Watch out for gender stereotyping in card games for kids

My children love card games, and even though I don’t, I’m learning to. Cards are a great activity for the whole family to do together. Playing them also teaches kids math, how to follow rules, strategy, and how to win and lose gracefully.

But what are the card games that we play with our kids also teaching them about gender?

So the all time worst has got to be Old Maid. Ugh. Horrible. Even before I knew I was a feminist, I was offended by this game that teaches kids no one wants to be stuck with the lone female card. I thought this game was so weird when I was a child and I still do. A racist card game would never be allowed to be sold to children. It’s not funny. As far as I’m concerned, Old Maid should be banned for its sexism. Reel Girl rates Old Maid ***SSS*** Do not play this game with your kids, or call it something else and use different cards.

My favorite card game right now is Slamwich. It’s really fun to play for my 8 yr old and 5 yr old. The cards are diverse in the gender representation. Most of the cards are food (the idea is to build your own sandwich) but there are also “muncher” and “thief” cards, three females and two males types. As far as amount, there is one more male thief card than female thief card. Reel Girl rates Slamwich ***GGG***

Another game we play is called Sleeping Queens. Can you tell by the name I have a problem with this game? At least it’s not called Sleeping Princesses, right?

The game was invented by a little girl, so that’s cool, except I wish she wasn’t influenced to play to this “female get rescued” script. It makes me sad about her imagination. The idea is to wake up the Sleeping Queens which you can do by picking a king card or rescuing her with a knight. Not so great. A dragon can block a knight from stealing a queen (we refer to the dragons as she). Playing a sleeping potion puts a queen back to sleep and that can be blocked with a magic wand. Queens are the power cards, the goal of the game is to get them, but they can’t wake themselves up. This game is pretty fun to play. Reel Girl rates Sleeping Queens ***G/ SS***

5 thoughts on “Watch out for gender stereotyping in card games for kids

  1. We played Old Bachelor the other day. All the cards are all these different females with interesting professions, Sally Stockbroker, Consuela Cardiologist, etc etc. And they are all racially diverse too. It’s from the 90’s. My stepmom got it for my daughter from the thrift shop.

Leave a Reply