Mattel’s “Gender-Non-Binary Doll” a Hat Tip to Larger, Troubling Trend for Parents

 

Move over, Barbie, the new face of Mattel has arrived. Ze may not be as shapely and enduring as their predecessor, but according to a glowing feature in TIME magazine, ve might be headed for a holiday-neutral pine tree near you this December.

Billing their latest product as “a doll for everyone,” Mattel becomes the latest Fortune 500 corporation to go all-in on gender identity with its androgynous “Creatable World” doll, which follows closely on the heels of its decision last year to nix its respective boys and girls toy divisions.

So with yet another multi-billion-dollar company toeing the line and perhaps the world’s most recognizable toy brand going woke, perhaps there is more incentive for parents and other responsible adults to sit up and take notice.

With all the gusto of a paid advertisement, Time introduces the scene of a little boy opening a box with a new doll inside. In an apparent contradiction in terms, Time identifies the boy as an eight-year-old “who considers himself gender fluid.” Although he—yes, Time stumbles here and uses the correct sex-specific pronoun—sometimes says black is his favorite color, he sometimes opts for pink. Yes, and sometimes he plays with his younger sister’s dolls, though he often complains that said dolls are “girly, princess stuff.”

This, we’re led to believe, is what it means to be “gender fluid.” Not “favorite-color fluid.” Not “favorite-toy questioning.” Without question, “gender fluid.” Hence the need for a doll that, again according to the article, “can be a boy, a girl, neither, or both.”

Here’s where the article gets interesting—and still more concerning for parents: TIME delves into the uniformly confused and unsure reactions of parents selected to test out the toy. One mom asks, “Is it transgender? How am I supposed to have a conversation with my kid about that?” Another mom says forthrightly, “I don’t think my son should be playing with dolls.” The only dad in the group was said to have shrugged and said, “I used to be against that type of thing, but now I’m O.K. with it.”

“After the session,” Time writes, “[Mattel’s consumer insights chief Monica] Dreger analyzed the parental response. ‘Adults get so tied up in the descriptions and definitions,’ she said. ‘They jump to this idea of sexuality. They make themselves more anxious about it. For kids, it’s much more intuitive.’”

In other words, it doesn’t matter to Mattel what concerns parents—it’s more important that the company shape the thoughts, feelings, and self-perceptions of parents to conform to the company’s relentlessly “progressive” agenda. Dreger says as much elsewhere: “So we’re maybe behind where kids are, ahead of where parents are, and that’s exactly where we need to be.”

Make no mistake, Mattel is not alone in its cavalier dismissal of parental concerns. The corporation is part of a much larger, much more destructive trend. As a father named Jay Keck wrote at USA Today, his daughter was a high-school girl diagnosed with autism, when her best friend adopted a male identity. Soon, Jay’s daughter was following her friend’s example at school. Ignoring her mental health condition, the school not only tried to hide what was going on from Jay and his wife, but then encouraged her to run away from home.

Meanwhile, another group of parents has expressed similar concerns under condition of anonymity, and a six-year-old’s perceived gender became central to a custody battle. An entire network of parents has formed to provide mutual support after their children adopted new gender identities—almost always acting in opposition to their parents, but in concert with influential adults.

In perhaps the most shocking case to date, Ohio parents lost custody of their teenager when a court overruled their parental rights because they objected to their child undergoing dangerous cross-sex hormone treatment.

Yet, while activist groups, public school officials, and toy manufacturers continue to pressure children and teenagers to abandon their biological sex in favor of “gender fluidity” or identifying as the opposite sex, one key factor continues to go unnoticed. It’s a big one.

Up to 97 percent of boys and 88 percent of girls, if left to themselves—or better, treated for related and underlying mental health conditions—will outgrow their sense of gender-related discomfort by the time they reach adulthood. And gender identity advocates know that: it’s published in the pro-gender identity American Psychiatric Association’s “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (DSM-V).

Children and adults experiencing confusion about their gender need compassionate support. But it’s neither compassionate nor responsible to answer a child’s questions about his or her gender by “affirming” them as the opposite sex. In fact, research points in the opposite direction, showing, for example, vastly increased rates of mental health problems and suicide following gender reassignment surgery.

In its second-to-last paragraph, Time wraps up its agitprop by speculating that, “This debate will spin out into sociopolitical questions about whether the types of toys children play with effect their sense of identity and gender.”

Clearly, that’s Mattel’s aim with its “Creatable World” doll. What else could it be? Parents would be wise to size up this toymaker’s agenda and shop accordingly.

Published in Culture
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There are 18 comments.

  1. Joseph Eagar Member

    So, when I was a particularly small child I used to play with Barbie dolls with my sister. When I was a bit older I learned to crochet, a traditionally female activity.

    What, am I now supposed to think that made me genderfluid? It would have been the height of child abuse if my parents had “encouraged” five-year-old me to adopt a “non-binary” “gender identity.” That would have been horrible.

    • #1
    • September 27, 2019, at 2:17 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  2. Basil Fawlty Member

    https://www.gocomics.com/theargylesweater/2019/09/26

    • #2
    • September 27, 2019, at 2:34 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  3. GrannyDude Member

    Joseph Eagar (View Comment):

    So, when I was a particularly small child I used to play with Barbie dolls with my sister. When I was a bit older I learned to crochet, a traditionally female activity.

    What, am I now supposed to think that made me genderfluid? It would have been the height of child abuse if my parents had “encouraged” five-year-old me to adopt a “non-binary” “gender identity.” That would have been horrible.

    Exactly, Joseph. Me too: I liked playing with boy stuff, dressing like a boy and even tried to get my family to call me by boy names. My parents more or less ignored this, and I grew out of it. The idea that they could have been pressured into telling me I was actually a boy born in the “wrong” body, with all that then follows, is nauseating. 

    I am also struck by how “nosy”and intrusive these woke parents are, how overly involved and interpretive…and how fear-driven. I suppose it derives from progressivism’s romantic optimism about the perfectibility of human being and life. If perfection is possible, then perfection is obligatory. 

     

     

     

    • #3
    • September 27, 2019, at 2:54 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  4. Weeping Member

     Many years ago on one of our trips to the zoo, we stopped in the souvenir shop where my son saw a pink giraffe that he wanted. So what did I do? I got it for him. He was around 5 or 6, I think. Anyway, I remember the girls at the cash register being surprised that I was willing to buy my son a pink giraffe. I didn’t say it, but I remember thinking at the time: It’s just a color. Why can’t boys play with pink things if they want to? 

    That’s a question I still wonder: Instead of telling children they must be “trapped in the wrong body”, why can’t we as a society enlarge our definitions of what it means to “be a girl” and to “be a boy”? Why can’t boys enjoy playing with pink giraffes and Barbie dolls and crocheting and girls enjoy playing with toy cars and BB guns and going hunting? Why do we have to keep things so narrow?

    I’ve mentioned them elsewhere, but two of my favorite books that touch a bit on the subject are William’s Doll by Charlotte Zolotow and and Mr. Nick’s Knitting by Margaret Wild. Both show male characters doing/wanting something that’s traditionally thought of as being female – with no hint that either of them (or the people around them, for that matter) think he is really a female in a male body. They are simply a little boy who wants a doll and a man who enjoys knitting. Why can’t society be like that?

    • #4
    • September 27, 2019, at 6:26 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  5. Weeping Member

    GrannyDude (View Comment):
    I am also struck by how “nosy”and intrusive these woke parents are, how overly involved and interpretive…and how fear-driven. I suppose it derives from progressivism’s romantic optimism about the perfectibility of human being and life. If perfection is possible, then perfection is obligatory. 

    I guess this idea is something I don’t understand either. Even if perfection were possible, why would it be obligatory? Why wouldn’t it be ok for someone to settle for less than perfection?

    • #5
    • September 27, 2019, at 6:29 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  6. Annefy Member

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Joseph Eagar (View Comment):

    So, when I was a particularly small child I used to play with Barbie dolls with my sister. When I was a bit older I learned to crochet, a traditionally female activity.

    What, am I now supposed to think that made me genderfluid? It would have been the height of child abuse if my parents had “encouraged” five-year-old me to adopt a “non-binary” “gender identity.” That would have been horrible.

    Exactly, Joseph. Me too: I liked playing with boy stuff, dressing like a boy and even tried to get my family to call me by boy names. My parents more or less ignored this, and I grew out of it. The idea that they could have been pressured into telling me I was actually a boy born in the “wrong” body, with all that then follows, is nauseating.

    I am also struck by how “nosy”and intrusive these woke parents are, how overly involved and interpretive…and how fear-driven. I suppose it derives from progressivism’s romantic optimism about the perfectibility of human being and life. If perfection is possible, then perfection is obligatory.

    This made me laugh. I was the oldest of five. Had I said at the dinner table, “I want to be a boy”, by father would have said, pass the salt.

    I said a lot of dumb ass stuff for a good part of my life; am ever so grateful no one was listening.

    And I mean that literally. Literally no one was listening. Not my mom (who was busy with five kids), my dad (who was keeping the roof over a wife and five kids) nor my brothers or sisters, who all considered me a huge bore and not worth listening to.

    I say to parents now: your kids are stupid. Doesn’t mean you don’t love them. But they’re still stupid. And I mean really, really stupid.

    Do them a favor. Stop listening.

    • #6
    • September 27, 2019, at 11:29 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  7. Annefy Member

    Weeping (View Comment):

    Many years ago on one of our trips to the zoo, we stopped in the souvenir shop where my son saw a pink giraffe that he wanted. So what did I do? I got it for him. He was around 5 or 6, I think. Anyway, I remember the girls at the cash register being surprised that I was willing to buy my son a pink giraffe. I didn’t say it, but I remember thinking at the time: It’s just a color. Why can’t boys play with pink things if they want to?

    That’s a question I still wonder: Instead of telling children they must be “trapped in the wrong body”, why can’t we as a society enlarge our definitions of what it means to “be a girl” and to “be a boy”? Why can’t boys enjoy playing with pink giraffes and Barbie dolls and crocheting and girls enjoy playing with toy cars and BB guns and going hunting? Why do we have to keep things so narrow?

    I’ve mentioned them elsewhere, but two of my favorite books that touch a bit on the subject are William’s Doll by Charlotte Zolotow and and Mr. Nick’s Knitting by Margaret Wild. Both show male characters doing/wanting something that’s traditionally thought of as being female – with no hint that either of them (or the people around them, for that matter) think he is really a female in a male body. They are simply a little boy who wants a doll and a man who enjoys knitting. Why can’t society be like that?

    We are living in blessed times in regards to the above.

    My father never so much as made himself a cup of coffee. The kitchen was my mom’s; the garage and the lawns were my dad’s.

    My mother’s favorite story (God rest her) was when she called the house and 8 year old daughter answered the phone.

    Mom: Is your mother there?

    Daughter: No she’s busy under the desk installing a router. Do you want to talk to dad? He’s only making dinner.

    • #7
    • September 27, 2019, at 11:34 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  8. Henry Castaigne Member

    The left encouraged fatherless families and now we have generations of despairing boys and girls we have a rough go of it. As if that weren’t enough they are encouraging a lifestyle with horrifically high rates of depression and suicide.

    • #8
    • September 28, 2019, at 2:13 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  9. Front Seat Cat Member

    I saw this last week – thank you for doing a great post on it. There is also a new line of Ken dolls. They are indoctrinating small children with their garbage and crossing the line – shame on Mattel. They should be boycotted.

    • #9
    • September 28, 2019, at 5:38 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  10. E. Kent Golding Member

    Parents still have to be parents. The village & commercial interests can’t be parents, and won’t reflect the parents values if they try.

    In the Bible, when God withdraws his presence from a people, he allows them to become foolish.

    • #10
    • September 28, 2019, at 6:17 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  11. Jay Hobbs Contributor
    Jay Hobbs Post author

    Joseph Eagar (View Comment):

    So, when I was a particularly small child I used to play with Barbie dolls with my sister. When I was a bit older I learned to crochet, a traditionally female activity.

    What, am I now supposed to think that made me genderfluid? It would have been the height of child abuse if my parents had “encouraged” five-year-old me to adopt a “non-binary” “gender identity.” That would have been horrible.

    Right. It’s hard to miss the irony that this whole concept of gender identity rests solely on what pretty much everyone (left and right) would consider outdated and narrow-minded stereotypes. 

    • #11
    • September 30, 2019, at 6:25 AM PDT
    • Like
  12. Jay Hobbs Contributor
    Jay Hobbs Post author

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Joseph Eagar (View Comment):

    So, when I was a particularly small child I used to play with Barbie dolls with my sister. When I was a bit older I learned to crochet, a traditionally female activity.

    What, am I now supposed to think that made me genderfluid? It would have been the height of child abuse if my parents had “encouraged” five-year-old me to adopt a “non-binary” “gender identity.” That would have been horrible.

    Exactly, Joseph. Me too: I liked playing with boy stuff, dressing like a boy and even tried to get my family to call me by boy names. My parents more or less ignored this, and I grew out of it. The idea that they could have been pressured into telling me I was actually a boy born in the “wrong” body, with all that then follows, is nauseating.

    I am also struck by how “nosy”and intrusive these woke parents are, how overly involved and interpretive…and how fear-driven. I suppose it derives from progressivism’s romantic optimism about the perfectibility of human being and life. If perfection is possible, then perfection is obligatory.

    Good points both. It’s rather shocking that even the name of the doll is a giveaway to what’s at stake: “Creatable World.” Look, the world has already been created and it is what it is. As parents, our role isn’t to retrofit the world (or worse, our kids’ bodies) to their ever-changing imaginations. That’s a rather obvious road to misery. By and large, most parents remember this. It’s devastating that were’ at the point where we’re allowing adults to box out parents in order to essentially experiment on children to achieve “progressive” goals.

    • #12
    • September 30, 2019, at 6:33 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  13. Jay Hobbs Contributor
    Jay Hobbs Post author

    Annefy (View Comment):

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Joseph Eagar (View Comment):

    So, when I was a particularly small child I used to play with Barbie dolls with my sister. When I was a bit older I learned to crochet, a traditionally female activity.

    What, am I now supposed to think that made me genderfluid? It would have been the height of child abuse if my parents had “encouraged” five-year-old me to adopt a “non-binary” “gender identity.” That would have been horrible.

    Exactly, Joseph. Me too: I liked playing with boy stuff, dressing like a boy and even tried to get my family to call me by boy names. My parents more or less ignored this, and I grew out of it. The idea that they could have been pressured into telling me I was actually a boy born in the “wrong” body, with all that then follows, is nauseating.

    I am also struck by how “nosy”and intrusive these woke parents are, how overly involved and interpretive…and how fear-driven. I suppose it derives from progressivism’s romantic optimism about the perfectibility of human being and life. If perfection is possible, then perfection is obligatory.

    This made me laugh. I was the oldest of five. Had I said at the dinner table, “I want to be a boy”, by father would have said, pass the salt.

    I said a lot of dumb ass stuff for a good part of my life; am ever so grateful no one was listening.

    And I mean that literally. Literally no one was listening. Not my mom (who was busy with five kids), my dad (who was keeping the roof over a wife and five kids) nor my brothers or sisters, who all considered me a huge bore and not worth listening to.

    I say to parents now: your kids are stupid. Doesn’t mean you don’t love them. But they’re still stupid. And I mean really, really stupid.

    Do them a favor. Stop listening.

    Yep. That’s some great advice right there. My kids talk for months about what they’ll be for Halloween. They turn to violence and rage when I only give them one scoop of ice cream. They can’t tell the difference between a nickel and a quarter yet. They’re deeply loved in our home, but that doesn’t mean they have a grasp on reality–that’s our job as parents, to help them find that over time. 

    • #13
    • September 30, 2019, at 6:38 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  14. Jay Hobbs Contributor
    Jay Hobbs Post author

    E. Kent Golding (View Comment):

    Parents still have to be parents. The village & commercial interests can’t be parents, and won’t reflect the parents values if they try.

    In the Bible, when God withdraws his presence from a people, he allows them to become foolish.

    I’ve thought a lot about this over the past couple of weeks. What else does this look like other than “he gave them up to a debased mind“? Truly repentance and belief are the only way out of this mess. 

    • #14
    • September 30, 2019, at 6:39 AM PDT
    • Like
  15. Henry Castaigne Member

    E. Kent Golding (View Comment):

    Parents still have to be parents. The village & commercial interests can’t be parents, and won’t reflect the parents values if they try.

    In the Bible, when God withdraws his presence from a people, he allows them to become foolish.

    But when people become foolish, don’ they withdraw themselves from G-d? I’m no biblical scholar but it seems like a chicken or the egg situation. 

    • #15
    • September 30, 2019, at 6:44 AM PDT
    • Like
  16. Henry Castaigne Member

    Jay Hobbs (View Comment):

    Joseph Eagar (View Comment):

    So, when I was a particularly small child I used to play with Barbie dolls with my sister. When I was a bit older I learned to crochet, a traditionally female activity.

    What, am I now supposed to think that made me genderfluid? It would have been the height of child abuse if my parents had “encouraged” five-year-old me to adopt a “non-binary” “gender identity.” That would have been horrible.

    Right. It’s hard to miss the irony that this whole concept of gender identity rests solely on what pretty much everyone (left and right) would consider outdated and narrow-minded stereotypes.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkhDZMwR9eQ

    According to Debra Soh, hormonal differences while in the womb kind to (on average) create important gender differences.

    • #16
    • September 30, 2019, at 6:48 AM PDT
    • Like
  17. Jay Hobbs Contributor
    Jay Hobbs Post author

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    E. Kent Golding (View Comment):

    Parents still have to be parents. The village & commercial interests can’t be parents, and won’t reflect the parents values if they try.

    In the Bible, when God withdraws his presence from a people, he allows them to become foolish.

    But when people become foolish, don’ they withdraw themselves from G-d? I’m no biblical scholar but it seems like a chicken or the egg situation.

    Romans 1:21-32 is a good starting place to get the biblical description here. The basic flow is that when we worship anything in creation rather than our Creator himself (again, ironic that it’s the “Creatable World” doll that sparks this conversion), he “gives [us] up” to shameful desires and stupid mindsets. 

    Later in Romans (chapter 11), Paul quotes two Old Testament passages alluding to the same reality: since we won’t believe God and take him at his word, he judges us by making us spiritually blind (i.e. “a spirit of stupor”). https://biblehub.com/niv/romans/11.htm

    • #17
    • September 30, 2019, at 7:00 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  18. Weeping Member

    Jay Hobbs (View Comment):

    Joseph Eagar (View Comment):

    So, when I was a particularly small child I used to play with Barbie dolls with my sister. When I was a bit older I learned to crochet, a traditionally female activity.

    What, am I now supposed to think that made me genderfluid? It would have been the height of child abuse if my parents had “encouraged” five-year-old me to adopt a “non-binary” “gender identity.” That would have been horrible.

    Right. It’s hard to miss the irony that this whole concept of gender identity rests solely on what pretty much everyone (left and right) would consider outdated and narrow-minded stereotypes.

    Exactly! I thought that was part of what the ’70s was about – breaking and enlarging gender stereotypes. And now some want to pick those pieces up and glue them back together? Why?

    • #18
    • September 30, 2019, at 9:30 AM PDT
    • 1 like