A six-year-old girl wrote to the creators at Hasbro about the fact that the popular game “Guess Who” only offers a choice of five female characters.
She poignantly touches on the fact that, out of 24 characters in Guess Who, 19 are males. That tips the odds in favor of the players who choose a “male” card.
“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,” the letter reads, as cited by the Huffington Post
As a response, she received instructions on how to play the game, which left her unsatisfied. The company also stressed that they tried to represent different genders and races throughout their choice of characters.
Below is an excerpt from Hasbro's response, quoted by the Examiner
“The game is not weighted in favor of any particular character, male or female. 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,” Ask Hasbro write.
The letter from Hasbro left the little girl's mother outraged, and her daughter “more confused than before.” Helped by mother Jennifer O'Connell, she wrote back to put across the fact that gender equality is not represented in the game.
“Why is female gender regarded as a ‘characteristic’, while male gender is not?,” O'Connell asked manufacturers.
Jennifer also complained about the fact that she believed the formal letter was not what they expected, being that it should have been addressed to a six-year-old. Hasbro responded by using an appropriate tone for a child, trying to make the girl understand why they chose those specific characters.
The toy manufacturer came up with a solution to better represent genders in their game. They attached a link that provides access to a website where one can print out more female characters cards.
“We love your suggestion of adding more female characters to the game and we are certainly considering it for the future,” they added.