Friday, August 7, 2009

Keeping Abreast of a Sucky Situation

From the files of "I don't think so" and the office of "Hell No" we have a new toy from a Spanish toy company known as Berjuan. According to Fox News, the doll is called "Bebe Gloton, which translates as “gluttonous baby”. So, what? It's like a fat baby? With a valve in the back that you can blow into and the baby gets bigger until it's just a round ball with barely distinguishable appendages? Is that it?

Oh, but I only wish it was something that normal. No, see, Bebe Gloton "makes sucking noises as it 'feeds'." That's right. As it feeds. That shouldn't be a big deal, right? There are lots of dolls out there that you can pretend to feed. And while that statement is true, there are NOT a lot of dolls out there that you can pretend to feed with your BREASTS.

Wait. What now?

Correct. It is a breast feeding doll. It is NOT a doll that is aimed at women who are going to be breast feeding in the near future. It is NOT a doll that is aimed at women who are of child bearing age. It is NOT a doll that is aimed at WOMEN. It is a doll for girls. It is a doll for CHILDREN. I needed to make that part of this clear because when you read that it "...comes with a special halter top its young "mothers" wear as they pretend to breast-feed their "babies." The halter top has daisies that cover the little girls’ nipples and come undone just as easily as the flaps of a nursing bra would." JUST as easily?! Oh, good! I was worried that they might be confusing and complicated flaps which would make it difficult for a small child to simulate breast feeding with her gluttonous doll! What is going on??

The article over there at Fox News continues the long standing Fox News tradition of including information that is vaguely related to the subject matter and inane at best when it says, "...many health care providers promote the benefits of breast-feeding, parents around the world have criticized Berjuan, saying the idea of breast-feeding is too grown-up for young children -- and may even promote early pregnancy." Good Lord.

I think that we're all aware that there are those who are for breast feeding and there are those who are against breast feeding. I don't know what in the world that has to do with whether or not a doll such as this one is inappropriate or just plain freaking wrong!

The "idea of breast-feeding"? I don't think that we're talking about "an idea" here. It's the act of physically simulating a child feeding a child via the first child's breast! And maybe it does promote pregnancy, and maybe it doesn't promote pregnancy. Again, I do not see what that has to do with whether or not a toy which imitates mammary suckling is appropriate for a child's toy!

Even though there have been many criticisms oft his insane toy, Fox News managed to find a couple of fringe lunatics who support the thing. Take a one Rose Haluschak from El Paso, Texas, who said "I think that it’s great that people want to have a doll that promotes breast-feeding. Most dolls that are purchased come with a bottle. That is the norm in society, an artificial way to feed your baby.” (It's unfortunate that we don't get to learn more about Rose. I'd really like to know how many times she's been in prison, how many children she has had from how many different men (none of which she married), and what was the highest grade she completed in middle school.) I'm just going to take this opportunity to point that that it's not an "artificial way to feed your baby"; it's an artificial way to feed your artificial baby, you pinhead. Who thinks it's great to promote breast feeding to a small girl? Anyone besides Rose? God, I hope not.

Fox News also quoted a one Dr. Manny Alvarez, who is conveniently the managing health editor of He said "although he supports the idea of breast-feeding, he sees how his own daughter plays with dolls and wonders if Bebe Gloton might speed up maternal urges in the little girls who play it." For crying out loud, this has NOTHING To do with whether or not you support a woman breast feeding her baby or not! Why do people not get that? Why does everything have to be prefaced with a disclaimer to the effect of "Not that there's anything wrong with that!"?

He continued to make my question how he ever became a doctor (and to wonder if maybe he's just a chiropractor) when he said, "Pregnancy has to entail maturity and understanding." Again, NOT about pregnancy. What he said? True! Relevancy to this topic? None! But even still, it's like he couldn't stop himself. "...breast-feeding reduces childhood infections, strengthens maternal bonding and increases the child’s immune system." We know. We KNOW! What about the doll?? "But introducing breast-feeding to girls young enough to play with dolls seems inappropriate." FINALLY! Thank YOU! Why was that so difficult?!

But as inappropriate as I think this is, I'm wondering if I'm missing something about it that would make me think differently. I say that because over there across the pond at The Daily Mail they ran a story about the gluttonous baby and nearly ALL of the comments that people left were folks saying that they thought this was "fine" and even "great" in a few instances. That totally surprised me and made me wonder if I'm just not getting it. (Don't get me wrong, I still don't like it. I'm just wondering why folks are SO OK with it.)

Look, I'm not saying that this sort of a doll can "promote pregnancy". I'm not buying that. And I have nothing against breast feeding. (Believe me! Nothing!) It's just that a doll is a TOY and toys are to PLAY with. I don't know that every toy needs to exactly replicate how it is in real life. (Are we going to be able to look forward to "Knocked Up Barbie" and "Oral Copulation Ken"? Real life! REAL life!)

Dolls are more about playing than they are parenting. If the toy companies feel that kids need toys that will allow them to imitate adults in adult situations, what say they teach 'em how get a job? Or mow the lawn? And not just any lawn...MY lawn.

Below is a video showing just how this thing works. The first 28 seconds there is no sound, but don't worry! All the crying and the suckling DO start at 29 seconds! (Just thought I'd save you from spending 28 seconds adjusting your speakers before you realized that there wasn't anything wrong with them like some people did.)

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