Friday, January 11, 2008

Et Tu, Cranium?

We are a rather Cranium-centric household. We play a lot. We have been known to string together all three boards, joined at the corners, for epic all-versions Cranium battles. Even this dour, humorlous feminist has been known to crack a smile while pantomiming "vibrate" without resorting to the obvious. So imagine my consternation when this ad landed in my inbox:

Cranium Bloom: Enforcing Traditional Gender Roles From Day One!

Look closely at the kids on the boxes. Seek & Find at the Zoo? It's a boy. Count & Cook? Shopping? Do you even need to look closely to tell which gender is associated with the last two? Because men never cook. And if they do, they certainly don't shop for the food. Seeking/finding animals? Not for girls. There might be bugs or peril involved, for heaven's sake. Going into the actual Bloom website doesn't tilt the scales much toward the middle. Generic "neighborhood" activities are split between boys and girls, but the other Seek & Find option involving animals (at the park) shows a squirrel being found by... a boy.

I'm disappointed, since Cranium's motto is something along the lines of everyone finding their area to shine in. This is a game that asks you to represent abstract concepts in purple clay, for cryin' out loud. Would it have been too much of a stretch for them to show a little boy wielding a wooden spoon on a box lid? Or maybe it's such an obvious pander that it's satire. Yeah, that must be it.

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