Editorial Draft – Valcom

Are Gender-Neutral Dolls Causing Controversy?

Creatable Doll

Mattel, the company behind the world pronounced Barbie and Ken doll is moving its toy line to be more inclusive with a rapidly changing world by announcing a gender-neutral line of dolls, as it must. The Mattel company, is one of the many companies leading a change in the labeling of toys and products, as Target and Disney have removed “for boys,” and “for girls” tags and replaced it with “for kids.” So, with so many companies changing labels, what is the controversy behind it all?

Mattel claims after 18 months or research and many designs, these toys represent what the new era of children would want. A way for boys to not be stereotyped into playing with cars and girls being told to play with dolls. However, the fight for gender-neutral toys is not a new thing, as approximately eight years a petition was created to make LEGO an all gender toy as many claimed it was marketed towards boys with masculine sets and colors.

Many companies do not want to dive into their political stance for toys and equality, but say the reasoning behind it is to promote positive play. Mattel is not the first toy manufacturer to introduce this type of toy. Three years ago, Tonner Doll Company also introduced a gender neutral doll set. The people of America saw this as a positive move in toy manufacturing industry.

However in the most recent presidential election, the withdraw of support from the Trump Administration has not helped clear the situation for support behind all of the new toys. Reversing laws once created by the Obama administration to protect transgenders and laws stating how they can publicly use restrooms has caused more trouble within many states. But many toy companies, despite lack of support from the Trump Administration, have continued to proactively move away from gender based tags and toys.

Doing so families question whether or not having toys as this such would bring up the situation that parents would need to talk to their kids about what the meaning is. But toy companies and most Americans see it as a step towards preventing these types of talks from happening.

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6 Responses to Editorial Draft – Valcom

  1. davidbdale says:

    I did a quick Google search for Mattel genderless doll and found the answer. You should name it in your Editorial. It’s really easy and helpful for your readers.

    Mattel’s genderless doll set for kids, officially called the “Creatable World Deluxe Character Kit Customizable Doll,” is likely to be as divisive as every other social innovation in our contentious country today.

    Please start there, or near there, and spell out clearly for readers that the doll has androgynous features that can be accessorized to represent roles that both young boys and young girls might be comfortable playing or emulating. Or something like that. Once we know better what we’re dealing with, you can spell out the details of the risks the company might be taking (or the new markets it might be trailblazing) or both. But as an Editorialist, you’ll need to advocate either that toys are a bad medium to politicize or that it’s never too early to help kids learn acceptance. Or something like that.

    Creatable Doll

    Helpful, Valcom?

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  2. davidbdale says:

    Next, an overall appraisal.

    Your introduction says Mattel MUST make its toys more “inclusive” by removing gender from its dolls to follow the lead of Target and Disney (who are NOT, unless I’m mistaken, making their DOLLS genderless but merely removing gender recommendations from their toys) and then asks the question you should be telling us, not asking us, “Who would object to that?”

    Your second paragraph does not at all follow up on the interesting part of the story, that the dolls are genderless. If I’m misunderstanding something, tell me. The dolls are not clearly male or female? They’re non-binary dolls? If that’s not what you’re saying, you’ve really confused me. I shouldn’t be wondering about this basic question after two paragraphs.

    Your third paragraph compounds my confusion. (PLEASE eliminate tortured metaphors like diving into a stance. If you mean, “Most toy companies are wary of alienating customers to the left or to the right of center. They want to respond to America’s growing comfort with non-binary gender roles, but they don’t want to lose customers with more traditional attitudes either,” then saying so is better than hinting so. I am STILL not sure what sort of doll Mattel and Tonner are building: “this type” doesn’t help me. “A gender neutral doll set” might mean males in nurses’ outfits and female construction workers. Or it could mean dolls of ambiguous gender. If “the people of America” saw the toys as positive, Mattel isn’t taking much of a chance. (So, what’s the controversy?)

    Your fourth paragraph starts with what SOUNDS LIKE a claim that Trump’s administration has withdrawn it support for genderless toys. But I think you mean, its systematic reversal of all protections for the LGBTQ in the military, on the job, as consumers, or even as PATIENTS IN HOSPITALS(!) has changed the social climate against them (and could threaten acceptance of the toys if they’re seen as political).

    Your fifth paragraph is Huh? Both sentences are Huh?

    I’m glad you asked for feedback, Valcom. (Are you? 😉 )

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    • Valcom says:

      I totally agree that the second paragraph is not following up, you are correct. I also never realized some mistakes with grammar which ill need to proof read slower next time. Thank you for the feedback, I will work on this right now.

      Like

  3. davidbdale says:

    Let’s get started, Valcom. My first impression is that if we can’t answer the question Do the Dolls Cause Controversy?, the topic is probably not right for editorializing. There must be something controversial to say about them. Say that. 🙂

    Like

  4. Valcom says:

    Hi prof! Sorry for such a late feedback request, I can not believe I did not even notice I had zero feedback requested!! First, I was re-reading my editorial and noticed that there are a few grammar changes I will need to make but was wondering on how I can change the ending to tie in better. I get a little lost with editorials and I feel like I may have written more in a LTE/Op-Ed mix writing. Would changing the ending possibly fix that?

    Like

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