With an aim to remove the gender as well as race factor from a deck of playing cards, Indy Mellink has come up with an ingenious new system.
Gender roles and the gender hierarchy has seeped into every bit of our existence. Not even a fun game of cards could escape the patriarchy. But this woman decided to take matters into her own hands. While we are working on gender equality in the real world, why not extend the same to a microcosm case of a deck of cards as well? Indy Mellink, 23, has come up with replacements for the gendered traditional playing cards and has replaced the King, Queen, and Jack with gender-neutral alternatives. So at least in a game of cards, a male figure will no longer trump a female figure.
A Dutch designer has created gender-neutral card decks pic.twitter.com/DIENMDqtHf— Reuters (@Reuters) January 19, 2021
“If we have this hierarchy that the king is worth more than the queen then this subtle inequality influences people in their daily life because it’s just another way of saying ‘hey, you’re less important,” Mellink told Reuters. “Even subtle inequalities like this do play a big role.” It all started when Mellink, a huge card fan, was explaining the rules of a game to her cousins and wondered to herself why the king was worth more than the queen. So with the encouragement of her father, the forensic psychology graduate decided to work on gender-neutral face cards.
After much trial and error, Mellink was able to decide on a system that works with the same rules as before but without the gender inequality. She came up with a simple but effective replacement and has replaced the king, queen, and jack cards with gold, silver, and bronze ones. She created 50 card decks with the new face cards that she is referring to as GSB decks. These were quickly sold out as friends and family picked it all up, reported the Daily Mail. She then decided to make more of them to sell and has already managed to sell more than 1,500 decks to people in various countries including France, the United States, Belgium, and Germany.
The cards may even soon be available at stores near you. Or you can buy it online here. It comes in two color variations of red and black. Individual card decks are being sold for 9,95 euros or approximately $12. Or you can buy a pack of two decks for 19,90 euros or $24. The playing cards will measure a standard size of 2.2 x 3.4 inches. The GSB deck can even be customized to include your company logo and it is, as the website states, "An excellent opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to eliminating gender and race inequality with a practical and unique gadget."
Berit van Dobbenburgh, head of the Dutch Bridge Association, said, "It is good that we reflect on gender neutrality." However, it could take time to make an official switch to these gender-neutral cards since that would require updating the rules. She added, “I wonder if it’s worth it. But gender neutrality, I am all for it! It’s great that someone of this age has noticed this. It’s the new generation.” But not everyone seems pleased with the unique stride Mellink has made. Among those who are complaining about it is British personality, Pier Morgan, who just did not seem impressed, according to Indy 100.
Imagine being mad at this. She simply saw a gap in the market and is making money from it, she isn’t campaigning to make all cards gender neutral 😂— Kasie 🚩 (@kasiewasie) January 19, 2021
The GSB deck company, however, puts it succinctly by stating, "The idea is to remove gender hierarchy and race differences from our card decks. Why should the King have a higher position than the Queen? Why should the King, Queen, and Jack be white? However, rather than complicating the sex and race inequality debate, even more, we decided to remove the gender and race factor as a whole and to introduce a common, universally known ranking system."