Gay marriage is now legal in all 50 states, the Confederate flag came down in Alabama, and the Supreme Court has allowed for nationwide healthcare subsidies. There are lots of great things happening in these United States this week, but there’s also one gigantic, T. Rex penis-shaped shadow looming over all of this progress: Hasbro has rebranded all of its Jurassic World toys as males in advertising for its new line of action figures. Of course, anyone familiar with Jurassic canon knows that all the dinos in the park are bred to be female. (Oddly enough, none of them were rebranded as birds.)
Dinosaur expert Dustin Growick, host of the YouTube series The Dinosaur Show, has started a Care2 petition “to tell Hasbro to stop reinforcing silly and antiquated gender role stereotypes on children and stop gender swapping dinosaurs.” In the petition, Growick says, “Jurassic Park and Jurassic World have inspired millions of children around the world—boys and girls alike—to be interested in dinosaurs, paleontology, and science. Just as many—if not more—of the biggest dinosaur enthusiasts are girls and women.”
Is this a vast conspiracy by Hasbro to segregate boys’ toys from girls’ toys? It’s hard to say: In April it was announced that Hasbro would introduce Victron (pretty cool, but not as cool as Arcee), a female Transformer toy meant to appeal to guys and gals alike, as a gesture towards making its toys more female-friendly. And, to be fair, we as a society are also not privy to the personal lives of these inanimate objects. Perhaps, to paraphrase Dr. Ian Malcolm, life found a way.
More than likely, though, this was just the work of a lazy copywriter who wanted to go home after a 12-hour workday and was more concerned with spelling “velociraptor” correctly than proper use of pronouns. An actual child—boy or girl—couldn’t be reached for comment, and presumably went back to playing Angry Birds on their iPad after their parent tried to get them to play with an actual toy.