Mattel recently released a new line of gender-neutral dolls, and, naturally, conservatives are losing their minds.
Specifically, Pastor J.D. Hall of the conservative Christian website Pulpit and Pen, who launched into a slur-ridden tirade defending traditional gender norms.
So in order to signal their virtue, Mattel is over-correcting the wheel and creating a doll more reminiscent of Saturday’s Night Live’s morphodite sketch comedy character, Pat.
My little girls (I have three) do not want gross, gender ill-defined, Bruce Jenner look-alike dolls… All of my daughters, as feminine as God made them, prefer anorexic, spider-legged, big-bust, eye-hazard Barbies to mutant-Barbies with a dress and a five o’clock shadow.
Of course, no one’s making him buy the dolls and traditional Barbies aren’t getting discontinued. But instead of embracing a doll for an underserved group of kids who don’t identify with what’s currently on the market, he’s showing readers exactly why these dolls are needed. In a world where Christian pastors demand everyone pick a gender and fall in line with the stereotypes, Mattel is capitalizing on the fact that some people don’t fit the gender binary.
Whether or not the company genuinely cares or it just sees a new demographic to market to is besides the point. Children who never felt “seen” could be validated by this new line of dolls and that’s reason enough to applaud the attempt.
That validation is precisely what Hall doesn’t want. His three girls don’t speak for all children. He certainly doesn’t speak for all parents. But the market will ultimately decide if these dolls have a long shelf life.
(Screenshot via YouTube)