Saturday, December 24, 2011

Col. Barbie

On Facebook there have been a couple of photos posted of children happily opening toy rifles, toy Berrettas and toy assault rifles.

First, why are these things "toys?"

Second, why are we giving them to children who are not able to cognitively understand why they are dangerous to the psyche.  Maybe the people who are giving them do not have a psyche, baring that, have not been in real combat.  Maybe they are just the idiots who shoot yellow road signs.

Third, why is there not a protest by the feminist body to prevent the forced masculinity training propagated by the issuance of the guns to little boys.  We protest Barbies for little girls and make up kits, arguing that they hyper-sexualize the idea of women as objects of adornment.  Why not guns and GI Joes for little boys arguing them as ways to hyper-aggression in men?  This seems a bit one sided.

Many supporters of Barbie argue that it is an adult role playing doll, and the action figure (doll) of GI Joe are examples of possibilities for adult roles that children can imagine themselves in.  I'd buy this, except I don't see any male action figures (dolls) that are lawyers or doctors or tech guys.   I have seen celebrity dolls, but no Mark Zuckerberg Action Figure.

I can hear Mattel whispering in my ear now telling me, "That won't sell. Those guys are boring."

Is that it?  Do we need our toys to be action packed, rather than mind candy? I am kind of hurt by this, really.  I suddenly want a sudoko book in every stocking.

I guess we could create an AK47 that Barbie wears with  a cute little camo outfit to represent all the women in the armed forces. But see, the thing is, that I don't want to teach our little girls to be violent either.

There are plenty of toys that promote the idea of boys as aggressive and violent.  Guns seem to be at the top of the list, and I wonder why the outrage is not louder over this.  It might be because we seem to associate the types of people who give their children toys as the ignorant hillbilly rednecks, and it is hard to argue with those folks.

Coming from that part of the country, and knowing my share of hillbillies, I am here to tell you that those those folks use guns to eat with.  They are not toys.  And I have seen more than one rifle from the turn of the century that protects the wimminfolk when the men are off shooting dinner.  It is considered a rite of passage when the child learns to shoot, and it isn't gender restrictive.

I return to my original question:  Why are these "toys?"  Boys will pick up a stick and shoot you with it.  Girls will use jam as lipstick.  It is just a game.  Let's not provide adult versions of either danger.  Sooner or later the boys will put down the sticks, and the girls will wash their face.  No need to make toys out of these things.

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