The topic of gender can be a thorny one - with gendered terms coming under fire more than ever. And one mom from Chicago has made an interesting point this week about how McDonald's plays into problematic stereotypes...

We're living in the era of gender fluidity.

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Long gone are the days where there were simply 2 genders - Now, people can identify with up to 100 different genders or no gender at all.

More and more people are identifying as gender-neutral...

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Or "non-binary", in other terms.

Just to break it down for you...

People use the term “non-binary" to describe genders that don’t fall into 1 of the 2 more traditional categories of male or female.

It can be a confusing concept to get your head around...

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While some non-binary individuals identify as either having a gender which is in-between the 2 categories ‘man’ and ‘woman', others can fluctuate, or have no gender, either permanently or some of the time.

But how far is too far?

While people are completely free to identify how they wish, there are some who take the whole gender argument a little further than others.

Take gender slamming fictional characters, for example.

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Yep, some people choose to take offense over the gender assumption of made-up characters. You know, the ones that are not real, or do not have a valid, real-life opinion on gender?

Last year, many called for Father Christmas to become a gender-neutral figure.

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Even though Father Christmas is a fictional character made up for children, many parents called for the festive figure to not be gender-specific.

It actually caused quite a lot of outrage...

And many felt that by giving Father Christmas a gender-neutral label would just overcomplicate things for young children who are excited about the festive season.

It's a complex issue.

But that doesn't mean we cannot be progressive and move forward.

And we can't forget about the whole "gingerbread man" debate, can we?

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Some people were calling for the term to be changed to "gingerbread people."

More and more people are now making a conscious effort to include gender-neutral pronouns in day-to-day life.

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And it's safe to say that the LGBTQ+ community is now bigger than ever and if they think this will help us move forward to achieve equality, then we should respect that.

So much so, that the United Nations shared this important tweet.

They wrote: "What you say matters. Help create a more equal world by using gender-neutral language if you're unsure about someone's gender or are referring to a group," along with a list of appropriate gender-neutral language to use.

For instance...

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"Chair" instead of "Chairman", "Police Officer" instead of "Police Man", and "Spouse" instead of "Husband/Wife."

Things are getting better.

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Although some question whether these kinds of performative actions as a means of diverting from the real problem.

But it seems there's one company that hasn't got the memo.

As McDonald's and their gendered Happy Meals have come under fire this week.

Writer, Kate Schweitzer documented her frustrating experience.

As she was driving cross country to visit her parents late last year.

"I ordered some burgers for me and my husband and two Happy Meals for my kids," she wrote.

"I didn't expect so many follow-up questions. "Do you want a four-piece or a six-piece Chicken McNugget?" "Apple slices or Yoplait?" "What drink — milk, water, or juice box?"

"Just when I was digging in my purse for my credit card, the cashier asked one more question."

"Are these for girls or boys?"

"Erm . . . why does that matter?" I asked.

"Oh, for the toy," the cashier responded.

Schweitzer had two daughters, but curiosity got the better of her.

"I'll take one of each," she replied.

And she was very disappointed at what she discovered.

"Inside the first? A miniature Barbie doll. The other? A Hot Wheels car."

"To add insult to injury, the Barbie came with a purple hair comb and the Hot Wheels car came with a two-piece plastic ramp a kid could learn to build."

It does seem rather arbitrary and disappointing.

Could it reinforce negative gender stereotypes?

Surely, it would be better for McDonald's to ask "Barbie or Hot Wheels" instead?

The issue of gender seems set to rage on.

And there's one topic that still seems oddly controversial. Scroll on for the new style of gender reveal party ...