Thursday, October 23, 2014

Don't corrupt your dolls - A note about thinking about the image of crafting and the treatment of women

(tee hee from Quick Meme)

Those who know me know I am no prude, not by far, but some things that I've seen online recently have even made me wonder about where people's minds are heading. And the funny thing is that the things that have really been making me wonder are on their head, very innocent looking. 

I am a huge fan of amigurumi (crocheted toys of animals and dolls). I follow a lot of different fandoms including Lalaloopsy, Lalylala, Rabbiz, NerdyKnitter, etc. and so many of them are so much fun. Who doesn't want a stuffed pony dressed like Doctor Who, for example? 

As a part of this, fans create their dolls and animals and post them online for others to admire, rate and give compliments. Which is awesome that they have a place to go and do that, be it on Facebook, independent sites, Deviantart, Etsy, etc. What's giving me pause though, is the recent trend that seems to be cropped up online, in which these innocent little dolls, with their wide eyes, impossible size, and inability to stand on their own, are used to mimic pornography. 

A recent post, for example, gave the image of a little doll in a wide circle skirt with wide eyes, a tiny waist, and teeny legs that stood only by the virtue of the weight of the skirt. Then a series of photos was posted in which the doll strips down to her underwear while posing provocatively. Another post had a series of cat dolls with wide eyes and big eyelashes "mating" to make kitten dolls. Other posts feature the dolls whipping each other with yarn "whips" with hearts and stars, male and female dolls "mating", still others are in what would be considered a strip club position when real humans hold that position in place.

I can't help but think of the similarities to video games with many of these scenarios. My first thought was that these were male fans doing these poses, but that was wrong of me. Its just as many female fans doing the "naughty doll" thing. 

What does it say about us as women that we want to make our dolls handicapped versions of reality and then place them in abusive or pornographic situations? Are we so deeply ingrained as a society in the mistreatment of women that we do it to ourselves? 

I think what bothers me most about this is that they are dolls. And toys. Kids can see these things very easily - if you image search for dolls or particular brands, 25-30% of the results are images that I wouldn't want any kid to see. Heck, I don't want to see a doll getting violated and I'm in my 30s. Dolls are mini-humans, and how kids treat them will become how they will treat real humans as adults. 

We don't want to teach anyone to do this. I say we stop allowing this now.

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