September 27, 2019

"That’s why I applaud Mattel’s Creatable World, a new collection of gender-neutral dolls, which allow kids to customize their Barbie and Ken in ways they never could before."

"The dolls come in a variety of skin tones, with extensions so they can have short or long hair and wear contemporary clothing styles that men and women have shared for decades."

Writes Hannah Sparks in The New York Post.

Does Mattel really call them "gender neutral" dolls? I'm also seeing the term "gender-fluid" in the article. They look like girl dolls to me. Lots of girls have short hair and like to wear jeans and t-shirts.

I'm looking at the Mattel website, and the words I'm seeing are the name of the product line, Creatable World, the slogan "Making Doll Play More Inclusive," and this copy:
In our world, dolls are as limitless as the kids who play with them. Introducing Creatable World™, a doll line designed to keep labels out and invite everyone in—giving kids the freedom to create their own customizable characters again and again.
So Mattel is ostensibly against "labels," but the journalists carrying their PR forward are introducing "gender neutral" and "gender-fluid." Frankly, I find this unfriendly to lesbians. And it's annoying to girls who like short hair and play clothes but feel like girls (whether they're lesbian or not). That is or should be most girls. Why slap the label "gender neutral" or "gender-fluid" on that? Mattel doesn't, and there's no reason why girls (or boys) at the playing-with-dolls age should be bothered with these labels. The idea of "Creatable World" seems to be to leave the kids to come up with their own ideas not to foist some additional adult concept onto them. Let children be children.

59 comments:

RobinGoodfellow said...

You will be made to care.

Edmund said...

It's Pat!

rhhardin said...

Fluid is too restrictive. It moves with only one velocity at one position. A gas is what you want, moving in every direction at every place.

n.n said...

Sex, gender, and sociopolitical constructs.

mockturtle said...

We as a culture seem to be in a frenzy of self-immolation. This can only end badly.

gspencer said...

Any paste-on tats?

Tramp stamps are always in favor.

Options for piercing?

Shouting Thomas said...

I’ve raised daughters and grand-daughters and none of them asked for feminist toys (although they did see the commercials on TV).

They were all entranced by Disney, and if you haven’t watched recently, Disney is all about princesses who fall into the arms of handsome, rich princes.

And they live happily ever after.

traditionalguy said...

Are the words man and male illegal to utter yet?

stutefish said...

I have no problem with the product line as such. Gender in dolls is a purely social construct. A unisex doll with mix-and-match clothing, social roles, etc. is totally fine with me, and actually kinda sounds like a fun time. Like combining space and pirate Lego. Or re-imagining Casablanca as Barb Wire. Or gender-swapping James Bond in the Le Carre pastiche Atomic Blonde. All good stuff. Go Mattel!

That said, it's going to turn into one of those obnoxious SJW crusade banners. Boop to that.

PM said...

There's still nothing south of the waistline, so it's just another way to generate the real moneymaker: clothes. Slick idea.

Doug said...

Let children be children.

Let Mattel die a slow, costly death.

Fernandistein said...

"Making Doll Play More Inclusive"

I like the dolls representing old people because they're completely excluded from inclusion.

which allow kids to customize their Barbie and Ken in ways they never could before

Diverse boys + Barbie = bald Barbie, possibly on fire, thereby creating a variety of new skin tones.

SDaly said...

Isn't the point of raising children is "foist adult concepts" on them?

Mark said...

From what I remember of seeing Ken totally bare, he was always gender-neutral. Smooth as a baby's bottom, as they used to say.

Ann Althouse said...

Fernandistein, you quote "which allow kids to customize their Barbie and Ken in ways they never could before" which I think is bullshit (we could customize dolls!) but that language is not from Mattel.

rehajm said...

From what I remember of seeing Ken totally bare, he was always gender-neutral

I thought they were going to tell me the dolls had snap-on tools.

Le Stain du Poop said...

Ann:

Do you agree with some of the comments I've seen on the inet (mostly by ostensibly female writers) to the effect that these dolls are all actually female?

No dog in the fight--just curious.

n.n said...

The dolls are sex (i.e. genetic) neutral. They can be made gender neutral with a propitious swipe of a scalpel and/or application of clay. They are transgender/homosexual friendly since their handlers are free to pose them in any fashion they desire within the privacy of their bedrooms.

Bob Boyd said...

When I was a kid I made a Play Dough pecker for my sister's Ken doll and stuck it on him. When I did, the doll smiled. No shit. A great big toothy grin. Kinda scared me at the time. Then my sister took Ken back. With an "ugh!" she pulled the Play Dough pecker off, threw it back in the can and put him in the passenger seat of Barbie's Corvette. Poor bastard.
Anyway, I guess I was ahead of my time.

Fernandistein said...

"I thought we could talk it over like civilized people,
but instead I just ripped the head off of Mr. Hunny Bunny!"

PM said...

It should be noted back in the 70's, Mattel had Growing-Up Skipper, a flat-chested pre-teen doll who, with a forward swing of her arm, grew Barbie-sized breasts. A storyline had to be created so that 'if you want Skipper to be a pre-teen again...' you just moved the arm backwards (ala The Exorcist) and the breasts retreated.

reader said...

Kids are going to do with their toys what they will. My son turned his plastic golf club into a rifle (at 3 he didn’t get toy guns, squirt or otherwise). According to my MIL my husband cut the string on his GI Joe talking doll so he couldn’t talk if captured.

I just hope the kids of today will look back as fondly as I do of my Baby Tender Love, a Christmas present from my grandparents. Mom made our clothes (except for Toughskin jeans) when we were little. Fabric from the remainder bin at TG&Y (Turtles, Girdles, & YoYos) was cheap enough that she could take scraps from our clothes to make coordinating clothes for our dolls. Walking into our bedroom and finding new doll clothes laid out on our beds - my sister and I agree some of our happiest memories.

MarkCh said...

The real question is whether boys will actually play with these dolls, or will it only be girls who do?

Static Ping said...

I'm pretty sure Mattel introduced this as half a loaf to the tolerance crowd. That said, toys that allow you to mix and match parts are fairly common and this is really just an extension of that, no matter how it is framed by Mattel or anyone else.

As for the activists, why wouldn't they declare this a victory for gender fluidity or whatever other stupidity they have come up with this week? This has been going on for decades. It's been a recurring practice to declare any and all historical figures as gay or some such. Alexander the Great is gay! Well, maybe, by some definition. Julius Caesar is gay! That would probably be a surprise to him. Leonardo da Vinci is gay! Yeah, margin doodles is pretty thin tea to base any conclusions upon. Abraham Lincoln is gay! Huh? What? SpongeBob SquarePants is gay! SpongeBob may technically not have genitalia and probably has no idea what sex is. It's a racket, but you have to pay the bills somehow.

RMc said...

Let children be children.

They can't. They need to recruit them (the younger, the better) for the never-ending Culture Wars. To the barricades...!

Yancey Ward said...

Horseshit- unless they come with detachable penises and breasts with nipples, they aren't any different from any other dolls made in the past.

Yancey Ward said...

"When I was a kid I made a Play Dough pecker for my sister's Ken doll and stuck it on him."

You do that as a boy today, you get suspended and sent for counseling.

Todd said...

Bob Boyd said...
...put him in the passenger seat of Barbie's Corvette. Poor bastard.

9/27/19, 11:46 AM


Well Ken was always the metro-sexual of the play doll set.

I always felt sorry for G.I.Joe though. Rough and rugged exterior yet also as smooth as a Barbie out of uniform.

Back in the day though, German boy baby dolls had the "goods"...

reader said...

My son never had any interest in dolls, unless LEGO Bionicles count.

gspencer said...

"I thought they were going to tell me the [new Mattel] dolls had snap-on tools"

Wasn't that one of the fun things about Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head/s?

JAORE said...

My sister's Ken doll didn't have a dick. And that was 50+ years ago.

How progressive.

Expat(ish) said...

@Reader - Wow, TG&Y.

I met the founder of Tandy Leather some years ago.

-XC

dustbunny said...

My daughters cut their Barbie’s hair, altered their clothes and sometimes pulled off arms, legs or heads. They didn’t need help in customizing.

Matt said...

I think it's great that Mattel is responding to the market demands of single mothers who need vaidation via social media by buying their kids shit the kids don't want.

Christopher said...

"During development, Mattel tested the doll with 250 families in seven states, which included 15 children who considered themselves trans, gender-fluid or avoided defining themselves altogether.

“There were a couple of gender-creative kids who told us that they dreaded Christmas Day because they knew whatever they got under the Christmas tree, it wasn’t made for them,” Monica Greger, head of global consumer insights at Mattel, tells the outlet. “This is the first doll that you can find under the tree and see is for them because it can be for anyone.” "


I see people are genuinely trying to make real life "woke 8 year olds". $10 says that the kids also profess to being terrified of climate change.

Megthered said...

My daughters put barbie clothes on my sons GI Joe doll. He had a fit! His GI Joe was a man, not a girl. After he got into Lego toys, the Joe was forgotten. I think my daughters took him in.

mockturtle said...

My daughters cut their Barbie’s hair, altered their clothes and sometimes pulled off arms, legs or heads. They didn’t need help in customizing.

Mine, too, dustbunny. ;-)

dreams said...

"Let children be children."

Except for global warming.

wholelottasplainin' said...

Until Mattel makes a Barbie with dangly bits, and a Joe with a lopadickfromy, they're just virtue-signaling.

JAORE said...

TransBarbie kit. You get one Barbie head, one Barbie torso and one Ken torso. Pop the heads off and on to reflect who you REALLY are today.

Phidippus said...

Corporate weenies that they are, they're trying to split the difference between the prog crowd they drink and play golf with, and the (majority) normal people who buy their crap products. Pathetic.

I should add that I really don't care whether the lesbians like it or not. They are, generally speaking, obnoxious and even more promiscuous than male homosexuals, and don't keep their houses and gardens as nice.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

we got the Jihad Barbies.

The head was missing on one, but it turns it's "sold separately".
The other, when we took off the hijab, the face was melted by acid,
and apparently FGM was already performed at the factory

Mark said...

My brother's Planet of the Apes "action figures" used to go on raids on the Barbie house.

bagoh20 said...

What's wrong with original dolls? All you needed to transition was a dildo, probably made in the same factory.

bagoh20 said...

Imagine how many Barbies you could sell it they came with a dildo.

Mark said...

Speaking of Abbey Road, wasn't Polythene Pam something of a gender-fluid doll?

gilbar said...

And it's annoying to girls who like short hair and play clothes but feel like girls (whether they're lesbian or not)

NONSENSE!
IF you are a 'girl', that doesn't like being feminine: BY DEFINITION you are a MAN
CUT OFF THOSE TITS!

similarly...
IF you are a 'boy', that isn't Totally Masculine: BY DEFINITION you are a WOMAN
CUT OFF THAT PENIS

What The Hell sort of twisted world are you trying to pretend exists?
Women are Feminine: By Definition
Men are Masculine: By Definition

If your body doesn't match your mind: YOUR BODY IS WRONG

I mean, Right? RIGHT?

bagoh20 said...

Are we going to start punishing our pets with these delusions about gender fluidity?

We need to start to explore why this anti-scientific, anti-factual fad is suddenly so important. Thinking about changing genders has got to be 1000 times more common than it was just a decade ago. Nothing real has changed about human beings in that time. If anything was ever so purely a "social construct" it's got be be gender fluidity. 99% of it is made up, simply a trend, or socially induce mental disorder.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

I was thinking like Mr. PotatoHead, but no. Just two hair pieces in each kit - same color, one long one short. You want brown complexion and copper hair, have to buy two kits. Want
deep brown complexion, no joy.

Country of manufacture? Guessing Viet Nam. Who sews those little shirts and trou and such?

And those little shoes. Choking hazard. Lose one and the kid hasta go barefoot.

bagoh20 said...

"If your body doesn't match your mind: YOUR BODY IS WRONG"

That needs a question mark. It seems most reasonable that if your mind and body do not match, that it's your mind that is confused. Only the mind has the ability to be wrong, because only the mind has any flexibility on the issue. If my mind tells me I'm a fish, I better not expect my body to get in line with that and deal with the consequences. The mind will be forced to deal with the body it is in until science makes it as easy to change bodies as it is to change your mind, but even then, one should assume that the physical hand you are dealt is the most likely to go with a mind developed in that same body. There are exceptions no doubt, but I think them very rare and certainly not something that suddenly changed in the genome since Y2K.

policraticus said...

While I was growing up, in the 70's, I knew boys who repurposed older sister's Barbie playhouses and cars into GI Joe HQ's and hot rods with a little camo spray paint and some modeling glue. If you just let kids play, they will play with almost anything and if you give them just a tiny amount of encouragement, they can turn a hole in the ground, a Barbie Swimming pool, some GI Joes and Barbies into the Siege of Stalingrad, or The Enchantment Under the Sea Prom, or maybe both, depending on how it works out. But that would require leaving them alone to make their own choices, and in this situation we can't risk their making any double plus ungood choices, we must guide them and insure that, in the end, they all love Big Brother. Which is kind of problematic, now that I say it out loud. They all love Big Sibling. There. /woke

mtrobertslaw said...

The guy who first came up with the idea that gender was merely a "social construct" admits he "Just made it up."

Google: Quillett I Basically Just Made it Up: Confessions of a Social Constructionist.

Freeman Hunt said...

"feel like girls"

What is this feeling? I am female and totally unfamiliar with it. (Unless by "feel like girls" one means "are attracted to males," but that seems awfully unkind to gay people.)

Freeman Hunt said...

"feel like girls"

Is this a physical feeling? The feeling of menstrual cramps? The feeling of giving birth or nursing? That can't be unless we're talking about being physical attributes.

An emotion? I know the feeling of being in love, being attracted, of happiness, sadness, anger, joy, loneliness, camaraderie. But girl? Is that a feeling?

DRP said...

I'm pretty sure that, despite the target demographic, the only people who are going to end up buying these are 25-45 year old angry lesbians. I wouldn't take odds on how long it is before they show up in the Walmart clearance aisle just like the earlier "diverse" line of Barbies that came out in 2016. Turns out little girls don't want short pudgy Barbies.

DRP said...

I'm pretty sure that, despite the target demographic, the only people who are going to end up buying these are 25-45 year old angry lesbians. I wouldn't take odds on how long it is before they show up in the Walmart clearance aisle just like the earlier "diverse" line of Barbies that came out in 2016. Turns out little girls don't want short pudgy Barbies.

todd galle said...

I believe this has already been handled by King Missile with their catchy tune 'Detachable Penis' some time ago. Lyrics:

I woke up this morning with a bad hangover, and my penis was missing again. This happens all the time--it's detachable

(Detachable penis)

This comes in handy a lot of the time. I can leave it home when I think it's gonna get me in trouble, or I can rent it out when I don't need it. But now and then I go to a party, get drunk, and the next morning I can't for the life of me remember what I did with it

First I looked around my apartment, and I couldn't find it. So I called up the place where the party was; they hadn't seen it either
I asked them to check the medicine cabinet, 'cause for some reason I leave it there sometimes, but not this time
So, I told them if it pops up to let me know. I called a few people who were at the party, but they were no help either
I was starting to get desperate. I really don't like being without my penis for too long; it makes me feel like less of a man, and I really hate having to sit down every time I take a leak

After a few hours of searching the house and calling everyone I could think of, I was starting to get very depressed. So I went to the Kiev, and ate breakfast. Then, as I walked down Second Avenue towards St. Mark's Place, where all those people sell used books and other junk on the street, I saw my penis lying on a blanket next to a broken toaster oven. Some guy was selling it--I had to buy it off him. He wanted twenty-two bucks, but I talked him down to seventeen

I took it home, washed it off and put it back on. I was happy again. Complete. People sometimes tell me I should get it permanently attached, but I don't know--even though sometimes it's a pain in the ass, I like having a detachable penis

Bruce Hayden said...

“My daughters cut their Barbie’s hair, altered their clothes and sometimes pulled off arms, legs or heads. They didn’t need help in customizing.”

My partner raised two girls. One was fairly sane, but the other cut a hole in the mouth and anus of her baby doll so that it could shit out the food that she had “fed” the doll. Years later, they found the doll behind a bed, filled with mold from the baby’s last meal, probably a decade earlier. Every dollar she made for a couple years went into baby clothes, a stroller, etc for her baby. No one was surprised when she got married at 19 and had two kids by 21. But Barbie? She traded her Barbies as soon as she would get one with her sister for money for baby accessories.

n.n said...

Conversion therapy including indoctrination and/or medical corruption that targets adolescent and prepubescent children in order to normalize the transgender spectrum ("rainbow").