TNB Night Owl — Snark Attack: RW Moral Panic and Me!

12 October Carp Tail (second version) Photo by Howard J.

We’ll continue with the OCD Jukebox of Christmas music tomorrow. In the meantime, something came up Wednesday night that had me thinking “Welp, this is something I’m gonna have to blog about.” So here we are…

As a preamble, I’ve mentioned previously (more likely in comments than in one of my posts) that I’m an adult doll collector. Not going to justify or explain the reasons for that; it simply is. But because of this hobby of mine, sometimes I see interesting battles being fought in the culture wars, and this latest one popped up yesterday or the day before, apparently…

One of the premiere brands in the doll collecting world is American Girl, which has been around since 1986. And every once in a while, one side or the other attacks the brand for one imagined grievance or another.

Like, they created Gwen, a homeless character for a story. She wasn’t just a character in a book, but they marketed a Gwen doll. I’ll let you read about the controversy surrounding this at this link from Huffpost. So it’s not just RW nutjobs who get mad at the company…

There have been other controversies, like when the company released its first boy doll, of course you had critics on the right claiming this was part of the feminization of boys. Or the Girl of the Year called Kira Bailey, whose story included her two same-sex married lesbian aunts. But this latest controversy cooked up for the insatiable RW Outrage Machine is that one of the books published by American Girl called “Body Image: How to love yourself, live to the fullest and celebrate all kinds of bodies.” (You can see screen captures of some of the pages from the book at this link, if you care.) is “promoting transgenderism”! You might want to read the review comments on the AG website, or check them out on Amazon.

Um… yeah.

As the author of that article I linked mentions, most of those all righteously outraged about this undoubtedly haven’t read the book and never will read it. Because being ignorantly outraged about shit you know nothing about is kinda a thing with the right. BTW, according to Amazon, the book has been out since February of this year. Which is crazy that they’re going nuts that this book is the end of society when they couldn’t care about it for almost a year…

I learned about this latest controversy not from some American Girl (AG) vlogger or Instagrammer, but from my husband, who read off the headline to me Wednesday evening. Probably hoping to get a rise out of me in order to give him an excuse to start an argument. But, I have to admit, the doll angle to this story piqued my curiosity, so I just had to ask him about it. By then I’d already googled it myself and had an idea where he would be heading.

So he starts reading an article (I think it was this one, or one which heavily quoted from it), but it seemed to have been written by an alleged mommy who was outrageously outraged about American Girl forcing transgender ideology on children and their parents.

Hey, weirdly, there’s a fix for that: don’t read the book and don’t let your kid read it. Problem solved! But, as always with the right, letting people read what they like isn’t part of their authoritarian-inclined agenda. Nope, the Moral Minority wants to financially ruin American Girl for publishing and selling a book which doesn’t share their own myopic view of the world.

You can read the moral panic articles from the usual suspects, but this article from Newsmax struck me as particularly hilarious:

Parents Blast Mattel’s American Girl Dolls Over ‘Woke’ Gender Book

The book addresses all kinds of body-image issues girls and people in general have: weight issues, disabilities, beauty standards which may or may not be realistic. The transgender issue takes up a very small portion of the book, but you wouldn’t know that from the headline or the article.

Also in the article is this paragraph:

Young wrote, “To those of you who may think I’m crazy, American Girl is under the parent company Mattel, which has already put out transgender Barbies. One of them showed up recently in my friend’s daughter’s ‘Surprise Barbie’ package. Her horrified 8-year-old screamed, ‘What is this, Mom?'”

Parents Blast Mattel’s American Girl Dolls Over ‘Woke’ Gender Book, Dec 7, 2022

The transgender Barbie is a collector celebrity doll of Laverne Cox, with a retail price of $45, which is hardly something that will end up in the hands of little girls. (Alert! There are a lot of gay men who collect Barbies. This doll was undoubtedly created to appeal to them; and why shouldn’t Mattel cater to that niche of their market?) Not every Barbie ever made was intended for children, in spite of RW talking points…

When I finally asked my husband why he was getting so worked up about something that has absolutely no bearing on his life, he replied, “If you don’t care that society is going to hell all around you, then you’re less than stupid.”

If you think society is going to hell because a book you can choose not to read is bringing about the apocalypse, then maybe you need to step away from the toxic BoB you’re living in… :shrug:

So now you know more than you possibly ever cared to about doll companies advocating transgenderism!!!

Sunday’s noir film is “Walk Softly, Stranger.”

About the opinions in this article…

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