Surprise eggs and sexism
I know this video is a bit old and the gendered Kinder surprise eggs are barely even being sold anymore, but I only just found it, the point still stands and the rant was too good not to post it.
For the non-German crowd: Coldmirror is one of the most popular German youtubers and here’s an English transcript of the video (I tried to be as accurate as possible, sorry for not putting it under a cut, but that won’t work for normal video posts and I don’t feel like embedding this):
Okay, okay, okay. Surprise eggs. (screams).
If you’re not seeing red yet and you don’t know why I’m upset, let me explain briefly: I think everyone knows surprise eggs. It’s cheap plastic toys, enclosed in a chocolate egg and you don’t know what the toy is and that’s why it’s a surprise, hence the name “surprise egg”, hey! It’s exciting, there’s something to play with and there’s chocolate, woooo!
But apparently that’s not exciting enough. Because for some time there’s been a new surprise egg version, one with pink writing saying “Just for girls”. It doesn’t contain a tampon or a bra or a voucher for a visit to the gynecologist or anything else that would justify this gender separation. No, it is being advertised with butterflies and glittery fairies and princesses and flowers and woooh! As though all girls are totally into that stuff and not a single boy! Even as a child I wasn’t interested in any of that and I know at least three adult men who are totally into it!
As a little girl I played with dolls and with cars and together with the boy next door I had cute little tea parties on a cute blanket on a cute meadow full of cute flowers … and afterwards we beat each other up with sticks in the mud. And all these years I thought that was okay. But no, I’m a girl, I have to love cute pink glittery fairies. I’m not a real girl! Shit! These (holding her boobs) are probably about to fall off! And of course, boys don’t like pink and boys who like fairies? Please! Boys all like mud, and motor oil and fire engines!
It insults girls and boys equally. But imagine there’s this little boy at the shop and he wants to have that pink egg because he saw in an ad that, cool, there’s princesses inside, I’m totally into princesses. Woah, princesses! And then his mum says: “No, you can’t, that’s only for girls. That’s not for you. Come on, let’s go, mummy needs some mincemeat for burgers.” And so the little boy, the little CHILD, has his toy taken away from him. How dare they dictate to children what they are meant to like?
And at some point Ferrero (note: the company that makes Kinder surprise eggs) thought: “Eh, lots of people are getting upset about those surprise eggs. They say it’s sexist and stuff. But let’s not stop selling them because we’re sexist idiots. Because we don’t understand that children pick their favourite colours and toys themselves and don’t let a faulty gender system get them down. But how can we top all of this off and come across as really shit? I’ve got an idea! The football world cup! Let’s make some surprise eggs with the labels ‘World Champion’ and ‘WAG’ (note: I think the term “Spielerfrauen” - player’s wives - is used outside tabloids a lot more than ‘WAGs’ - wives and girlfriends - is, but I may be mistaken.) Cool, as a boy you can be a football world champion and superstar and as a woman … well, the wife of a football world champion and superstar! Yay! My jaw dropped! You’re not even TRYING to not be sexist. You saw that there was a debate and you create something like that? (screams)
And then Ferrero saw: “Oh shit! People are getting upset about it! We’d better make a statement. We didn’t mean it that way! ‘WAG’ is a totally normal term in football vernacular and that juxtaposition of world champion and WAG was just in a promotional brochure that we dissociate ourselves from. That juxtaposition was just an unfortunate choice.” Oh, right? You didn’t want us to notice that you’re still sexist. Okay.
Sexism isn’t just “Huh, men, drinking beer and football and cars and women don’t know how to park and want to buy purses and shoes all day long.” Sexism happens subtly with small things which are sometimes presented as so natural that we don’t even notice them. So it’s suggested to a little child that may have just learned to read: As a woman you cannot achieve anything except to become the wife of a successful man. And just because there are twenty other football vernacular terms in there, like ‘goal’ and ‘offside’ that doesn’t justify imposing gender roles on a child. It’s not about the word, it’s about your ridiculous assumption that children’s toys and chocolate need to be gendered. They’re not even through puberty, gender shouldn’t matter. (note: That last sentence was a bit hard to translate as the same word is used for sex and gender and it literally translates to “They’re not even sexually mature yet, there’s no sex.”)