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.
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.