My Son Is Getting An American Girl Doll For Christmas

My 2013 Christmas post is up at Salon.com!  If you celebrate Christmas, I hope that you are having the merriest one ever. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope that you are having a super awesome day.  xoxo, Lori (and the entire family)

“For more than half of his life, my son has preferred dolls, toys and clothes that are marketed to girls. It started when he was two and a half and he picked up a Barbie and refused to put her down. He’s gone through all of the toy phases that girls his age usually go through.  Barbie gave way to Disney Princesses gave way to My Little Pony gave way to Monster High.

My son is now almost 7 years old and I thought that our pocketbooks were going to luck out and that he was going to skip over the very pricey American Girl doll phase. I really thought we were in the clear. Then American Girl catalogs started arriving in our mailbox a few months ago in preparation for the holidays….”

Click here to read the full post.  

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RaisingMyRainbow.com is a blog about the adventures in raising a fabulous, gender creative son.
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24 Responses to My Son Is Getting An American Girl Doll For Christmas

  1. sriley13 says:

    Reblogged this on My Blog and commented:
    Love following this blog!

  2. Jeanne Ashcraft says:

    I just called American Girl corporate offices and afterwards left this post on the American Girl Facebook site: “I would like very much to see American Girl include boys along with girls in their marketing. The reality is that there are little boys who love these beautiful dolls and all of their accessories, and the website, catalogs, and online ordering mechanisms do not really allow for this. I appreciate the phone conversation I just had with someone in corporate offices and appreciate that the dolls were developed in order to help little girls understand American history. It sounds like American Girl has a very inclusive culture and I hope to see it demonstrated in marketing to ‘children,’ not only girls. Thank you.”

    • Kerri says:

      My son really wants a boy doll so bad. I can’t seem to find anything and he really wants American Girl doll. Why can’t they make a few boy dolls too. I have some friends who have boys who want dolls too. It is so frustrating, you find a doll (boy) but then you can’t find any clothes for it. My son loves dressing up my daughters girl dolls.

  3. Lee Wind says:

    Good for you for calling out American Girl – that thing about asking about the girl you’re buying the doll for is so frustrating, but they won’t change until enough of us speak up about it! (And the catalog thing is maddening – but change does happen – I liked this gender-neutral toy catalog from Sweden http://www.leewind.org/2013/12/special-saturday-post-toy-shopping.html
    Best!
    Lee

  4. Kathleen says:

    I was so shocked by the horrible comments on Salon.com! I just wanted to comment on here on how wonderful you are in being so supportive of your son’s gender preferences. Maybe people just don’t get it without a long introduction (like, say, reading this entire blog). They seemed to think you were raising CJ to be gender-neutral, not accepting his choices!

    • Ally says:

      I was shocked too since salon.com is a progressive site. I would have thought I was on a Fox News site or something with the tone of those comments. It’s disconcerting to me to see such a display of willful ignorance. I don’t know what is so hard to believe or understand about gender being hardwired and it may or may not line up with one’s body. I’ve never understood where all the fear comes from over it. Seriously, we are talking about a small child playing with a toy. How in the world do some people find that threatening? It would be laughable if it wasn’t harmful to these kids but it is and that makes it anything but funny.

    • sissygeek says:

      Wish I could say I was shocked. I’ve seen worse.

      People who are open-minded about boys playing with dolls: either they’re not going to feel moved to comment (in that poisonous atmosphere), or they’re already reading Raising My Rainbow.

      Most parents have come around to believing it’s unfair to forbid their daughters from playing with any toys which suit their interests. Fewer will extend similar freedom to their sons; seeing a boy playing with a doll makes them extremely uncomfortable.

      In my preschool–at age four, in the late ’60s–I was surrounded by all the teachers, who loomed over me as they expressed their disapproval. By picking up a doll, I’d done a terrible thing. I was deeply ashamed, and never did it again.

      Progress is being made! But not quickly.

  5. Lauri says:

    My grandson 7 year old has not been introduced to the American Girls yet but he got the full set of Monster High dolls, all of the Pixie Hollow fairies, Elsa from Frozen and a new rabbit from Build a Bear complete with skating outfit and Rapunzel formal dress. He has been playing with Barbies since he was old enough to choose his own toys. He wears dresses and high heels. I only wish there was a way to connect with other parents of gender non-conforming children to set up play dates and support groups. I want him to be with other kids who have the same interests so he can dress in his dresses and show off his newest dance moves! Any suggestions??

    • Lauri says:

      My daughter just started up a meet up group for boys who are gender non-conforming. Hopefully we hear back from other parents with gender non-conforming children.

      • Anne says:

        It’s funny, my son really prefers to play with girls. There is another boy in his class who is gender non conforming and they get along, but don’t have much interest in playing with each other. Thankfully first grade girls still like to have play dates with boys although I was laughing one day when my son came home and said in his best diva voice with hand on hip…”Mom, I don’t know what it is with girls, they are just so sensitive about everything.” I told him to get used to it:).

    • Children’s National Medical Center has a support group for families, a parent listserv and a summer camp for kids.

  6. lovingthem says:

    Fantastic, as always. I hope he loves his new Julie doll!

  7. ButchDyke says:

    Don’t forget to send these articles to American Girl so they can change their marketing and include boys who want to play with dolls. I sent a copy of Lori’s article to them asking them to help CJ get his wish. I invite others to join me in sending them the article. The more merrier. It might make a difference.

  8. Robyn C says:

    My son got an American Girl doll for Christmas too. Molly. :)

  9. Tristen says:

    I’m amazed at how pink, how vibrant the “girls” aisle is compared to the drabness of the so called “boy” aisles. Adults, as much as children, of both genders have to be drawn to one over the other. Is it any wonder?

  10. Reblogged this on JerBear's Queer World News, Views & More From The City Different – Santa Fe, NM and commented:
    A great post from bigger Or I During. This is a repost of a repost so enjoy link hopping! :-D

  11. I really liked the reveal. And it’s an awareness to me as a marketer. In an effort to be pseudo-personal, many people are being alienated. What about me, a childless gay man, buying it for my niece? What about a friend who happens to be a woman who had 3 miscarriages. We presume so much…and maybe it’s highly profitable because gay uncles and family friends with birth tragedies are a minority…

    Thank you for the wishes of a wonderful day. Now I’ll return to my War on Christmas :)

  12. Silversun says:

    Merry Christmas to you and your family! I hope C.J.mwas happy with Julie and his other gifts and that Chase also loved his gifts. Best wishes to you all in the new year ahead!

  13. Anne says:

    There are many times when I read your posts and am amazed how similar some days in our lives are. The American girl catalog arrived this fall, my son saw it and it was love at first sight. I’m happy to say that Rebecca is now tucked in tight in her new bed beside my son. I highly recommend the knock off My Generation doll bed by Target. The red scroll iron bed is adorable.
    Wishing you a happy 2014!

    • Marcy says:

      Hi there! I must share! My son’s Rebecca doll is happily tucked into her My Generation bed right now too!

      • Anne says:

        So cute! Love that your son has rebecca too. Did you know the dolls need a special wire hair brush? I just learned that from my sister in law. We’ve had at least 25 hairstyle changes in the last 24 hours so it looks like I’ll be buying the brush.

  14. Dan Woog says:

    Another fantastic, inspiring, on-the-money post. THANKS, Lori, for raising your 2 sons so well; for educating all of us, and for doing it with both a carrot and a stick. Here’s to a happy, healthy and gender-intelligent 2014!

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