Friday, August 15, 2008

Pssst Let's Play Dress up

 In our binary divided world the one thing that I am sure of is that little girls are made of sugar and spice and all that is nice ( you know the rest of the hideous poem)  Of course being born with a vagina these traits are immutable.  The minute they rubber stamp you in the hospitable and declare you an ovary bearing being the gender disciplining begins.  Little girls sit pretty, never getting  rambunctious because adventure and daring are for boys. Little girls don't climb trees, make mud pies, or play fort.  Little girls play hop scotch, tea party, dress up, and nurse their dolls.  What these little games do is reinforce gender performativity from a very young age.  Even with all of the amazing changes that technology has brought to this world we have simply reworked old games to make them appear fresh and new.

Can you smell a rant coming? Well your senses are bang on. I had the misfortune of running into a site called, Dress Me.  Now you don't need a collection of dress up clothes or a doll with multiple outfits, you only need to get online to access a virtual world of never ending costumes. The site sells itself as, "The largest dressing up site for girls. We have [the] coolest online fashion and dress up games. You can create a perfect girl in teen dressing for girls or dress up doll in fashion week game. Play with our wonderful dress up games and create your own online style. "  Suppress the bile, it gets even better!

image image image image image image

Yes these are but a few of the images that young girls have to choose from. The avatars are either overly sexualized, or they are fairy tale princesses...Madonna/Whore dichotomy anyone?  What better way to teach young girls their two options in life than to naturalize it through play.  They will learn to dress their pretend dolls appropriately so that when a woman is assaulted the question of what she did to deserve it, will seem natural and proper to them.

Heaven forbid little girls be offered more ways to increase the skills that will benefit them in life.  You know games that encourage things like toughness, assertiveness, determination, oh but wait that would make it a boy game wouldn't it, and we simply cannot have that.  If you have a vagina you have two options, sweet virginal princess, or vampy whore, but in the end both lead to submissive cum receptacle.

In the beautiful photo montage I included one WOC which as you can see is problematic as she is clearly posing as beauty queen, thus promoting theimage commodification of culture.  The horror show does not stop there.  You can dress up your own African doll as well.  The African doll is sexualized but for her it is hidden behind a veil.  Yes, the black doll gets to wear lipstick, have Eurocentric straightened hair but it must all be hidden.  How can I argue with this as everyone knows that black women are all Jezebels.  Our desire for a deep dick is so overwhelming and so compelling to males that unless we are fully covered from head to toe we succumb to our baser urges.  The lesson here is that white pussy can be redeemed but the black one is a born whore.

I know that it is only August but please keep this site in mind when you are going Christmas shopping for the little girl that has won your heart.  You will save time in line ups and reduce stress if you buy her credits to play dress up here.  You can show your love for her by teaching her at a very early age where her true value lies - between her legs.  With any luck she will internalize the appropriate messages and in a few years you can smile proudly as she attends her purity ball, all thanks to the generosity of your loving gift.


Netta said...

My mother raised the girls in our family very differently, and I've raised mine the same way. We were never told we couldn't climb trees, play in the mud, or had to "sit pretty". Ever. That's not to say we didn't have our moments of dress-up, but I'm not going to be ashamed of that. I like being feminine (I know this will touch off another rant) but I don't feel constrained to be that way all the time. I'm more than that, and so are all women. Sometimes it takes longer for some women to learn that fact, and sometimes they don't learn it at all. That's the tragedy.

And don't get me started on Disney. GAH.

Jennifer said...

Only having sons I haven't had to deal with these type of things. However, I've come across these site because I recently worked as a content editor for an Internet Portal for kids and I saw plenty of these sites and we were told to consider them okay as long as there was no nudity. I hated seeing them. Almost all the kid sites online, past the age of 3, are for either boys or girls. Its really sad.

zyzz said...

I'm not going to lie; I had this phase of being REALLY INTO PC paperdoll games when I was younger. Only they weren't flash-based -- they were all done in FKiSS (a special program for them). My favorite was a female (UK) football fan. Not only could you dress her up, you could shave her head and legs, then make it grow back. If you tried to shave her ladybits, though, she'd cuss at you and say something like, "Sod off and shave your own fucking genitals". (Obviously my PC time was not parent-supervised. :D )The upside to this totally inappropriate hobby was that I started wanting to make my own dolls, and that meant I had to learn to code an FKiSS file. Hardly a serious programming language, but more than most 11-year-old girls do, and it helped me discover another passion. I never actually finished the doll, but I'm studying CS and getting top grades.

Sorry if this comment sounds frivolous. I'm not trying to belittle the concerns of the post; you just reminded me and I thought it was kind of funny how stereotypically-girly pursuits can so naturally take a more untraditional turn. I pinky swear I spent time climbing trees and making forts too.