Gender neutral playing cards see king removed

Harriet Brewis
·2-min read
<p>Indy Mellink, 23, shows off the genderless playing cards that she designed </p> (REUTERS)

Indy Mellink, 23, shows off the genderless playing cards that she designed

(REUTERS)

A Dutch woman has created her own gender neutral deck of cards in a bid to end the “subtle inequalities” in a traditional pack.

Indy Mellink, 23, replaced the king, queen and jack with gold, silver and bronze images for her special design.

The forensic psychology graduate was teaching a game to her cousins last summer when she asked herself why a king was worth more than a queen.

It was then that she decided to end the “subtle inequalities” inherent in the centuries-old card system, she 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,” Ms Mellink explained.

“Even subtle inequalities like this do play a big role.”

No more Queen of Hearts in the GSB deckREUTERS
No more Queen of Hearts in the GSB deckREUTERS

Friends and family snapped up the first 50 decks of GSB (Gold, Silver, Bronze) cards, which feature images of gold bars, silver coins and a bronze shield.

Ms Mellink then began selling them online to fans across the world.

Within a few months, the 23-year-old had sent out around 1,500 packs to customers in Belgium, Germany, France and the US. Game shops have also shown interest, she said.

Ms Mellink has now tested her deck out on a number of players, who she said had never previously considered sexual inequality in cards before.

Indy Mellink's family and her boyfriend play cards at home in Oegstgeest, the NetherlandsREUTERS
Indy Mellink's family and her boyfriend play cards at home in Oegstgeest, the NetherlandsREUTERS

“It is good that we reflect on gender neutrality,” said Berit van Dobbenburgh, head of the Dutch Bridge Association, while playing with the new cards.

However, she acknowledged that making a formal switch to GSB decks would be challenging because this would require updating card game rules.

“I wonder if it’s worth it,” Ms van Dobbenburgh said.

“But gender neutrality, I am all for it. It’s great that someone of this age has noticed this. It’s the new generation.”

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