Complicated Dolls Are Complicated

And possibly aliens

I just caught wind of the first “transgender” doll. At a glance, it’s a lovely dark haired girl with flowing locks, penetrating eyes, and no indication of her inner turmoil at her cosmically mistaken genitalia. Though, she does look a little sad.

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I read further to learn that she is actually a he and designed after a youtube personality named Jazz Jenkins. Jazz is a boy who identifies as a “normal girl.”  The doll itself is anatomically neutral, in the way all dolls are, but is female.

I am a little confused by this. My inner cynic thinks this is a marketing ploy by a struggling collector doll company (Tonner Toys) to gain relevance amid a world of Barbies and American Girl Dolls.

For the sake of argument, let’s assume it’s not a stunt. At one point dolls were, foremost, intended to allow young children to model the behaviors of parents and enact role play scenarios.  The doll only manifested the emotions, personality, history, and behaviors the child imparted.  This, in turn, aided them to cope with real life and live out fantasy after fantasy. Barbies had set names, but fifty years of sales had taught Mattel not to pigeon hole the kids, so the kids could pick the careers and lives their dolls lived.

My dolls all had marker tattoos, were routinely in the hospital, wrestled bears, and dressed like Tank Girl. I got to pick their names, usually made their clothes or ruined the ones that came with them, and loved immersing myself into this alternate world.  If you cannot tell, I was a bit odd and a tom-boy as a child.  From age 4 til now, I’ve always felt more comfortable rooting around in dirt with animals and doing stuff a little different, than sitting prim and sipping tea.

I bring this up because today’s kids don’t get quite the same thing.  We give kids dolls with an entire legend.  Books, movies, shows, and more tell us the doll’s name, history, and even their favorite things. The only decision left to the child to decide is what outfit to put on her. They can even get one to match! The idea was that the doll would teach history and some back handed morality.  I’ve seen some of these crunchy granola moms fawn over the things. “She’s a WWII survivor…”  or “She’s an immigrant…”

No.  No she’s not.  She’s a doll.

It’s not just girls’ imaginations being squashed either.  When was the last time you bought a generic set of legos?  Yeah, they have them on the top shelf behind the Duplos. But, now, the thing to get ae sets, that match the shows, that match the movies, that match the games… It’s a thing.

Anyway, we’ve reached a time in our collective history where letting a child be who they want, appears to be the top priority in the country. (My parents managed back in the olden days when there were two sexes and smoking was cool.) Yet, we typecast our kids with these cookie cutter toys that thwart imagination; and we call it “education and values.”

Insert trans-doll.  Firstly, to be “trans” one must be of one sex and long/feel/identify as another.  Whether you think there are 2, 3, 38, or 62 genders is not really at play.  This statement applies to everyone.  This doll is female.  It may be crafted after a boy who identifies as a girl, but the doll is female.  The thing that would make the doll “trans” beyond adding anatomy or it being sentient enough to “feel” like a girl, is writing out the doll’s history, likes, etc.  So, that brings us back to hijacking imagination.

I am not an expert on toy therapy or kids, but it seems that handing a child [that is struggling with identity and emotions] a trans-labeled doll and saying, “this is what your are,” is super unhealthy and problematic.  More so, if you actually believe there are 62 variants of gender?  I would have thought that the more apt doll for these kids would be a generic blank slate, label free, and choice of clothings etc.  Then, let the kid pick, name, and create a story themselves.  Isn’t that what these parents are trying to accomplish?

OR… maybe I’m just really cynical of anything that appeases rabid liberals. The more pink-hats that support it, the more likely I am to think they’re being tricked.  Next month, they’ll have hijab wearing dolls that come with their own flogging stick and Noble Quran. Yay freedom.

If you would like to learn more about the research into desistance and persistence of gender dysphoria, this is the most balanced article I’ve seen, with very honest critiques of the research and outcomes.  I know I promised aliens… just use your imagination.

Useful Idiots

I am not really a name caller…. maybe I am. I dunno. Anyhow, this term popped in my head and I couldn’t help but feel like, “this needs attention!”

Who are useful idiots today? If you’re a Democrat, it’s a whirlwind tour of campuses. A few bits on MTV, mumble about student loans and bodily autonomy and you’re in like Flint… or not Flint, is that offensive now? If you’re a Republican, you can shake your saber, say “God” a lot, and seal the deal with some borderline illegal threats towards other countries.

If you hate America and want to see it succumb to civil war, you can count on the undereducated and victimhood class to rally to your cause. Blindly and well intentioned, of course. No one here actually wants that. They’re idiots, not monsters.

I find that the more I read/see, the more convinced I am, than ever before, that both major parties and their various socialist, libertarian, green, and independent offshoots are all in cahoots.  As long as we spend all day and night worrying about eachother, we won’t notice that we’re pawns in a long running scam controlled by a multi-billion dollar lobbying industry, impossibly large phamatech, and a trillion dollar media industry.

Yeah, I sound like an Info Wars reject.  You should hear my speil on how Jade Helm was the ground work for a shadow government seeking to enslave half of us and kill the other half…. Another time. If we persist in being these useful idiots, by clicking, sharing, bitching, and boycotting, they will keep getting rich while our children are sold to slavers, our cancers treated with poison, and our futures mortgaged to the hilt.

I propose one alternative: insist on solution based discussion and action. Break free from the herd.

I’m Boycotting Your Strike

And so should you.

The news is afire with sad tales of immigrants who followed the lead and urging of no one in particular, on social media, that declared “A Day Without Immigrants will demonstrate the impact of deportation and zealous immigration bans.” The fact that it was on a Thursday, before a 3 day weekend would have been enough to keep me disinterested. Who doesn’t angle for the 4 day weekend? Amateurs!

Seriously though, I was dubious that any self respecting business owner would forgo a day of income or risk the wrath of partisan politics. I was even more doubtful that an immigrant (in today’s climate of fear and xenophobia) would risk their job by skipping work. Nevermind actually screwing over employers by no-showing, effectively leaving them shorthanded and potentially losing income.  Nothing says, “appreciate me,” quite like letting the boss know that you’re so easily tricked.

My national day off is March 8.  I say that jokingly.  I’ve heard tale of intercepted emails (sent via company email accounts) from employees trying to rally as many bodies, to strike as possible. “The more that don’t show up the better, they cannot fire us all.”  I cannot even begin to comprehend who would hear that and think, “dude, totally getting in on that!”

Don’t make excuses here. These women are being encouraged to disrupt businesses, give up income, and endanger their livelyhoods, by a woman who advocates Sharia law and prefers the company of rapist murderers over pro-life women. The very law she promotes also says women should not work in fields that would damage their husbands… this includes interacting with men, driving cars, or doing men’s work.

I’m gonna take a minute, let that sink in.  If you want a bunch of women (whom you think are infidels) to forgo employment or just suffer, what better way than to trick them into getting fired?  Kinda like how she tricked a bunch of infidels into defiling their own flag, committing to Sharia by donning khimar (vaguely: hijab).  In Islam, those women are going to hell. Just like the ones lining up for abortions. Convert or burn.

Okay, so that’s what I think. Here’s the rest. I do believe there are areas where women are getting shorted.  I also recognize and appreciate the contributions of our immigrant neighbors.  But, if we’re going to hold these entities to the fire, there’s not much incentive for them to WANT to do better. It’s a good way to get half measures and punitive raises.

I propose a different tact. Wanna convince a bunch of people that their immigrant neighbors are integral and totally not mooches, why not invite everyone to visit their businesses?  Why not reward companies that hire immigrants?  Why not build up our neighborhoods with community outreach?  I’m sure the immigrants would appreciate the income boom and fresh customers.

Want to close that income gap? I’m pretty sure taking off more time than men won’t win anyone over. I have no clue how closing my business will convince people I deserve more money?  I think a better approach is to nominate business owners for a Forbes style list for best pay, best leave policies, etc.  Again, invite people to visit those local, women owned, businesses. Reward the people we’re trying to help.

I’ll be honest here. The 8th was supposed to be my day off. I rarely plan those, but I’m gonna forgo it and cover any cases that need it. I’m pretty sure that if my boss figures out that being contrary to radical feminists would mean I’m working more, he’d invest heavily in pussy hats and hijabs. So, shhhh.

Never Underestimate the Stupid in Powerful People

In Large Groups… Or something like that….

I’m going to take a few minutes away from my usual trafficking and irreverence to talk politics. Sorry, not sorry. One need only turn on the TV for affirmation that our society has lost its collective minds. The idea that our culture is under attack is not a stretch. But from whom?

In the 1950s, social scientist Solomon Asch, formulated an experiment to study the effects of peer pressure in large groups. The result was that, when faced with being the lone voice of dissent, most subjects adheared to patently wrong answers of peers. Asch tried varying versions to find that lynchpin scenario that kept people from going along with the crowd, but never found it. (Hence the failure of programs like DARE.) People were more likely to dissent if there was someone else doing it first, but those scenarios required substantial conditioning.

Twenty some odd years later, another social scientist [Stanley Milgram] wanted to test the boundaries of authority on normal people. How far would they go and how readily would they dish out inhumane treatment if assured it’s not their responsibility?  Milgram discovered that the color of authority, from his prestigious school and title had more to do with the maleability of normal people than the actual effects or consequences of the acts.  I strongly suspect this phenomenon informed the social justice campaigns of the era.

Imagine the impact of both phenomenon.  These authorities divest their audience of responsibility, introduce, then reinforce the counterintuitive ideaologies. Most people will go along with it while simultaneously assuming the others are conforming out of agreement. Dissent is actually quashed and negative feedback becomes a form of electroshock [that was only simulated in the experiments]. Students are then encouraged to become the enforcers.

In Asch’s experiments, he discovered that half of the subjects that conformed, did so, knowing they were wrong. The other half of conformists truly believed and defended their acquiescence to the group, in spite of evidence to the contrary. The people who consistently and fervently dissented were easily quieted from argument by labeling them deviant and subjugating their stance.

As I hinted earlier, these two studies gave birth to a host of similar studies and experiments that found that children are even easier to trick into trusting authority or conforming. Ever wondered why they stand in line for everything, are assigned seats, and are required to provide similar school supplies? Group compliance makes the dissenting children “deviants.”

So, fast forward to today. Nonconfomism is the in thing… as long as you also comply with the authority. We’ve spent years adhering and trusting authority. We view people in suits as more trustworthy or knowledgeable. Doctors are infallible. We presume college degrees are synonymous with knowledge. What was once argued as a fallacy of debate (call to authority) is now the basis of debate and defense against logical dissent. In fact, we’re so mired in the fight for conformity and compliance with our authority, that the topic of the discussion is of little real consequence.

The recent election is a prime example. Love or hate the outcome, no one has held the media accountable for prognosticating a Clinton victory. Nor have they been held accountable for any of their missteps. Michael Crichton called it years ago, when he went after the media for letting go of journalistic values, in favor of profit and sensationalism.  They get away with it, in large part, because they are viewed as authority and we’re programmed to avoid dissent. We might lash out at one side or another but the media is the greased pig in every debacle.

There are easily another dozen social scientists and psychologies we could draw from, to explain today’s climate, but I chose these two for good reason.  They support my opinion. See how that works? I also chose them, because they’re the basis for my following suggestions on how to combat rabid extremism in the left and right. If you think your side doesn’t have it, please reread the part where half of Asch’s subject didn’t think they were wrong.

1) Do not debate a group.  If you’re on social media, tell the person you’ll gladly have that duscussion via private chat.  If you’re at a party or family dinner, politely offer to take the person to coffee and discuss it one on one. If they ask why not now? Simply reply, “You don’t have to, we can go burn one outside if you like.”  The whole point of discussion is to communicate ideas. Removing the pressure of performance and embarrassment allows for more honest discourse.

2) Establish common ground to start. If your argument is religious in nature and your conversation mate is atheist,  obviously quoting the bible won’t work. When non-Catholics ask me why something is the way it is, I start with, “I can explain it, but we’d have to start with mutual agreement in the teachings of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. ” That’s a show stopper. Have a reason based discussion planned or do not engage.

3) Fact check your sources. If you don’t read the studies I supplied, I’m talking to you.  Just because something seems reasonable and fits your narrative or worldview, doesn’t make it valid or true. I’ve seen some really compelling arguments for the Earth being flat, alien visitations, and shadow governments being operated by lizard people. These appeal to me, because the idea of humans being so evil makes me sad. I wish there were lizard people behind all this…. I bet you’re thinking it’s time to check my sources.

4) Stick to I statements and avoid detraction.  “John Smith is a racist.” Unless you’ve seen John Smith participating in a lynching or him saying, “Hi, I’m a racist.” Chances are, it’s detraction. Instead, say, “I have concerns about John Smith’s policies towards minorities based on….” Then provide source material. The media is not a source.

5) Guilt by asociation is real, but there are qualifiers first. Association is not synonymous with endorsement. Using the example above. Let’s say John Smith has been convicted of a hate crime against a minority. He sports all the tatoos and has a youtube channel exhorting the wonders of bigotry.  If he thinks my work is meaningful and he wants to help, that’s association. If I say, thanks but your support will hurt my mission and alienate key members of the community that I need. That’s a weak refusal, and may give the impression that I would welcome Mr. Smith’s support if it weren’t for those people. So, guilt by association would apply. If I say, “I’m  glad you agree that child exploitation of any race is a travesty and great evil, but I disagree with your ideaologies, and even feel they are part of the problem. I do not want them associated with my cause.”  That’s strong enough to say I don’t qualify for guilt by association.  There’s a big “but” here. I would be stupid not to continue the dialogue with that person, and try to bring him back from evil. That’s evangelization, not association. Just like a Christian talking to atheists, the discussion doesn’t diminish their beliefs.

6) Learn the meanings of the words you’re using. Muslim is not a race. It’s a religion. African American is an ethnicity, not a race. White is a race, not a nationality. Mexican is a nationality, not a language. Spanish is a language, not a culture.  Culture is where it gets tricky. Culture is influenced by all of these and geography, though it’s not limited by it. Texan is all of these, because we’re superior.  You can fact check that, it’s never been debunked. While we’re at it, theories are not facts. Medicine is not science. And politician is not a profession.

7) Don’t assume you know what the other person is going to say. Query your friend and find out the basis of their viewpoint. “Just so I know what we’re talking about, what do you believe?”  They’ll usually cover why, but if they don’t say, ask. Control your reaction and resist the urge to jump into debate.  Restate their opinion back, and make note of the bullet points. Do not resort to “you people” generalities. This is your friend, not “one of them.”
8) Remember that study? Half are believers, half are followers.  If they are a follower, you may find that their ideas are influenced by trauma, misinformation, or even misunderstanding. Their opinion will seem like spite, not reason. Attacking that, will lose the person and reinforce their position. If they are  believer, they will resort to ad hoc arguments and generalizations either regurgitating unverified reports or prognosticating unknowable “facts.”  For instance, “if we continue to do x, y, and z, the effects on the economy will be negative.” That’s prognostication and unknowable.

9) Know your subject matter and do not be afraid to say, “I don’t know the answer to that, but I’d like to explore that with you.”  If you don’t know your topic and engage in this exchange, without a willingness to be humble and honest about your knowledge-base, you will affirm the misinformation being spread.

10) Do not use weaponized empathy, emotionalism, lies, or stunts to make your case. If your perspective is reason based and supported by documented fact, there is no reason to resort to that.  If the other person does it, ask, “Do you have any facts or just your feelings?”

11) Agree to disagree is a good outcome. If the only thing the two of you accomplish is stating your perspectives, feeling out weaknesses in the other’s stance, and saying, “this has been interesting, I’d like to talk about it again, when we’ve both had time to think about what the other said.”  This demonstrates that neither side is the devil and civility is possible.

12) “They” want you to fail.  I usually discourage resorting to anonymous “they” but in this instance, it is vital to understand that there are truly people out there with a vested interest in watching us spiral into chaos and hatred. Who “they” are is another topic of debate, but regardless of whom you or I think it is, everyone can fight it, by following the above guidelines.

So, as I said, the two studies I supplied are barely scratching the surface. My hope is just to get you thinking about how the other side got to that point. I have been calling it “progressive cannibalism,” but I suspect the truth is more insidious.  Here’s links on how to have a good discussion, fight with a loved one, and types of logic fallacies that impede meaningful conversations.