23-year-old Indy Mellink, from the Netherlands, hopes to "remove gender hierarchy and race differences" from traditional card decks
Cover Image Source: Instagram/ GSB Playing Cards
We all love a good card game, don't we? But this could all change now. According to boardgame geek, "A 'standard' deck of playing cards consists of 52 cards in each of the 4 suits of Spades, Hearts, Diamonds, and Clubs. Each suit contains 13 cards (Ace to 10), King, Queen and Jack." In more modern decks, 2 Jokers are also included. However, a forensic psychology graduate in the Netherlands has come up with an idea for a deck that doesn't have any Kings, Queens, and Jacks. 23-year-old Indy Mellink, an avid card game fan, first came up with the innovative design when she was explaining the rules of a card game to her cousins. Per rules, a King is more valuable than a Queen in a game of cards, and Mellink found herself troubled by this "subtle inequity" of it all. She had been playing for years but the reality of it seemed to dawn upon her that particular day, reports Daily Mail.
A Dutch designer has created gender-neutral card decks pic.twitter.com/DIENMDqtHf— Reuters (@Reuters) January 19, 2021
Perhaps all societies and cultural groups need to invent a new set of playing cards that reflect their customs and values.— Dominic K. Obeng (@dom155rich1) January 19, 2021
When she shared this with her father, he encouraged Mellink to design her own deck. After playing around and experimenting with a traditional deck, she came up with a new system that replaced the King, Queen, and Jack cards with gold, silver, and bronze. Explaining her idea behind creating this gender-neutral deck, Mellink said, "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 added, "Even subtle inequalities like this do play a big role."
And the game of chess? Are they going to make the chess pieces pink and dark purple now?— F҉u҉g҉l҉y҉c҉a҉t҉ BackFromMars (@fugly_cat) January 19, 2021
She printed 50 decks of her take on the traditional card game, and her family as well as her friends were quick to grab them all. Following the success of her initial set of cards, Mellink created more of her GSB or Gold, Silver, Bronze decks and is now selling them online. These decks of cards turned out to be a huge success as she dispatched around 1,500 of these gender-neutral cards within a month.
How does crypto feel using the terms gold, silver and bronze to describe playing cards? Why not Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple...?? Clearly there wasn’t enough thought put into this...🙄— Jim Boukis (@BoukisJim) January 19, 2021
The orders pooled in from far and wide, including Belgium, Germany, United States, and France. Ever since Mellink found that her decks were a hit, she began testing them out on professional card players who have never been conscious of sexual inequality in cards before. Supporting her cause, the head of the Dutch Bridge Association Berit van Dobbenburgh said that it is important for people to reflect on gender inequality. However, she noted that making a formal switch all of a sudden would be difficult at this point since new cards would require official changes in rules. "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," she shared.
When the news reached Twitter, not everyone seemed happy with the new idea. User James Hall asked: Oh ffs...is there anyone anywhere who actually finds a deck of cards offensive? Another Joanne Elizabeth wrote: Well that’s just ridiculous. So now it’s black bronze? Instead of blackjack? Alice in wonderland will have the silver of hearts? Dan Fletcher mocked: How come gold is more superior than bronze? And why is platinum or cobalt not included? This is metal discrimination of the highest Oder!!! I thought we lived in an all-inclusive society??? dilkjay shared: This is what you call a joke... I understand gender-neutral is important and it should be there. But common on playing cards? Seriously......