I find it so ironic that in a society that's so entrenched with sex and sexuality that parents choose to get their blood boiling over a doll that mimics natural feeding. Really, this is where you want to choose to draw the line? The Victoria Secret commercials airing in the middle of the day, sexually laden music lyrics sung on Kids Bop (or whatever they are called) CDs and so called "idols" running around in scantily clad clothes are not on your radar but this doll is? Full size billboards of women in bras and panties smack dab in the middle of the 2010 Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade are ok but pretending to breastfeed a doll isn't?
The doll itself does not make my blood boil, what makes my blood boil are the comments from parents about the doll including:
"over sexualizing our kids"
"perpetuates stereotypical gender roles "
"And everyone wonders why kids grow up too fast.. "
"will confuse boys sexually" and "make them think they cannot be a good daddy later in life"
"will make young girls desire to get pregnant"
"just plain wrong"
"Whats next 'first date blow job barbie'?"
"I can just see the pedophiles drooling! "
"every pedophiles dream!"
"endangering the innocence of little girls"
I could go on and on but you get the point here. So many (by far the vast majority accord to GMA who said that more than 70% of parents voted on their poll that it "forces girls to grow up too quickly") parents seem to be truly offended by this doll but the question is why?
Overall I enjoyed GMA's coverage of the doll as it was the first news story I have seen that was not totally biased and against it. I love that there was even a dad on there that said he loved the doll. They even had a leading child psychiatrist, Dr. Ned Hallowell, who said"I don't think its sexualizing anymore than having a little boy standing next to his father shaving and putting on shaving cream"
My local news stories were sadly far less kind and clearly biased on the offended side. Having people interview on the spot talking about how "wrong" and "disgusting" it was and having a psychiatrist on who talked about the "ill effects" that the doll could create on little girls and boys. They did not even try to hide their biasedness and did not have 1 person on to say 1 single positive thing about it. I yelled at my TV a lot through that news program!
As I stated above, my kids do this anyways. Yes I said KIDS and not daughters! Even Little Man went through a phase around 18 months-2.5 years where he pretended to nurse his stuffed animals. Around age 3 he would bring them to me and ask me to nurse them. Children who grow up in homes where breastfeeding is done see it as natural and normal and will mimic it. There is nothing wrong with mimicking a natural, loving, nurturing act.
I grew up with no real representation of how babies are fed. What I knew I learned from TV. To me babies were fed from bottles full of white powder and water and that's just how it was. I didn't even know what breastfeeding was until I was a teenager. I thought formula was the optimal choice and that breastfeeding was only something done in poor 3rd world countries with "no other options". Is this how we want our kids to grow up? No wonder our breastfeeding rates in this country are so dismally low.
"Will make girls desire to become pregnant at an early age"-Ummmmm, couldn't it be argued that ALL baby dolls in any form can "make girls desire to become pregnant..."?? They are playing mommy, there is nothing wrong with playing mommy. It also does not "force stereotypical gender roles" on girls because guess what, if you do not want YOUR little girl to have a baby doll no one is forcing you to buy her one.
The doll also will in no way "confuse boys" or make them feel they "cannot grow up to be a good dad". Little Man pretended to nurse things too, does this mean he's doomed to forever be confused about his gender/sexuality?? I THINK NOT! He is all boy. Not that I wouldn't love him no matter what. He is also sensitive and empathetic and I encourage these qualities in him. Sensitivity does not make a man less than, it makes him MORE than! I feel he will be a better dad and more supportive partner because of these things.
"A pedophiles dream" REALLY? Nothing on the child is exposed! I am more worried about push up bikini's marketed for 7 yr olds being a pedophiles dream (but will save that rant for another post). Let's get our priorities straight here people.
Flashing back to the "oversexualization" of it all and the priorities lets talk about the other toys on the market that can be seen as promoting sexuality in young girls, Bratz Dolls anyone?
I am more concerned with the vulgar things my kids are exposed to through the media than them pretending to nurse a toy. Give me a nursing baby doll any day please! Have you SEEN some of the shows now marketed to preteen/teens these days? Ridiculous!
There is nothing sexual about breastfeeding, period, and I think that's where the problem lies in our country. Our minds are all so warped from the hypersexualized nature of our media that we can't seem to define a role for breasts that is not sexual in nature. Then, when "forced" to see breasts being used for anything other than a sexual purpose people shudder and can't handle it. I see more with low cut tops than I do when a woman is nursing!
It boils down to this. Breastfeeding is natural, playing with dolls is normal behavior. A doll is in NOW WAY going to influence your daughter or make her become sexually active earlier. How you raise your daughter will be the biggest deciding factor in that. Raise her with morals and values, raise her to respect her body and herself, raise her to know her self worth and to not feel the need to seek out attention in any form she can. Fathers, show her how a man should treat a woman! Watch what you say, be kind and loving to her! Treat her like the princess that she is. These are the things that truly matter and if done properly, no boy will be able to talk her into doing things she knows she is not ready for.
While we are at it, talk to your sons too! Teach them to respect women! Teach them morals and values! Teach them to have self worth! Teach them to be kind, sensitive and empathetic to others. Raise him to respect his body! Teach them them the difference between love and lust. Show them how to truly love another person. Fathers, show your sons through your example how to treat a woman.
If we do this then we can break the hold that media takes on our kids. If we just roll over, look the other way and say "oh its normal" for the media to be as vulgar as it is that's when we loose our children. It is not normal, we are all just desensitized to it and as we become more and more so more and more of it is seen as "normal". I wish so many of us would take all of this energy and unite together to battle the things that are TRULY dragging our children down!
Lets all continue to argue over a doll that breastfeeds while the values and morals of our children get flushed down the toilet shall we!
Watch what my left hand is doing and not my right!
this proud breastfeeding and doll loving mama.