About Me

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Lake Charles, Louisiana, United States
Hello, and welcome to my blog! I like to write about children's literature, fairy tales, feminism, and pop culture in general. I've recently earned my Ph.D. in children's literature at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. I also review children's and young adult books for Kirkus and teach English at Sowela Technical Community College. Oh, and I like cats! [Banner image artwork by Yuki Midorikawa]

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Baby Doll Nation


I found this delightful link at Jezebel that satirizes the release of a doll called "Breast Milk Baby" doll: "Period Dolls and Other Educational Toys We'd Like to See." The video ad for the doll is disturbing, partly because I rarely enjoy looking at another woman's breast. But the sight of the girl calmly putting on the pretend bra and bringing the baby doll to her prepubescent breast is not something that sits well with me. So I wonder, why does it disturb me so much? Why does it disturb the writers of Jezebel? And why do some of the commenters thumb their noses at our discomfort?

This weekend, the film Sucker Punch was released in theatres nation wide. The narrative is toted as one young woman's escapist adventure from the horrors of reality in an insane asylum. However, critics are roundly criticizing the film for being little more than a male fantasy involving young schoolgirls in short skirts with bazookas and swords. In essence, some suggest, the film is a porno without any actual sex.

The main character's name is Baby Doll.

There is something distinctly sexual about the art of breastfeeding; it involves breasts (okay, that one was obvious) and it is practiced by mature women who've been sexually active at least once. And there is something distinctly sexual about the depiction of Baby Doll; not only is her skirt said to shorten in each successive scene, but her fantasy purportedly takes place in a brothel.

So we essentially live in a world that encourages girls to act like mothers at the age of seven, but then proceeds to infantilize them at the age of twenty.

And somehow it's still all about sex.