My niece's fifth birthday was today, but since the family-only party isn't until next week, I spent some time today looking for a birthday card. I know that the children's birthday card selection is probably always going to be dominated by licensed cartoon characters; I find the level of commercialism slightly distasteful, but it doesn't surprise me.
tick me off, though again, I'm not surprised by this little issue, is how highly gendered the card selection is. The girls' cards are pink to a fault, and covered with glittery princesses. The boys' are blue and green and have robots and superheroes. This makes me fairly cranky, since I was a girl who had a much-loved Tinkerbell figurine from Disneyworld and
a slot car set, and I know my niece is being raised by parents who have no problems with her wearing a tiara and pink tutu while she talks about how much she likes Spider-Man.
But what finally made me stomp out of the card section today was seeing the dinosaur-themed cards were all for boys. What child doesn't like dinosaurs? But no, they're for boys only.
However, after I had a brief discussion on Twitter with a few other equally outraged folks, columbina
took one of their ideas and ran with it. Thus, the birthday card my niece will see next week has her in a princess costume riding a velociraptor. As my sister just said to me on Twitter: "If anybody could ride a velociraptor, I predict my daughter will be it."
Screw you, card industry. Dinosaur-riding princesses of the world, unite!