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Woman Creates Gender-Neutral Playing Cards Ensuring King Never Trumps Queen



A young designer from The Netherlands has found a solution to an age-old problem of inequality, at least in the world of games. After becoming frustrated with the hierarchy of traditional cards, 23-year-old Indy Mellink, a forensic psychology graduate, decided to create her own race- and gender-neutral playing cards to even the field a bit more. After a bit of trial and error, she created GBS Playing Cards which she describes as “a modern set of cards, for the modern world.”

Why should the king trump the queen? While it may be something the average person has never even thought about, Indy believes it’s wrong that notions of inequality are embraced even in the card world. “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,’” she’s quoted as saying by The Mirror.

So long, royalty! Indy’s deck of cards replaces the king, queen, and jack cards with gold bars, silver coins, and bronze shields, thereby getting rid of any gendered cards and characters with any specific race attached. Instead, these intimate objects are easier to value and are completely inoffensive. “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?” the product’s website questions. “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.”

None of the other cards in the desk have changed. While the king, queen, and jack cards have been removed, all the numbered cards are all the same, meaning there’s not a whole new system to get used to and the deck is still easy to understand and use. “All the other cards in the deck are the same as usual. This card pack was designed with the passion to fight for equality in gender as well as race. Our goal is for everyone to feel comfortable while playing cards,” the site explains.

The cards are now being sold around the world. While Indy initially only made 50 packs of cards to give to family and friends, now more than 1,500 decks have been made and shipped all around the world to countries such as the US, France, and Germany. It looks like the response to the cards has been overwhelmingly positive and the business will continue to grow.

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