Have A Very Sexist Christmas: Feminist Group Inserts Protest Notes In Barbie and Other Toys For Children To Discover

220px-Barbie_doll_modernIf you gave a Barbie to a child in France, you might want to check the box. The French feminist group FièrEs secretly inserted pamphlets into hundreds of barbie toys and plastic guns reading “this toy is sexist. They stressed that “We have caused no damage or ripped any plastic. We simply slipped the message in boxes, or in books.” Of course, there is the injury to families who do not want to expose their children to the rantings of an extreme group that wants to use their children to make some point of social protest.

Delphine Asian, a legal representative for the feminist group, said “We targeted games that are emblematic of boy-girl stereotypes.” This lawyer appears to believe that inserting such messages for children to discover is not legally problematic if you do not actually damage the toy. The note asks parents sign a petition and send it to those “responsible.” The group however insisted that it is not trying to “make parents feel guilty.” No of course not. Just trying to use their children as instruments for protest. It said that it hoped to “raise awareness about the fact that toymakers and sellers play a part in the fact that not a single little girl asks Father Christmas for a sword.”

I have previously written columns on the campaign against toy guns (here and here). I fail to see the alarm over such play and, as noted in the prior columns, the obsession of some parents is often based on inaccurate accounts of academic research.

However, none of that debate matters. It is a particularly rotten and thoughtless act to insert such a note for children on a special day for families. These women have few limitations in creating angst-filled, feminist obsessed holiday. Yet, that is not sufficient. This group has to insert itself on Christmas mornings.

In the United States, it is a crime to tamper with products but this is not a lethal or physically harmful addition. Under the common law, there is trespass to chattel where stores could sue the group. The options in France are unclear. Perhaps one of our readers in France can enlighten us.

Source: IBT

41 thoughts on “Have A Very Sexist Christmas: Feminist Group Inserts Protest Notes In Barbie and Other Toys For Children To Discover”

  1. We have a woman who was very liberal, when she first had kids. The poor woman had 3 boys. She was the boss, dad did what she said, and mom said “No Guns.” Understand, when she got older and wiser she told us this story, laughing @ herself. She was diligent in NO GUNS. Well, she kept losing her clothespins. She started looking for them and found a stash of glued clothespins fashioned as handguns. All 3 boys, of course, turned into good citizens. They had a mom who loved them, and was willing to learn.

  2. There is a time and place for everything. Christmas is not a day for political activism. Christmas is a magical time for children and they should be allowed to open and enjoy their gifts without others interfering and putting a damper on those special moments. Just because a girl gets a doll and a boy gets a gun doesn’t mean that they will be locked in traditional gender roles and that it will determine their career aspirations. That time has passed.

  3. Since it’s France, I thought they would have taped hair on Barbie’s legs and armpits. Feminists have no moral authority. Hirsi Ali blasts bourgeois feminists for horseshit like this when women are being slaughtered by Muslims throughout the world. They are an utter disgrace to real women.

  4. JT – “Of course, there is the injury to the families…”

    What injury, exactly? I see zero evidence that any families were harmed by this. The manufacturers? Probably. The retailers? Maybe. Of course, you can make unsubstantiated claims, but I thought that doing so was beneath you. It should be.

    I don’t like it either, but it’s certainly no worse than a learned professor and practicing attorney using a bully pulpit to make a baseless statement of supposed harm as if it were established fact.

  5. I believe in equality under the law. Men and women are different for a natural reason. I believe that men and women offset each other. Strengths and weaknesses. Approximately 19 to 20 million people purchase hunting licenses in this country. 11/2 million of them are women. Keep going girls.

  6. When my twin daughters were four years old, they asked me for swords for Christmas, which they received–in the form of hollow plastic weapons that they immediately used to play Lord of The Rings, with me as the unfortunate Witch King of Angmar. Plastic swords sting when swung wildly by 4.5 year old berzerkers. It’s questionable that I let my small children watch those LOTR movies with me, but the swords were a good thing. So, it’s not true that no little girls ask for swords. Of course, they also asked for Barbies that year.

  7. And these activists, of course, stereotypically make the assumption that all of the Barbie Dolls are bought for and played with by stereotypical little girls and the toy guns bought for and played with by stereotypical little boys. How deliciously ironic and just plain wrong in these days of blurred lines. But it is the activists who are guilty of perpetuating an example of pidgeonholing – in this case by drawing more attention to it.
    Just as I often see those who decry racial injustices creating more divisiveness by driving wedges into the smallest perceived cracks.
    People who intend good, and yet from the “law of unintended consequences” that is not what is achieved. The ends do not justify the means, because when you engage in the means the ends are unknowable. The means must be justifiable and correct in their own right.

  8. Waste of time, they’d better volunteering at a woman’s shelter. I’m sure they must have something like them in France, or who knows, maybe there is much more abuse of women here in the states.

  9. I’m on the same page as Aridog. I understand having a cause and feeling strongly about it. But to go the extent of putting notes into toys that are being given to little children that first of all….mean nothing to the children…..and second, might totally spoil the “magic” of Christmas with Santa Clause or Father Christmas bringing the gifts.

    Who thinks that their pet cause trumps everyone else’s right to their own beliefs and their own happiness. Leave people alone!!!

    Let the children play with the toys that they like. If girls like dolls and playing dress up…..so what. If boys like guns and swords….so what. When I was a child, and I’m pretty sure that I am female 🙂 ….my favorite toys were chemistry sets, erector sets, loved my little Easy Bake oven that made actual little cakes. I graduated to a real oven and started baking when I was 8 yrs old. I played war with my brother’s toy army men. We made rubber band guns and set up our play armies in the house or in the yard….. and killed each other’s soldiers with the rubber bands. I helped my father rebuild his MG when I was 10. I wasn’t very interested in dolls. So if girls want to play house, bake cakes AND play war games at the same time……let them.

    Feminist need to butt out and find something of more importance than Barbie Dolls. They should start with real problems: sexual slavery and genital mutilation.

  10. Quite frankly, I am amazed that allegedly rational people find the time to do things like stick notes in to boxes of toys. There must be better uses for that time. As for “guns & swords” … I was born in the midst of WWII and obviously guns had a niche in our boyhood, with many of our fathers gone to war using guns…and in my case I was enabled to join the Junior NRA of those days and by age 8 was proficient with rifles for target shooting. I’ve never stopped, and my daughter is now a proficient shot with pistols, and we shoot weekly at the range I belong to locally. I doubt either of us have any urge to shoot at people, even when I had to do so in my own war, it wasn’t my first choice, it was survival. The only public media nonsense regarding war & violence I object to, in the sense I refuse to encourage it, are movies like Oliver Stone’s Platoon…a virtual fantasy compilation of things not actually seen in war in the context shown, let alone some of the absurdities like that in the end of that movie. THAT is glorification of the obscene.

    That said, vis a vis guns…I’d have been permanently expelled form public school by the 1st grade…and so would 90% of my classmates/playmates. None of us, to my knowledge, evolved in to murders, with one exception, and he used an ax not a gun.

    A very bright kid, very close to me, but he had an atrocious family life when we were just barely teenagers…and down the road he lost it all and killed two people. No guns involved, since our predilection in those days were snowballs thrown at cars. (If we hit of y’all, I apologize) Billy just had a warped childhood at home (father a drunken moron who masturbated on the couch in the living room, etc.) and I often wonder if there was anything his friends could have done better to ameliorate the results of that.

    I’ve commented previously, to Chuck Stanley, that I’ve never known a true sadist. In hindsight, today, I may be wrong about that because of how Billy turned out. We’ll never associate again because he’s serving life without parole. I confess that I’ve done my time, actually both Judi & I, trying to assist convicts, and IMO I failed to make a difference. Never-the-less, I think about Billy regularly.

    I agree that exposure per se to weapons, toys or the real thing, as kids does not make for violent adults. Other, more obscene circumstance does that…in my not very humble opinion. No amount of notes in toy boxes will make an iota of difference. That by itself is pure fantasy.

  11. Speaking of sexist, it is not typically your fat grandpa, or any fat old man who provides your Christmas gifts. It is the women in your life, your mother, wife, grandmother, sister, and daughter. Giving credit to a man for your Christmas gifts is highly misdirected and misleading. Once again, credit is given, not for merit, but for being credited with someone else’s efforts.

  12. I am all for gender equality. Equality under the law. I am not for inserting materials into packages no matter what your political views. There seems to be a belief that if you have the right reason you can do anything you want, no matter what. While this may seem a minor intrusion it is an intrusion never the less. These groups should make their point in ads other materials not in a child’s Christmas present.

  13. This is another example of bad taste on steroids. Some people and groups are so fervently attached to their cause that they do not appreciate the consequences of their actions. I have to believe that these folks in France were directing their message to the parents and not the children. But whose Christmas is marred by this stunt?
    Another case in point are the Greenpeace activists that desecrated one of most famous Nazca line figures in Peru by a political message. Although there are free to express their global warming views, they showed stupidity and utter contempt for one of Peru’s cultural treasures.
    In the end these stunts are counterproductive to the groups goals.

  14. My wife collects Barbies. I wonder if this would add to its value if you did not open the container.

  15. If all of these advocates of the ‘real truth’ surrounding our consumption would pool their energies and focus on some of the truly stupid things we do, then perhaps life would improve.

    Perhaps exposing the idiocy of advertising pharmaceuticals to couch potatoes with cartoons smiling after they take Zaptrop or Tic tac. The pharmaceutical industry spends 20% of its budget on advertising and 16% on research and development. Yet they claim it is R&D that is one reason for the high cost of drugs.

    There are plenty of things to crusade on. But revealed as stupid does not come easy.

  16. At least they didn’t put shrimp on the Barbie. I think Santa will bring these women a lump of Cole next year, Cole being a stay at home father who can lecture them incessantly about how it is perfectly ok to be a domestic engineer if that is what you choose.

  17. Part of the problem here is teaching gender equality. Originally the concept of gender equality was that men and women should be treated equally under the law. That is a good concept, but now the idea of equality seems to mean to many the idea that there should be no differences between the sexes. If gender differences exist, then it is from evil propaganda perpetuated by sexists. I think a more rational viewpoint is to recognize gender diversity based in basic biological differences. We should celebrate gender diversity, not seek to abolish it.

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