Sunday, October 23, 2005

The American Grrrl Pattern

You may be aware of the current controversy surrounding the American Girl doll company, which has angered parents by allowing the use of the American Girl name for fundraising purposes to Girls Inc, an organization which aggressively supports and promotes the cause of abortion to children (check out the photo on the link page to rising conservative superstar and recent Girls Inc. Honoree Hillary Rodham Clinton).

Mattel. Inc, which now owns American Doll, says this- "We are profoundly disappointed that certain groups have chosen to misconstrue American Girl's purely altruistic efforts and turn them into a broader political statement on issues that we, as a corporation, have no position."

I've been onto American Doll for some time, as have many other Christian and conservative doll purchasing members of the petty bourgeoisie. Here's a copy of an email I wrote to the company in November of 2003 regarding their environmental activist doll Kailey-

Dear American Girl,

My wife and I, who have purchased your products in the past for our niece, by catalog and also in Chicago at your retail location, (which happens to be a multi-restaurant-mall-theater complex only a few miles from Lake Michigan) were taken aback by our recent American girl catalogue featuring your newest doll 'Kailey'. According to your catalogue, 'Kailey is a compassionate, athletic ten year old who loves the ocean more than anything. She feels right at home boogie boarding in the crashing waves, but has to find courage she didn't know she had when a development threatens her beach!' On the opposite side of Kailey's 4th and 5th page spread, (you have also given her the cover of your Holiday 2003 catalogue) it reads - 'Ten-year-old Kailey is sooo excited when she finds out a resort-mall-movie multiplex is coming to her beach! Then she learns the development would destroy the beach's rocky tide pools - and ruin the homes of all the creatures who live there. Kailey has a great idea, but she's never tried anything like it before. If she can believe in herself and make her idea work, there might be hope for the tide pools yet.' '

The 'About our Company' statement on your website states that 'American girls mission is to serve the developing interests and emotional needs of girls ages 3-12 through premium, age appropriate products and experiences that educate, entertain, reinforce positive social and moral values, and build self-esteem.' I'm unable to find in this statement any reference to advocating against resort-mall-movie multiplexes which may or may not destroy tide pools. Is this an appropriate message to convey to little girls, many of whoms own parents may well be the owners or developers of said multiplex (your products are not low-end, and are priced accordingly) that commercial development is by nature harmful and needs to be opposed? Many corporations have contributed quite heavily to the health of our shoreline, and need to be commended, not condemned. The 'resort-mall-movie multiplex' which you demonize would in the real world create tourism and increased tax revenue for the local community; it would represent a low-intrusive commercial enterprise which would probably be courted and welcomed by most local communities, which need the revenue generated to maintain healthy shorelines.

I can't see 'Kailey' as anything but a highly politicized bit of propaganda, an anti-commerce and therefore anti-American product, which communicates a message opposite of your mission statement which promises to 'educate and reinforce positive social and moral values.'

The education and upbringing of our niece will benefit most from fair and balanced information, and not from the example of Kailey, who's message seems to be that businessmen and businesswomen are bad, and the ocean is good, and any human development can only be destructive. Kailey's purpose is blatant anti-business pro-environmentalist indoctrination, and deviates completely from your product line of dolls which each represent a particular period of American history, without advocacy.

The extreme actions of ultra-environmentalism harms our country and the very 'environment' which it pretends to defend. Anti-logging efforts in California and the resulting refusal to remove thousands of acres of dead and diseased trees contributed heavily to the recent devastating forest fires; the actions of environmental terrorists who burned SUV factories introduced more harmful pollutants into the environment than the operation of these multi-purpose vehicles ever would have produced over a normal lifetime, and the political opposition to non-invasive modern drilling operations in Alaska and offshore of Texas and California actually harms our long term national security interests, which are the interests of all Americans, including those who honor facts and who actually care about the environment.
As for as our family is concerned, your image has gone from 'American Girl' to anti-American. We won't give you any more of our money, if this is what our patronage of your product pays for.

November 26, 2003

For an alternative to the American Girl product line, please shop the very forwardly Christian and pro-life Beautiful Girlhood Collection.

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