MUCH MORE THAN CHILD’S PLAY Mattel’s Gender-Neutral Dolls

A little boy and a little girl had just been introduced.  Soon they were trying to decide on which game to play.  The boy said, “I have an idea, how about baseball?”  The girl replied, “Oh no, I wouldn’t want to do that, baseball is a boy’s game.  It’s not feminine to run around on a dusty vacant lot.  No, I wouldn’t want to play baseball.”  So the boy suggested,“Okay then, let’s play football.”  But the girl responded, “Oh no, I wouldn’t want to play football, that’s even less feminine than baseball.  I might fall and get dirty.  No, that’s not a girl’s game, either.”  He suggested, “All right, I’ve got an idea.  I’ll race you to the corner.”  She countered, “No, girls play quiet games; we don’t run and get all sweaty.  Girls should never race with boys.”  The little guy scratched his head, trying to think of what she might want to do, and finally blurted out, “I know, let’s play house.”   The little girl immediately agreed voicing, “Good.  I’ll be the daddy!”

Mattel, the world’s largest toy-maker, is marketing the first-ever gender-neutral doll designed for both boys and girls to play with.  Carefully manicured features betray no obvious gender: the lips are not too full, the eyelashes are not too long, and the jaw is not too wide.  And certainly there are no Barbie-like breasts or Ken-like shoulders.  Instead, each doll comes with a variety of accessories including wig options and clothing choices (except nothing in blue or pink).  The point is that the doll can be a boy, girl, neither or both.

The first promotional spot features a series of kids who go by various pronouns – him, her, them, xem – and the slogan, “A doll line designed to keep labels out and invite everyone in”.  The doll kit is called Creatable World and has a Canadian price tag of $39.99 ($29.99 in the U.S.).  It is available at all major retailers online and in-store, including Chapters, Target, Walmart and of course, Amazon.  In Russia, there is a proposal to outlaw the “freak dolls”.

In the Bible, God asked the man and woman in Genesis 3, “Who told you that you were naked?” after they had been deceived by the serpent, sinned, and gone into hiding.  Having easily found them, the God who had earlier created them in his own image – male and female, no less – confronts them and gives them clothing to cover their newfound shame.  That’s God’s created world.  In Mattel’s Creatable World, it’s Mattel that asks the question of children, “Who told you that you were male and female?”  Mattel then gives the children interchangeable clothing to cover the shame of their male and female labelling.  It’s nothing more than a deceptive twist on an age-old story.

The bottom line?  Parents (and grandparents) should be aware that even the toy aisle isn’t  immune to the Creator being usurped by his creation.


Robert Southney was an English writer who lived from 1774 – 1843.  He was a born-again believer and attended a Bible-believing church.  Southney served as poet laureate (one hired to compose poems for a nation’s special occasions and important events) for over thirty years in England.  Still read today, among his literary achievements are the following: a number of biographies including John Bunyan (Pilgrim’s Progress), John Wesley (Methodist Evangelist), and William Cowper (There Is A Fountain Filled With Blood) … A number of fairy tales, including Goldilocks and the Three Bears … A number of poems, including What Folks Are Made Of.

It is the latter (What Folks Are Made Of) that I would draw your attention to.  It is an ode to Jesus’ words in Matthew 19:4, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, Southney then  composed a number of short rhymes in which he distinguishes between the two genders: young men/young women, brides/bridegrooms, husbands/wives, fathers/mothers, old men/old women, etc.  And the most famous is as follows:

What are little boys made of?  What are little boys made of?  Frogs and snails, and puppy-dogs’ tails; That’s what little boys are made of.

What are little girls made of?  What are little girls made of?  Sugar and spice, and all that’s nice;
That’s what little girls are made of.