Magic Dolls and Progressive Parents

One of the top stories on the NY Times website right is this one about an American Girls doll which was donated to a NY library branch and eventually began being loaned out to kids like a book.  It’s an amusing piece which doesn’t take itself too seriously. One mother who thought borrowing the doll would cure her daughter wanting one, is dismayed to find ” it may have turned out to be a gateway doll.” Great line.

But one vignette presented in the piece isn’t quite as charming:

Suzette Seepersad had been avoiding buying her daughter Caelyn Osborn, 5, any toys geared toward girls. But
Caelyn fell in love with Kirsten, taking her to the family’s apartment,
bathing her, reading stories to her and putting her to bed. After
keeping the doll for two weeks or so, she had to be reminded by a
librarian to return it. Now, Ms. Seepersad said, “I’m trying to get my
sister to buy her” an American Girl doll.

The author of the piece doesn’t comment on Ms. Seepersad. She’s just another random NY parent. But I immediately found myself feeling sorry for her daughter who isn’t allowed to have girl toys because…who knows what lurks in the minds of NY liberals. Like many parents before her, Ms. Seepersad discovers to her chagrin that little girls actually like girl toys even apart from any untoward commercial or patriarchal influence.

The last line is the kicker. Having abandoned the fight against gender-normed toys, mom is now asking family to cough up money for a doll. Maybe the sister is loaded or maybe Ms. Seepersad can’t quite bring herself to abandon her previous stance even if it’s now moot. Either way, it’s amusing that this is presented without comment in the NY Times.