that there is a logical reasoning behind the decisions they don’t like.

  • Candice Kamencik

    I urge you to look at the images of the game provided and look how big the eyes are. You honestly think eyeshadow is a good idea?

  • Candice Kamencik

    Because of the probability statistic. You can disagree or agree for other reasons, but mathematically, with this field of players, if every time you ask about gender first, only 10% of the time are you going to narrow down the field to the women characters. So yes, having less of one gender does make the game more challenging by guaranteeing that you will knot narrow the field by half every time you ask the first question.

  • Anonymous


    And this is also why said people who bring up said important ‘issues’ are being called ‘emoprogs’ (look it up) by a majority of real progressives.

  • Cory Dorsey

    I really wish people would stop labeling people when it comes to “gender”. How many men were in Sailor Moon compared to the main cast? How many males are in “My Little Pony”?

    I wish people would just start seeing people as people, and not ironically discriminating against other based on factors such as gender.

    You get a white, male lead in a movie, and people cry “why isn’t it a black female lead”. It won’t end until people stop dividing themselves based on such idiocy.

  • Cory Dorsey

    The simple fact I didn’t even know about this until now shows that discrimination is TAUGHT.

  • Anonymous

    The point IS NOT the accuracy of the numerical modelling, it is the fact that being female equates with greater likelihood of losing. This discussion was about why a game has to make young girls feel crappy for being female. Like the rest of our species’ take on such matters it’s seen as somehow ‘normal’ to be male. To say ‘but the stats are fine’ is to miss the reason for the young girl writing that letter in the first place. Much discussion has already occurred about how it would be affected with 50/50 split, but it’s the principle of ‘females = losers’ which is being called-out here.

  • Anonymous

    Love that kid and her Mom! Hasbro sadly is the perpetrator of gender-based hypocrisy and ostracism and has been for a long time. They’re not about to change but they should be called on their BS, repeatedly and insistently so kudos to those ladies!

  • A.Melongangster

    LURK MOAR, friend. Lurk moar.

  • Hannah

    I ALWAYS won this game as a kid since I was seemingly the only girl in my class who knew never to pick a lady. That’s always the first question kids ask, almost without fail. (Though the one I use now is always presence or absence of facial hair, since that one cuts it almost straight in half. But that’s beside the point.)

    Obviously the real issue at hand is the way it demonstrates our culture’s “male-as-default” way of thinking. But, if you want a quick-fix for your own set, print off your own cards and slip them in. The game’s a lot more fun that way anyway.

  • Hugo M

    I feel kind of ashamed, I played this game so much as a kid and never realised this… I love how a 6 year old was so perceptive and even went as far as writing to the toy company. BTW, such an idiotic answer she got. I think there is a very easy way to solve the 50% wipe issue: not allowing that question. Let there be a 50/50 male female ratio and explain that if you want to play a longer and more challenging game, you musn’t ask about gender. Every game there is has some rules in order to avoid it being too easy. Basket nets are placed very high so it’s harder to score, platformers usually don’t have infinite lives, in football you cannot grab the ball with your hands except if you’re the goalkeeper…

  • Anonymous

    I remember thinking this was weird when I was a kid, too. However,
    perhaps, by being a boy character (as many girls have been for many
    games) sometimes will mean that she can grow up without gender bias.
    Don’t get me wrong, it should be more equal, but I think it’s good for
    girls to play boy characters and vice versa.

    No matter what game I
    played as a kid (board or video), it often didn’t bother me if I was a
    male character – even when I was quite young. I find it strange when my
    niece throws a tantrum because she’s not a girl character in a game, and
    I’m trying to teach her out of it. It’s that whole problem about “boy
    toys” and “girl toys” again: there’s no such thing, and to think so
    promotes segregation and inequality.

    Side note: What’s all this about “choosing” a character? (“she could
    choose to be…”) Aren’t you meant to get a random character anyway? We
    never “chose” our character, we shuffled them, and had them face down,
    and got one out of the pile. Always seemed more sensible to me. You got
    what you got, no prejudice or preference catered to.

  • Tana Siemaszko

    But wiping out 90% is more challenging? That makes no sense. It really doesn’t. If you pick a girl, and they ask the boy/girl question, way more than 50% of the board goes away if you’re a girl. They only have to figure out which of the five females you are, instead of which of the 50% you are.

  • Tana Siemaszko

    The issue with TMNT is not that your girl wants to be Michaelangelo, it’s that there is only one female character and she’s NOT a turtle. Batgirl has been parsed as a pale imitation of Batman in a lot of books. It’s not that she doesn’t want to be a female hero, it’s that she doesn’t have really good ones to choose from.

  • Christian Lee

    Yep. Wonder Woman, Kim Possible, Powerpuff Girls, Starfire & Raven from Teen Titans, Black Widow, Zantana, all the ladies from Justice League – she’s NEVER seen a female superhero. No, She just prefers Michaelangelo. And FYI, April has super/mutant powers in the new TMNT PLUS a specialized fighting style taught by Master Splinter.

    Luckily, my daughter has her own Comic character at

  • Anonymous

    I actually did have a guess-who type game as a kid that was all animals. It was a lot more fun.