This morning I happened across a Neatorama post about the worst toys for children, ever.
First up, a toy tazer that delivers a mild electric shock. Then, a cartoonized game of Russian roulette, which horrified me until I remembered that I played Russian roulette with my revolving chamber Nerf gun as a kid. Then I just horrified myself.
Then there was a cleaning trolley, a security checkpoint toy, a peeing dog, a pregnant doll, and a substance that turns bath water into gel, which I have used before in a smaller dose and found it fun as hell, and sciencey, too. But that’s not what really threw me off about this list.
I then came to the breastfeeding baby, which I vaguely recall seeing in my RSS a few weeks ago but only now have I taken a look at it. Here’s the description from Neatorama:
There’s nothing wrong with a little girl wanting to play mommy to her dolls, but when she starts breast feeding the toy, that’s when it becomes a problem. If you’re one of those handful of weirdos that thinks a little girl should know how to properly breastfeed an infant though, then this Bebe Gloton doll is just what you need to help make sure your little angel is 100% ready to have a little angel of her own.
One of the best things about being a skeptic, to me, is the opportunity to critically evaluate a long-held belief or a gut reaction and realize how you may have been mistaken. Today I had one of those opportunities: why did I, like the Neatorama writer, immediately categorize this as weird? As gross? As wrong to give to children?
Is it teaching them that hurting people is fun or cool or desirable (like the tazer or every toy gun, sword, or bow-and-arrow set)? Nope. Is it normalizing a behavior that we should find abhorrent (like TSA security gropings)? No . . . but I only realized that after logically thinking things through. And that’s where I realized I was, without knowing it, operating under the erroneous belief that breast feeding is abhorrent.
Am I a weirdo for now thinking, as the description reads, that a “little girl should know how to properly breastfeed an infant”? I mean, I think it’s fine when little girls (and little boys) bottle feed a baby doll. What’s the difference? Oh, you’ve added a breast. A nasty, nasty breast.
Because it’s not just about breast feeding – it’s about breasts, in general. Breasts are shameful fun bags for men to appreciate, and the nipples of your breasts should only be shown to the man you marry. You slut! At what age does a little girl learn that? And how long before or after that should she learn that her breasts are integral to nourishing a new life?
I was subconsciously engaging in a type of thinking that I’ve vocally opposed in the past, like when that douchnozzle misogynist alt-medder Bill Maher compared breast feeding to masturbation and said the only place boobs should be in public is Hooters. Telling, isn’t it?
Anyway, it feels good to shake off one of those insidious biases that can stick around long after I think I’ve become enlightened. And if I ever have a little girl, I won’t mind getting her a doll that breast feeds.
Or a Nerf gun. I can’t help it, I frigging love those things.