I usually like the toy makers over at Melissa and Doug. They’re all wooden and edutainment-y, and I like that.
But today I’m heart-poundingly, strongly-worded-letter-y pissed.
Grandma brought Peanut a cool magnetic dress-up Joey doll. Peanut loves the doll. I love the doll. So I figured I’d get him the female version, too.
Uh-oh. Not just gender-assigned, not just gender-stereotyped, but gender-disgusting.
The Joey doll gets to be a firefighter, police officer, knight, superhero, construction worker, and a pirate. Stereotyped, sure, but not totally offensive, provided there is a female doll with the same choices, too.
Well, the Maggie doll lets you choose between “cute” outfit and “attractive” outfit. Period. Revolutionary choice of skirts or pants. No career garb. No uniforms. Nothing she could wear to a world where they value her for her mind. But she sure is purdy.
The Nina doll is all different ballerina costumes. The Princess doll is too disgusting to discuss here. Use your imagination. Now add more ruffles and glitter.
I’m genuinely pissed. My son happened to catch a glimpse of baseball on tv a few months ago, and asked where the ladies were. I told him I wasn’t sure, but we’d turn the channel until we saw some. So we watched billiards for a while. Then poker. ‘Cuz in those worlds, women and men seem a little more equal.
Are you freaking kidding me with dolls like this? Why can’t the Joey doll come in a female version? There are firefighter and police officer and construction worker women. Why not add a garbage truck driver and an executive, because women do that, too. Sure she can be a princess. Can’t each set have real career choices, including princess? (Oh, what? Like pirate is a viable career choice outside Somalia? And knight is a monster.com pull-down option? Each set could have some realistic and some unrealistic jobs. I want a set with a professor, a lawyer, a doctor, and a comedia delle arte harlequino. I guess we’ll have to learn to carve our own.)
I’m going to go write to Melissa and Doug. If you care what your daughters and sons know about life, I urge you to do the same. Tell me when you find a girl doll who dresses up as something other than a princess or a beauty object. ‘Cuz I’ll buy her doll. And more for gifts. I mean, hell, even Barbie got a job every once in a token while.
Melissa and Doug, shame on you. This is not 1909. The only choices are not mom or princess; policeman or fireman. I’m not teaching my son that, because it’s not reality. And I’m not teaching girls that, because it’s not reality. There was a motherf–king woman running for President this year, y’all, and all we get is princess and dresses? F— you. I’m buying Plan Toys this year.
Btw, where is the black Joey doll? And the Latino/a and the Asian? I know that shouldn’t be a “by the way” question, but I’m too pissed to rank my equality priorities right now. I want it all.