Friday, September 4th, 2009
Pole dancing toys are the least of your worries
Well, the least of my worries. I don’t know about you.
Amy Graff of Mommy Files asked my perspective on a now-famous photo of a purported battery-operated child-like doll that gyrates on a sparkling pole. Yeah, a pole dancer with lights and sounds. A photo of a product box first surfaced on gadget blog Gizmodo, and that was all. Just a photo.
No one has found further information about the product online, but that hasn’t stopped a swarm of negative commentary from blogs and news organizations.
For her part, Amy asked the important question, “but is it real?” Who knows.
What follows is my e-mailed response to Amy. I’m sharing it with you so you can post a comment agreeing with me, except for the part where I got it totally wrong by assailing whichever innocent thing you do with your child that you don’t think is a big deal because you did the same thing when you were a kid and look at you, you turned out just fine.
Amy, I don’t have any deep insights into the pole dancer product. I say “product” instead of “toy” because it’s not clear whether this is intended as a children’s toy or just another strange desktop amusement for an adult. I don’t put much stock in it because we’re looking at a single photo with no background information, even from the website that first published the photo. We’re speculating in a near total absence of information.
Mostly I’m dismissive of news organizations and websites that hype a controversy surrounding what is, at this point, only a photo. Likewise, I smirk and shake my head at the legions of parents who go along with this morality play by posting their outrage about the sexualization of girls at earlier and earlier ages. Of course it’s an outrageous product, but I wouldn’t be surprised if many of these parents who spew vitriol have little toddling girls sporting lip gloss and pierced ears and princess dresses and by 10 are drenching their girls in Hannah Montana, Miley Cyrus or whatever pop role model comes along next and by 13 their cute little girls have the words “Pink” or “Tasty” embroidered on the butt of their jeans.
Parents scream and shout about overt overnight excesses while ignoring the slow indoctrination of their children into a shallow pop culture fantasy world that values personal beauty over academics and character. Sex over substance.
I’m not going to get worked up over a pole dancer toy. I find it indicative of the culture parents have embraced for their children.