So it seems the greatest evils facing America today are not terrorism, bird flu, high gas prices or Geraldo’s new show on Fox (though I would beg to differ on that one). No, according to the American Family Association and the Pro-Life Action League, the greatest evils facing America are American Girls.
Being the father of a seven-year-old daughter who thinks Barbie’s “Fairytopia” is high art, I would somewhat agree, though Barbie prancing around a forest in a prom dress and fairy wings is not evil as much as it’s just plain creepy. But it’s not the girls themselves or even Barbie these organizations are after.
These “conservative advocacy” groups are boycotting the popular American Girl line of dolls, clothes and books. Why? Because American Girl (which is owned by Mattel) donates money to Girls, Inc., a national non-profit that, according to the American Family Association, “supports abortion rights.”
The AFA and the Pro-Life Action League have sent millions of e-mails to members urging them to say humbug to American Girl products this Christmas. Personally, I would have said “holiday season,” but since they say Christmas, I have to assume it’s okay for Jews, Muslims and Buddhists to buy the dolls.
American Girl isn’t alone – the AFA and Pro-Life Action League have boycotted many other products and companies, including Levi Strauss, Tylenol, Nike and Victoria’s Secret. I’m sure they had their reasons, though I would think Victoria’s Secret has been responsible for creating many American families. And boycotting Tylenol makes no sense, since the greatest threat to monogamous procreation is your wife saying “sorry honey, I have a headache” after an expensive dinner and two hours of watching that movie you hated.
American Girl and others are fighting back with strong statements and promises not to bend to misguided outside pressure. But words are not enough. The boycotters are fighting with dollars, and American Girl and its supporters should do the same.
So here’s my proposal: This holiday season, let’s make American Girl the number one gift on everyone’s shopping list. Instead of a boycott, let’s start a “buy-cott.”
Buy American Girl dolls. Buy the clothes and the books. If you don’t need or want a doll, then buy an ICan band – American Girl is donating 70 cents of each dollar raised to Girls Inc., as well as making a $50,000 donation.
American Girl has donated more than $6 million to hundreds of organizations, including Girl Scout troops, Junior Leagues and children’s hospitals. Each of these organizations should call on their members and volunteers to buy American Girl products, hold American Girl “shopping days” and sponsor American Girl parties.
I’ll even get it started – the first 100 people who e-mail me a copy of a receipt or a photo of their American Girl purchase will receive an ICan bracelet at my expense.
Ann Scheidler, Pro-Life Action League Executive Director, said on her group’s web site that “with the Christmas shopping season coming up, pro-life parents have a ideal opportunity to send a message to American Girl—and corporate American in general—that they will not allow their consumer dollars to support an anti-life, anti-family agenda.”
I say buy American Girl dolls and ICan bands this holiday season – and send a message against the agenda of intolerance.