A designer from the Netherlands, 23-year-old Indy Mellik, created gender-neutral playing cards. The new deck replaces the King, Queen, and Jack with Gold, Silver, and Bronze. Although the change seems innocuous enough, some people are not happy about the change because they’re big fans of the kings, queens, and jacks. Nevertheless, Mellik, who is a big fan of card games, feels that the idea helps erode “subtly inequality” because the king is considered a more powerful card than the queen in the traditional playing card deck.
Indy told her family about her idea to redesign the playing card deck. Her father pushed her to follow through with the idea, so Indy created her own version of the traditional deck with gold, silver, and bronze instead of the king, queen, and jack.
The creator of the new deck 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. Even subtle inequalities like this do play a big role.”
It took Indy some time to come up with the replacement of the king, queen, and jack cards. However, when she figured out the change, she quickly produced fifty decks. Those were promptly purchased by her family and friends.
Because the first fifty decks were picked up so quickly, Indy decided to continue with her idea to produce the gender-neutral deck. She created more packs and started selling them online as GSB decks (Gold, Silver, Bronze) and has been met with a lot of success for her innovative idea.
Although her idea has only been on the market for about a month, Indy Mellik has sold more than 1,500 gender-neutral playing card decks. Her customers have come to her from across the globe and include buyers from Belgium, Germany, France, and the United States. Buyers are eager to get their hands on her gender-neutral card decks.
Now that she knows there is a market for her card deck, she has brought them to seasoned card players. She found out that many players had been aware of the gender bias in the cards for years. However, they just did not know what to do about it since cards had such a strong tradition – that no one thought to change.
Berit van Dobbenburgh, head of the Dutch Bridge Association, believes that gender equality is a good thing. However, she has doubt that Mellik’s idea would be able to be implemented. She argued that it would be very hard to change the official rules of card games. Card games are steeped in tradition, and tradition can be very hard to change.
She said: “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.”
Nevertheless, Indy Mellik was able to create something new out of something old – and it is a big hit online.
What do you think about her redesign of the traditional playing card deck?
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