Thursday, May 3, 2012

Politically Correct Playthings

This isn't specifically for teenagers, but all young people. Admit it-everybody has played with toys at some point. When a kid plays with a toy, they think, "Ooh, plastic thing. Fun."
But from an adult perspective, toys are horrifying. Young girls are indoctrinated with old fashioned girly-girly thoughts by the cult of Barbie. Boys are taught tough and aggressive behavior.
Tell me, when did adults become experts about on fun, of all things? Adults don't have fun. Adults drive children to football practice, pay mortgages, and complain about politicians.
A while back, a Swedish preschool drew international attention because of procedures designed to eliminate "gender bias".  The staff no longer uses the Swedish feminine and masculine pronouns, han and hon respectively. Instead they use the genderless pronouns "hen". They also banned the stories Snow White and Cinderella, because they "cemented stereotypes". Most of their books focus on homosexual or adoptive or single parent families.
Wait a second, didn't both Snow White and Cinderella have single parent/blended families?
Wander around any toy store and you'll see politically correct dollhouse families.

(Extended family dolls)
Notice something wrong? Gasp! No multiracial families. No Asian-American children. No white family with an adopted black kid. Of course you could by multiple sets to mix and match, but who has that kind of money?
Little sidenote: Whenever I see girls with those child development class dolls, they always seem to be black. I hear they make Caucasian ones as well, but all the girls I talk to say, "Black babies are cuter."
Most dollhouse families are what I call basic families-Mom, Dad, Son, Daughter, and maybe Baby in Mom's arms. The small size makes sense-no company wants to manufacture a ten person family. But why don't you see single parent or blended families?
Growing up, my dollhouse set had a dad and two moms. I got mom doll number two as a Christmas present from my brother after he sent mom doll number one on a long vacation to the bottom of the sandbox. I never thought to make her a stepmom, she was always the aunt or babysitter. My mom had both a dollhouse and divorced parents growing up. She always made her dolls ideal families. I've never heard of anybody playing differently.
And, of course, somebody's going to complain that you don't see gay dolls. Again, mix and match if it really means that much to you. I had around ten or fifteen Barbie dolls and one Ken. The one thought I had in elementary school concerning gay marriage was that it would make pairing of Barbie couples a heck of a lot easier. But I never did it. Sometimes my Barbies were widows or adoptive mothers, sometimes they had husbands on business trips. Mostly I married them to those plastic Madame Alexander boys you could get in Happy Meals.

I think his name was Tom. Or possibly Tommy.
I could have just asked for more Ken dolls, but who wants an ugly male doll when you can have more pretty Barbies in princess dresses?

Here's an interesting philosophical question. If a feminist halfway around the world reads this and nobody's around to hear her scream, do I care?
Oh well, here's some self empowered career Barbies to make you happy.
We have Barbie as an architect:

Such stylish boots. And of course she's wearing a skirt, or it wouldn't be stylish  and feminine. Do all architects dress like that? And look, now she's running for president.

Strangely enough, she lost to a guy named George whose hair wasn't nearly so pretty.

She's very patriotic and tough, you see. Here she is on a combat mission, and yet her hair is still perfect. How does she do that?
Barbie has changed over time. She used to have flat feet not built for heels.

But look at that figure. Is it approptiate for young girls to look at this doll and possibly feel inadequate? Perhaps we should sue somebody.
I read an article a while ago by a grown woman whose mother never let her have a toy kitchen in fear that it would brainwash her into male dominated submission.

This girl appears to be happy, so the brainwashing rumors must be true. Then again, maybe she's just happy because she's a toddler model being paid decent money to pose next to a toy. Then her parents can buy her a toy kitchen of her own, or perhaps save the money for something boring. Such as college preparation.

Because kids love educational learning. Except for Jack-Jack.

And Kari.
Don't get it? Shame on you. Watch the Pixar short. Yes, now.
And what about those violent toys?

I've heard of families banning play swords, too. Then the boys have to get creative.

Real original. Toys date back to every ancient civilization. Boys got wooden swords and miniature bows to prepare themselves for the battlefield. (And their parents disguised it as fun. Talk about stealth teaching!) Girls got rag dolls and hand-carved cradles, strollers, and coffins to prepare for the joy and sorrow of motherhood. That's how the world worked for thousands of years. Joan of Arc probably had a rag doll. And I believe there are several species of sticks native to France.

Though other sources suggest she spent a great portion of her childhood praying. Which is also fun.
As a child, it seemed like I was getting two things: new baby dolls and new baby brothers. Maybe that's the reason my mom kept giving me the dolls-pity.
My favorite toy, as you might have guessed, was my dollhouse. Sometimes my brothers would play with me-and stick to Tommy. I spent many hours playing Legos with them.
And by Legos, I mean three bins full of tiny bricks, a small table with several Lego platforms glued down, and a sea of Lego 'islands' and scattered pieces. This collection was begun by my older brother sometime in the mid 1990's. It still takes up three quarters of the room I'm sitting in.
Like my brothers, I had a few favorite pieces. Their names were Mary, Jenny, and The Monkey. Mary was the princess that came with the castle set. Jenny was a normal soldier or whatever with girl hair on top. In hindsight, I suppose The Monkey could have been a girl too. I never thought to ask for more girl pieces and my brothers never ordered them, so I played with the boys or got creative.
Take your average male Lego. Remove the legs. Insert torso on top of a wedge shaped brick, aka skirt, preferably teal because that goes with everything. Now you not only have a girl, but a girl one head taller than all the guys.
Got that, feminists?
And now I see these girly lego sets on the market.

Do you know what would happen if I tried to set up one of these beauty salons with my brother's legos? First he would gather all his clone troopers, knights, and pirates, and arm them for battle. As if they aren't always armed for battle to begin with. Then he would tear off all the easily breakable parts, kill all the girl figurines, and mix the heads into our lego vat so I don't find them for a couple days. In exchange, I'd have to steal some of his weapons and prepare my lego girls for war.
Sidenote to the world: People very rarely say 'tomboy' anymore. Girls can play soccer. I think we're all aware of that. And off the field, most of them wear makeup and, yes, skirts. A girl who refuses to wear any form of makeup isn't a tomboy, just noncomformist with undisguised acne. For somebody to call you a tomboy, you have to run along the river with a bow and arrow.
In other words, take your politically correct ideas into another room and let the children enjoy their childhoods.

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