One of Fox & Friends favorite culture war memes, aimed at their aging white audience who fear the growing diversity of American culture, is that "political correctness," with its appeal to racial and gender sensitivities, is destroying America. Any attempt to break down traditional hetero-normative roles is seen as an affront to all that is good and holy. Thus, we have Elisabeth Hasselbeck and her right wing guest, on today's Fox & Friends decry those "PC Police" who are forcing American parents to buy toys that don't conform to traditional hetero-normative expectations. That really isn't the case but it makes for good propaganda so who cares about facts. If Fox & Friends says it must be true!
Perpetual whine Elisabeth Hasselbeck began her patented whine: "Christmas is almost here but not everyone is in the spirit." She then proclaimed that "the PC police want to police your kids Christmas list." She introduced her guest, Katherine Timpf, a writer for the right wing National Review, who was once bullied by evil feminists. The chyron framed the propaganda message: "Politically Correct Christmas, PC Police Crack Down on Holidays." (Whoa, did the chyron use the blasphemous word "holidays?")
Hasselbeck claimed "they want children to receive a genderless gingerbread man." A shot of a bakery item, a vegan genderless ginger person, was shown, but again no context about where this is being featured and how this is being "forced" on children. The ladies concluded that kids don't care about the sex of cookies. The next bad item was an anatomically correct Barbie doll that comes with optional zits and mole stickers. The ladies asserted that Barbie is fine as she is. Hasselbeck and her guest expressed absolute disgust at how these nefarious "PC" forces are down on small, plastic army figures because they, according to the "PC Police" lead to domestic violence. Hasselbeck: "Where's that study?"
The next complaint was about how these yet unidentified toy haters don't like the "Princess" items because it sets unrealistic expectations. Naturally, Hasselbeck and Timpf were appalled because kids know that "it's just pretend." The ladies were scornful of how the as yet unidentified "PC Police" are critical of pink packaging for girls' construction toys because they feel it sends a message that girls aren't smart enough to choose these items on their own. Hasselbeck thanked Timpf for "keeping an eye on these PC Policing of our kids Christmas lists."
As usual, Fox & Friends presented a one-sided discussion with absolutely no context other than what Katherine Timpf wrote about in her National Review article which, unmentioned by Hasselbeck, was a criticism of Australian "political correctness" related to children's toys. Obviously Hasselbeck didn't follow one of Timpf's links in which Australian social scientists discuss how "endemic levels" of domestic violence could be linked to gender based toys, especially military toys which, according to some social scientists, "communicate to children that aggression and violence are the natural domain of boys, and Barbies and pink tea sets, that beauty and domesticity are the most appropriate realm for girls, they serve to uphold cultural conditions which facilitate the lesser treatment of women, enacted through behaviour such as domestic violence."
In discussing the anatomically correct Barbie, Timpf claimed that a Jezebel (nasty feminist blog) said that this politically correct doll was "not good enough because that's like telling girls that moles are optional." As usual, facts take a back burner to context. Tracy Moore says, in a well written and incisive article, that this doll is still not promoting a realistic body image because without the zits, she's still too perfect and, as such, as still conveying the message that beauty is the ultimate goal for women. The chyron to the Barbie discussion, "Average Barbie Outrage," was totally inaccurate in describing Moore's article.
Nope, no context here. The Fox watcher is left with the impression that shadowy "PC" forces are actually pressuring American parents to buy things that violate the very foundations of our culture. Once again, Fox takes a relatively obscure topic and makes it into a national outrage. Talk about "just pretend!"
And BTW, I don't know if you'll be able to get a genderless gingerbread person because, according to Timpf, it's available at only one deli in Australia.
Correction: Elisabeth Hasselbeck's name was incorrectly spelled.
Some of the things I’ve never seen on a Barbie:
Flat feet. (Apparently, in the Barbie world, even women’s sneakers are high heels.)
Now, if they’re talking about the doll that was the result of a Kickstarter campaign, the phrasing shouldn’t be “anatomically correct” but rather “anatomically realistic.” (And judging from the image shown on the video clip—which I didn’t watch—that is the “realistic” doll.) And that doll does have flat feet (unlike virtually every Barbie on the market).