AUGESTJEST (Netherlands) (Reuters) – Dutch card enthusiast Andy Mielink was explaining a game to her cousins last summer when she asked herself: Why is a king worth more than a queen?
The 23-year-old forensic pathologist decided, with her father’s encouragement, that it was time to break with the old tradition of storied inequality that put men above women.
“If we have this hierarchy that says the king is worth more than the queen, then subtle inequality affects people in their daily lives, because it’s just another way of saying, ‘Hey, you’re less important,’” she said in a statement. A minute like this plays a big role.”
After much trial and error, I designed a gender-free deck where images of the king, queen, and jack were replaced with gold, silver, and bronze.
Friends and family purchased the first 50 sets of gold, silver, and bronze cards, which contain images of gold bars, silver coins, and a bronze shield. Milink did more and started selling them online.
In just a few months, she sent about 1,500 parcels, including to other countries – Belgium, Germany, France and the United States. She said toy stores have also shown interest.
Milink was testing cards with players who said they weren’t aware of the gender inequality of the decks.
“It’s good to think about gender neutrality,” said Beret van Dobbenberg, president of the Dutch Bridge Association, playing with the new cards. For her, making a formal change would be complicated as it would require updating the rules.
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