Mattel started it off with their non-gender doll as an alternative to its Barbie doll. It’s because families were demanding it. Long gone are the days of girls dressed in pink playing with big-breasted Barbie dolls.
Then Hasbro pulled the mister from Mr. Potato Head. Now it’s just called Potato Head with parts both feminine and masculine to plug in as desired.
Then Warner Bros. discontinued Pepe le Peu, the randy skunk who did not ask permission to ravage the female skunk in the crazy cartoons about him. #Me, too, put an end to that.
Then the proverbial crap hit the fan when the Dr. Seuss heirs decided to discontinue the printing of six early-in-his-career books for racist imagery, misogynistic sentences (even Jane can do it), and other White Privilege stuff. Dr. Seuss was born over a century ago. Racial stereotypes were acceptable in the 30s and 40s when those six books were first published. No more.
Millennials are not standing for the old stuff. Who cares if their parents or grandparents are sad and sentimental about it? They can see front and center the damage that these famous products and marketing can do. This is the same generation that objected to the winter song, Baby It’s Cold Outside, a duet where the female asks the male what is in her drink.
One of my daughters was warned at college orientation to never set her drink down at a party. Because someone might slip in a roofie. She was appalled at the idea.
“That should be illegal, Mom,” she said afterward.
I explained to her that it is illegal, but it still happens. In my day, it wasn’t roofies. It was Everclear added to benign-tasting punch at a party given by a guys’ dorm floor or fraternity, of course.
People on Facebook are ranting and raving about how instead of the cancel culture, folks should be focused on sex trafficking, child pornography and pedophilia. I am sure that if Mattel, Hasbro, Warner Brothers and the Seuss family had the power to do something about those things, they would. But they can’t. And to imply that they can is naivete, at best, and deflection or manipulation, at worst.
It’s easy to scream and shout about things you don’t agree with, but the bottom line is that a company with a conscience can do whatever it wants to promote inclusion or the end of violence toward women. Yay for them. Yay for us, the population at large.
We are never too old to stop learning. Letting go of some of the sentiment and making room for a mind to open is the goal. Try to understand how these old ways of selling, writing, illustrating, and marketing products need to keep up with the times.
I challenge each and every person on my friend list who keep this kind of dumb stuff circulating. I do it for two reasons.
1. To challenge them to think about what they are reposting.
2. Because I’m mostly retired and it’s fun.
500 words. Done.