8.28.2006

Black and White

Recently I was removing the piles of books from Thalia's bedroom floor and lining them up on her new wall shelves. I thought I'd give it a full year before I got her room organized. Just because I could.

While there is something sort of Zen about displaying sixteen identical volumes of Goodnight Moon side by side, I thought I'd change things up with a few knicknacks. I grabbed a hammered sterling piggy bank, a vintage pink Erico phone--the kind with the dial at the base--and two of the cuter dolls she'd recieved as gifts and added them to the display.

When I stepped back into the room later that day, one of the dolls had been replaced with a small Winnie the Pooh. Let's just say I'm not a big fan of the licensed characters, which is why I noticed the change right away. I'm sure in good time it will be all Elmo (Dora/Blue's Clues/Arthur/Sponge Bob) all the time 'round these parts, but until then, I'm limiting the free advertising to whatever comes printed on the diaper.

I walked into the living room where Nate was zoning out on some sports event or another.

"Did you move one of the dolls?" I asked Nate.

"Oh, you mean the politically correct dolls." he answered through cheeks stuffed full of sunflower seeds. "Yeah, I moved one."

I had no idea what he was talking about.

He grabbed my arm to pull himself up from the couch then led me into the baby's room, handing me the two dolls out that I had originally placed on the shelves. The first was a handmade folk art doll my father and stepmother had brought back from a trip to Costa Rica. She had deep brown skin, an ebony mop of yarn hair, jewelry fashioned from teeny orange and yellow beads, and a festive orange dress traditional to the Ngobe tribe.

The second doll, the one he tossed into the armoire, was a beautiful little Sugarplum Fairy finger puppet. She wore a purple tulle skirt with silver accents, and had gauzy violet wings jutting from her back. Her handknit hair was interwoven with delicate purple little flowers and her skin was the color of a latte.

"They're both black," Nate pointed out.

"So?"

"So it looks like you're trying to make a statement."

Of course I responded in the only appropriate way. I told him he was an idiot and I took down the Pooh doll.

He put it back up.

I took it down.

He put it up.

Aren't we a fun couple?

"It just looks like, ooh aren't I PC mom? Ooh, look at my kid's PC room," Nate said in his characteristically cynical way. "Give me a pat on the head for being sooooo PC."

Now first you have to know that Nate is as liberal as they come. He thinks that should the entire Republican party accidentally fall into an active volcano that the world would be better off; with the exception of Hannity who I think we'd both want to keep around simply to see how he behaves when there's no one left on earth to agree with his hatefulness.

You also have to know that Nate is the kind of guy who, when his best friend arrives at his birthday dinner, can get away with shouting, "hey everyone, the token black guy is here! We can start now!"

So let me be clear: Nate is not saying we should have only white dolls around the house. He is saying that when we have only non-white dolls (even if we are only talking about two here), we project an agenda.

Does he have a point?

Now I am not interested here in how the world should be, but how the world is.

The way the world should be: Skin color doesn't matter and we don't even notice it, and you go and put out thirty non-white dolls, Mom101! The way the world should be is what you see in pizza delivery commercials where the pepperoni-loving Caucasian frat boy has three best frat friends--one Indian, one Japanese, one African-American. Because you know, that happens all the time. Like at University of Southern Give Me a Freaking Break.

The way the world really is: Well, maybe it's a place where black little girls can have any kind of Barbie, but white little girls with black Barbies are the product of bleeding heart parents.

Of course I do have an agenda and I'm proud to admit it. I want Thalia to grow up knowing that Koreans aren't just the women who do your nails, and Domincans aren't just the women who take care of the children of rich women. I want her to understand that diversity doesn't mean having one second-generation Mexican-American student in her classroom. I want her to know that there are children with two mommies and children with two daddies and those parents love their children as much as we love her. I want her to be the kid who can have a black friend without calling her my black friend.

So maybe my choice of dolls was absolutely unintentional. I really did pick the prettiest two dolls she owned. Or maybe it did come from an unconscious move to surround her with some semblance of diversity, even at this early stage.

But then Nate unwittingly did it too. The enormous stuffed tiger he bought her when she was born is surely of African descent. And that Pooh? If the label is any indication, he's Chinese.

---

Edited to add: The tiger is in fact Indian. Possibly Bangladeshi. Mea culpa, and thank you J! Geography was never my strong suit.


66 Comments:

Blogger PunditMom said...

As the mom of a Chinese daughter, all I can say is, All good things come from China! :)

http://punditmom1.blogspot.com

8/27/06, 10:33 PM  
Blogger Finelly said...

Pooh is from China??? Who knew?

8/27/06, 10:53 PM  
Anonymous mona said...

I'm as shocked as finelly. This changes my world. My very world.

8/27/06, 11:09 PM  
Blogger stefanierj said...

I love this post. As in, everything about it. Yes, and yes.

8/27/06, 11:56 PM  
Blogger GIRL'S GONE CHILD said...

I love you, Liz. You AND your homegirls.

8/27/06, 11:58 PM  
Anonymous Glennia said...

My son goes to a very racially diverse school, went to a diverse pre-school, and has never said, "My black friend X" or "My Chinese friend Y". It doesn't register in his brain yet that they are anything but his friends. It'll be a sad day in my house when that happens.

And, for the record? Pooh is Canadian. "Winnie" is short for "Winnipeg."

8/28/06, 12:05 AM  
Anonymous Kvetch said...

You, my dear, are more brilliant than any shard left behind as homage to your humor and insightfulness. Bravo!

8/28/06, 12:13 AM  
Blogger giddybug said...

When I was six years old, I saved up $30 of my very own money (earned through doing chores and by, when my parents offered me and my siblings a treat, asking for the cash instead) to buy myself a Cabbage Patch doll. I think everyone was surprised when this little white girl picked out a black baby doll, but that was the one I wanted, the one I had had in mind the entire time I had been saving my money.

So I at least, as a child, noticed the uniform whiteness of my dolls and felt something was missing. Perhaps you and Nate can agree to rotate the display — a sort of joint custody between the Pooh bear and the PC dolls?

8/28/06, 12:18 AM  
Blogger SUEB0B said...

Great post. Has anyone ever told you that you are a good writer?

Having just finished at a very multicultural college (yay CSUN) and working in a very multicultural workplace (yay large nameless corporation), I think we all need to try harder. Because I see people of the same colors hanging with people of the same colors ALL THE TIME. I know it is comfy but I appreciate anyone who tries to bust out of that box.

8/28/06, 12:25 AM  
Blogger Tracey said...

You have to start early with diversity. And who in the world is going to be going into your baby's room and saying "Oh, the pc dolls on the shelves are so PC" ?? So, buy her a Caucasian doll as well, and call it even.

8/28/06, 12:29 AM  
Blogger Lady M said...

I'm glad that Thalia is growing up with parents who care to give her the opportunity to see people as *people* instead of categories. Good for you - it's often not easy to do!

I'm second generation Chinese, and as we're raising Q, it's very interesting to find out where I'm more Chinese-influenced than I expected, especially since I'd consider myself fairly "mainstream."

Trying to put a personal spin on the doll question: If I went to a Caucasian person's house and her daughter had two Chinese dolls, I might notice, but it wouldn't feel unusual. If the child had 30 Chinese dolls and no Caucasian dolls, that might seem a little strange. Unless the family was in the Chinese doll-making business or something!

8/28/06, 12:37 AM  
Blogger Queen of Spain said...

I love this post. Mostly because my very white daughter ONLY wants to play with black dolls. I love that. And yes, I think I love it because I have an agenda. Is that wrong?

8/28/06, 1:11 AM  
Blogger Stephanie T. said...

Nah, leave the dolls up. They're cute dolls. End of story.

My daughter picked out a black doll in the hospital gift shop for a gift for my newborn son when she was three, and I thought it was so sweet. Of course, she didn't know it was a "black" doll, just that it was cute. We still have that doll and I would never think of not displaying it for fear of looking "too PC."

8/28/06, 1:28 AM  
Blogger Recovering Wino said...

I think the fact that you did it without over analyzing it previously points to the fact that you are raising her correctly.

What really matters is HOW we raise our kids and HOW we teach them interact with others. I am happy that the preschool my son goes to is very diverse, and he has a diverse group of close friends....I think if you witness that in your children, then you are doing something right.

8/28/06, 1:29 AM  
Blogger Stefania Pomponi Butler aka CityMama said...

Totally agree, except on the West Coast it's the Vietnamese that do the nails. I don't know why. It is what it is.

8/28/06, 1:41 AM  
Anonymous chelle said...

Actually Winnie the Pooh is from Winnipeg, Canada! So still very international! Just put a toque on him and call it a day *wink*

8/28/06, 1:52 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I'm with Nate. He didn't say that's what you were doing, just what it appeared you were doing. I probably would have thought the same thing going in the room. (Sorry)

Easy for me to say. I have a boy who isn't interested in dolls or Winnie the Pooh. He's all about toy cars, and he chooses his models indiscriminately from a wide variety of car makers around the world.

8/28/06, 4:01 AM  
Blogger Blog Antagonist said...

Wow, interesting topic and one I wonder about often living in a large metropolitan area where we have a lot of diversity, but not a lot of mixing, if you know what I mean.

I don't know the answer, but I think it will be a long time before we are so used to a multi-racial culture that we don't even think about these issues any more.

8/28/06, 7:08 AM  
Anonymous Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

Maybe we should do some trading and mix it all up. Now I have to go digging and see if we have any non-white dolls.

I know we have culturally diverse Fisher Price people and stuffed animals, (I don't think Pablo the penguin is a WASP) but no dolls of color. I never really thought about it before.

8/28/06, 7:46 AM  
Blogger metro mama said...

There's nothing wrong with this agenda.

I get teased at our local drop-in--when Cakes plays with the dollhouse I'm always careful to give her two mommies or a black daddy and latino little brother.

8/28/06, 8:32 AM  
Anonymous Beanie Baby said...

Well, sure, it projects an agenda.

But any choice would project an agenda. Any choice of two dolls would project an agenda.

Ursule le Guin (one of my favourite authors ) wrote once that every piece of fiction is political, and that, if you don't notice the politics, it's not because they aren't there. It's because the politics are status quo, and so invisible to most of us. Any sort of political statement that is not status quo (whether anti-racism or feminist or whatever) will be immediately visible and will *look* political.

She was talking about writing and you're talking about child-rearing, but I think it's the same thing. It's all political. It's just when you choose something that argues for change, it's visible; and when you go along with the status quo, it's not.

8/28/06, 8:40 AM  
Anonymous dorf said...

Let's face it: We live in a racist society. That makes us all racist; we'll just have to live with the fact instead of trying to prove that we're not.The Catch 22 is that whatever we do is wrong. Or right. Or neither. If we don't notice differences we tend to render people invisible (Black? I never even noticed. Give me a break...)If we only notice, we become consumed with differences. Until we all identify ourselves as ployglots we're bound to bow to the conservative agenda of separating people by narrower and narrower characteristics.

Until we live in a world where skin color is only one aspect of a person's character to be noticed, I think you're doing the right thing by making conscious choices to give Thalia a variety of dolls. If you keep asking yourself, "Whose 'voice' do I hear? Whose is missing?" you won't ever go wrong.

8/28/06, 8:45 AM  
Blogger Miz BoheMia said...

HI! Here via Neva's blog... you came highly recommended and I see why!

Yeah, my daughter has a Chinese baby doll called Xin-Ren (picked over a white one), a black one and mostly varied toys as well... do I have an agenda! You bet I do!

The hubby's used to it by now and understands that OCDish wives must not be contradicted and their agendas must be stuck to the way flies stick to George W. Bush...

Ha, ha, haaa!

Just a bohemian way to say nice to meet you! :-)

8/28/06, 8:57 AM  
Anonymous Christina, aka Kitty said...

Liz, you live in NYC: you are 1000x ahead of this in so many ways b/c you are surrounded by diversity everywhere. Try living in the suburbs, where our 'diversity' is one black family in our neighborhood (who happen to be moving) and one gay couple. While I think my three are too young to see things in terms of "color", I do wonder what they are learning about the world when everyone around them looks like they do. It would be comical to see me trying to expose them to every person of color we see if it weren't so pathetic.

Oh, and I love that doll----I'd keep it up. It is gorgeous.

8/28/06, 8:59 AM  
Blogger Oh, The Joys said...

Have him watch this video and he may change his mind. It's a little long, but the part where the children pick out which doll they want to play with deeply distressed me.

8/28/06, 9:01 AM  
Blogger daufiero said...

This reminds me of one of my more shameful moments as a mom, which occurred about a month ago. We returned bottles at the supermarket, and I brought my daughter to the bakery counter to buy a treat with the money. There were three "doll" cupcakes to choose from, two caucasian and one black. I asked my daughter which she wanted, the one with the yellow hair or the brown hair? Why didn't I even offer the black one? That's not like me at all, but I think I was afraid she would embarrass me. She said, "The pink one." Which was, of course, the black doll with a pink frosting dress, matching the color of my cheeks exactly.

BTW, that doll is beautiful. Would love to see a picture of the Fairy also. Maybe the reason Nate put that one away is that he really objected to the girly-ness of it? Just a thought :)

8/28/06, 9:13 AM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Daufiero - that's a great, if difficult story. The doll pictured here is close to the one we have but not the same. The sugarplum fairy is actually a mass produced doll that you can see here.

8/28/06, 9:43 AM  
Blogger Ruth Dynamite said...

Good for you. (And hey! Just think of all the multi-cultural options your daughter will have at the American Girl store in a few years! You'll be pining for Pooh.)

8/28/06, 9:44 AM  
Anonymous mothergoosemouse said...

I don't buy the agenda accusation. I don't buy it because my parents are a couple of those Republicans whom Nate wouldn't mind seeing fall into a volcano, and both Kyle and I have been Republicans too (now we're not sure what we are) - and yet I had black dolls as a child and now Tacy and CJ do too. Not because my parents were trying to smash stereotypes or because we're trying to do so ourselves, but because the dolls were CUTE. Call us shallow.

So, even as flawed as the world is, I wouldn't look at Thalia's display of dolls as a statement on your part or Nate's. My parents weren't making a statement, and neither are Kyle and me. We're all just shallow.

8/28/06, 10:24 AM  
Blogger toyfoto said...

I don't worry about such things, to tell you the truth. Who will think what about what.

Our first new friend when Annabel was an infant was a black family who attended my yoga class. The youngest is three months older than Annabel. It just happened that the mother was interested is us and kept coming back to class. It was just happenstance.

Annabel's first book (that she would listen to over an over calmly at 3 months of age) was bell hooks' "Homemade Love." The book had been a birth gift. Now I had no idea scholar bell hooks wrote children's stories. Sure I'd heard of Happy to be Nappy, but I didn't put the two together. I didn't care about appearances because I wasn't on exhibit. This was my life now and I was just glad to love the happenstance and poetry of it.

Maybe Nate just needs a little reminding that things aren't always as they seem. After all, can we ever really seem as we are?

8/28/06, 10:25 AM  
Anonymous MetroDad said...

I have a dream that one day the state of America will be transformed into a land where little Pooh bears and stuffed tigers will be able to join hands with little black dolls and scary voodoo dolls and walk together as sisters and brothers. Yes, I have a dream.

As for Thalia, I wouldn't worry about it, Liz. Growing up in NYC, she's sure to have an incredibly diverse and multicultural group of friends. That's why I love living here. Hell, whenever I hang out with my friends here, we look like a damn Benetton ad.

8/28/06, 10:26 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Davis said...

At six, my older son still doesn't see people in terms of skin color or race....he describes different friends of his (very innocently) as having brown skin or being "the same color as Lorenzo's" (a Cuban boy from his old pre-school), but he doesn't get any of the implications of race or color. And i think part of the reason for that is that we have made a substantial effort to surround him with diversity....so yes, we have/had an agenda. I just hope his innocence lasts a few more years.

8/28/06, 10:52 AM  
Anonymous Asha said...

totally wonderful, as always. It's such a funny post -- funny ha ha, and funny as in odd-that-we-do-this-to-ourselves. It's great that you and Nate even talk about this stuff. xoxoxo

8/28/06, 10:54 AM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Mother Goosemouse: I should clarify that Nate does not want to do away with all Republican voters. That would mean the end of his entire family. By party I meant the administration, the gop leaders, and pretty much anyone associated in any way with Fox News.

Ok, maybe one or two of his relatives.

8/28/06, 11:27 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

"I want her to be the kid who can have a black friend without calling her my black friend."

That was my favorite line. And Metro Dad's Benetton line was pretty funny, too.

8/28/06, 12:47 PM  
Blogger Fraulein said...

Great post. I've been thinking a lot lately about these issues myself. (I just wrote a post with my thoughts on the Katrina anniversary and that horrible plan for the "racial tribes" on "Survivor.") I'm white and my husband is Chinese, and sometimes people describe our daughter as "exotic." I'd like people to just see her as herself. And I'd also like to find a doll that looks like her, but no luck on that so far. Her favorite baby doll has blue eyes. At her day care center, she often plays with a black doll.

As for your husband's point about looking like you have "an agenda" by displaying the multicultural dolls, I guess I wouldn't worry so much about other people think. I think if anyone has that reaction, it would say a lot more about them than it did about you.

8/28/06, 12:50 PM  
Blogger Whirlwind said...

Looking around, I notice that we don't have any diversity in our doll (to be fair, I eally try to limit the amount of dolls and I have not personally purchased a single one they have).

Although my 4 1/2 year old has a pretty good friend who is african american. Other than the one comment of, "A, I love your hair, it's so soft" Einey (or the other two girls) hasn't even acknoledged that thier friend is not the same as them. They also have a friend who is chinese.

Great post though!

8/28/06, 1:10 PM  
Blogger ~nan said...

Great post! When I was little I had white dolls and black dolls. Being of Indian heritage, I would add a little red dot on the forehead of each of them. I did this to a couple of stuffed animals, too. None of my non-Indian friends ever asked about it...that's funny - I never really thought about it until now.

8/28/06, 1:13 PM  
Blogger Mazenbloo said...

Very interesting post! And I can see both sides of the 'issue' though I think you handled it perfectly! LOL And I always thought Pooh a Canadian eh?

8/28/06, 1:33 PM  
Blogger J said...

Tigers are from asia, I think. ;) India and Bangladesh, etc. So yeah, he's just as PC as you, he just doesn't know it.

For some reason your story reminded me of when Maya was younger and wanted me to play barbies with her. I hate barbie, always have, but I love Maya, so OK. Well, she had her Ariel doll, and I had some frizzy haired freak barbie, and my way out of barbie boredom was to make it Ariel's father, who had had a sex change operation, and ran around singing, "I could have danced all night...", and making Maya laugh. See, we even have multiculturalism in the 'burbs. ;)

My first reaction to your post, besides Indian tigers and hijacking it to tell my own story, was to think that you should try to get her a doll that looks like her (not American Girl like her, but just one that has her skin and hair color, etc.)...then I realized, hey, she's white...she'll have 30 dolls that look like her by the time she's 7. So yeah, keep up the PC, even if it's just in your subconscious... being surrounded by white dolls happens soon enough. Maya is 1/2 white, 1/2 Indian, and almost all of her dolls are white. It used to bug me, but then my mom said, "she thinks they're beautiful because they look like her mama, not because she's wishing she were white." Whew. Time for me to relax a bit, huh?

8/28/06, 2:31 PM  
Blogger Damselfly said...

The tiger and bear also show an interspecies diversity... interesting.... Hey, maybe Nate would like to go buy a white doll so he's comfortable displaying the other pretty dolls?

=:+{}

8/28/06, 4:42 PM  
Anonymous TB said...

Have you seen the stores where little girls can make their own dolls? They even sell little girl sized outfits to match the ones they can dress their dolls in. I haven't spent a lot of time there because the rampant commercialism and marketing to children makes me a little queasy, but I'd be willing to bet that almost every little girl leaving that store with her $75 doll has one that looks remarkably just like her. What great lessons to teach our children.

I applaud you for expanding your daughter's view of her world, huh?

8/28/06, 5:40 PM  
Anonymous TB said...

Oops, that huh was supposed to be a question on the sentence before. It makes no sense where it is now. Don't know how that happened :o)

8/28/06, 5:42 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

Those dolls sound purdy. You should have told Nate that it has nothing to do with skin color or being PC but it has everything to do with fashion.

8/28/06, 9:27 PM  
Blogger Waya said...

This is such an interesting post b/c I was contemplating writing a post about raising my 1st generation Asian-American children in the boonies.

Agenda or not, I think Thalia is in good hands!

8/28/06, 9:46 PM  
Anonymous wordgirl said...

I often think we unconsciously overcompensate for the people out there who feel they must identify everyone out there by saying, "hey...there's a black man out on the front porch". So...we go to the OPPOSITE ends of the spectrum to make sure it's a non-issue. Eventually, everything's an issue: gender, race, height, weight, education. Everything. So Nate has a point...and so do you.

Uh...I don't think I helped to solve anything here, however.

8/28/06, 10:53 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

We had a similar discussion last Easter over whether or not the Easter bunny is caucasian. I say yes.

8/28/06, 11:38 PM  
Blogger Jaelithe said...

See, if I saw those dolls on the bookcase, I would just assume that Thalia was particularly attached to those dolls, which is why they were prominently displayed. If I stopped to think about the color of the dolls, I would probably assume she happened to like dark colors better than light colors. Because babies have no understanding of race.

My son has two baby dolls, and they both happen to be black, because they were Freecycle toys from a black family. I didn't care about the color of the dolls; I just wanted him to have a couple of baby dolls because he's a boy, and so I want him to have some traditionally girly toys, because I have an agenda ;) And I got his dolls on Freecycle because, hey, it's recycling! And I have an agenda about that too.

I enjoyed this post, though. Very thought-provoking.

8/28/06, 11:53 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

ALL my children's dolls and stuffed animals have been gifts from friends and relatives, and so I've never even looked at their room from a political perspective. Interesting... Although, since I've confiscated the Bratz dolls and related paraphernalia, I'm thinking it looks more like a petting zoo than anything.

I loved your perspective on the subject!

8/29/06, 12:03 AM  
Blogger movin'mom said...

Having been raised in a home where both parents were prejudice, I knew at a fairly young age that I wanted to make sure that my children never saw color when referring to someone.
Being Mexican-American and marrying a man who is 1/2 Italian, 1/4 Polish with a dash of Serbian my children find their heritage to be quite the recipe card.

They usually just say that they are 1/2 Mexican 1/2 Italian.
My daughter has the collectable Mexican barbie and Italian Barbie. It would have been less expensive if Barbie started coming out with babrie's who were already a combination of the two.

Here's the thing, My first born was born with the darkest tan of the kids, dark hair, dark eyes, and as each one was born the were a shade or 2 lighter than the next. My youngest joined our family sportin a pair of blue green eyes and dark blonde hair. I have actually been asked if I am his nanny.

So as much as I would have liked to raise them to not see color in others... so many people see color in them that we have to discuss race more times than I ever thought we would.

So I say throw those dolls on Thalia's bookshelf and put them next to your made in China Pooh. Because as long as you guys view color as beauty..so shall Thalia!

8/29/06, 12:07 AM  
Anonymous Nila said...

I think children are naturally PC. Adults ruin everything with all their preconceived notions.

When I was growing up, I would have loved to have a brown doll, but there were none.

My kids don't know about race, even though their school is very diverse. They refer to kids as "the kid that's a little darker brown than me", or "the kid with yellow hair".

8/29/06, 12:51 AM  
Blogger Pattie said...

This was a thought provoking post. I must admit, that I will choose books in the library and toys for my children that promote diversity. I thought it was working until a few weeks ago, my son was coloring. He pulled out a orangish crayon and called it "skin" color..WHAT? I had talked to him numerous times about the issue of race, but I am not sure he totally gets it.
I think the fact that you live in NYC is a great thing for your daughter. She will be around people of many different cultures, and she may grow up thinking nothing of it.

8/29/06, 9:24 AM  
Blogger penelopeto said...

pooh is canadian, represent.
Diversity and sensitivity -tough one. I am currently doing it through food.

8/29/06, 10:03 AM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

I say fuck assumptions about PCness/unPCness whatever. Make no apologies. I totally hear Nate on this issue - I'm overly-sensitive to it myself (I was slightly embarassed to trot my kid around in a 'This Is What A Feminist Looks Like' tee because, um, maybe trying too hard? Look at me! I'm liberal!) - but I think at some point you have to just say fuck it.

As in, fuck this liberal angst/guilt/hangwringing bullshit -I'm gonna overfunction in the most humane and open-minded way possible because I want my kid to be humane and open-minded goddamit.

Liberal guilt is what gets Republicans elected. Liberals stand around wringing their hands and being all wishy-washy and worrying about how they're coming across while Republicans rev the engines of their pick-up trucks (woopsdidijustsaythat?) and barrel forward to support their causes and don't care what anybody else thinks about it.

Getting off my soapbox now.

(fuck liberal guilt - mutter mutter - stuff her room full of little black and yellow and red and blue dolls.)

(got some little pasties to stick on pooh? would that help?)

8/29/06, 11:49 AM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Apologizing for the pick-up truck statement. All Republicans don't drive pick-up trucks.

Canadian Conservatives do, though.

8/29/06, 11:58 AM  
Blogger Rock the Cradle said...

HBM. What you said. Fuck the guilt. Just do it.

Re: pick-up trucks. Artists (who more often than not are liberal, or don't give two shits one way or the other) LOVE pick-up trucks. And Mini Coopers (at least this artist likes both).

Must be a Canadian thing.

8/29/06, 1:48 PM  
Blogger Overwhelmed! said...

Having been raised in a home where both parents were prejudice as well, I go out of my way to try to expose my child to as much ethnic diversity as possible so that it's a non-issue. Of course, what Nila says is very true, children ARE naturally PC and we adults ruin everything with all their preconceived notions.

I think it's great that you were unconsciously making a statement!

8/29/06, 2:30 PM  
Blogger k said...

My uber-intellectual thought on this subject is that ANY kind of doll, regardless of color, clothing, origin, or perhaps even blow-up-edness is better than a CLOWN doll.

*shudder*


(and rock the cradle - don't forget the lesbians among the pick-up truck lovin'!)

8/29/06, 4:03 PM  
Blogger Lisa Goldstein/Kelly Kelly said...

I understand where you are both coming from and really enjoyed the post AND the comments. Very interesting to think about.

Lisa

8/29/06, 4:24 PM  
Blogger Tori said...

Goood old Mom 101 to get me thinking...
Big Wave would get on so well with Nate - they share the same edgy humor. It's funny what we do and we don't do without really knowing we're doing it or wanting people to know that we're doing it....
Us libs try so hard not to offend anyone and to include everyone in the picnic.... Its very hard to be diverse and fabulous.... a full time job - and then there's the parenting too...
I like that you two discussed this...
It's got me a thinking....
That's why I love you 101 times....

8/29/06, 8:49 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

Why why why am I always the "outsider".

Disclaimer: I'm Republican and Conservative. I drive a Ford Focus and yes, my husband has a pick up truck (but it's a Dodge Ram, does that count?).

But! And this is a BIG BUT, I agree with your statement completely. Just because I'm a RNC supporter doesn't mean I don't want diversity in my child's life.

I work for one of the most liberal companies in America, Travel Guard International. I work with many different races and nationalities. That has nothing to do with being a Democrat or Republican or Liberal or Conservative.

The world is in chaos right now and it all comes down to respect for life. This is the golden rule. Whether I'm white, black, purple, green, Spanish, Polish, German, Dutch, Catholic, Buddhist, Jewish or Atheist is irrelevant.

Respecting life is most important. Exploring the cultures and diversity of others is just a bonus.

8/29/06, 10:50 PM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

I think it's good to have a diversity of dolls. Why not? I even bought a doll for my son recently. But I have to admit that the doll is as White as they come. But then again, my son is half Mexican...so maybe the White doll is actually "ethnic" to him. :)

8/30/06, 3:02 AM  
Blogger something blue said...

Tis why I love the diversity of the Groovy Girls. (and funky to boot) Why not have friends from all over the world to play with right from the start?

8/30/06, 8:19 AM  
Anonymous isabel said...

brilliant

8/30/06, 1:24 PM  
Blogger MommyWithAttitude said...

Yes, this is great! And at the risk of sounding like a "please be my friend" geek, I must say that you and Nate have conversations that are frighteningly similar to those between my husband and me!

8/30/06, 6:35 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Oh dear. Terrance and Nate would get along beautifully.

My moment of PC mommy angst came when I tried to convince Emily that she needed "Steve" the black male barbie..and she wanted Ken and then I freaked out because I must have given her the message that White men were better! Her father is black! Why does she not want the black male Barbie???

Sigh.

Emily loved the Groovy Girls Dolls. All sorts. She had a bunch.

But yeah. Swing your adgenda honey. Loud and Proud.

9/1/06, 1:01 PM  

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