Although American Girl started off with the promise of girl-centric books, I haven't been a fan of the product line since downtown Chicago became infiltrated by hordes of well-off women and children bearing American Girl Place shopping bags filled with overpriced dolls and matchy-matchy clothes for girls and dolls alike. And the concept of special seating for dolls at the AGP restaurant? Ick. Whenever I encounter yet another group of AGP acolytes on Michigan Avenue, I express gratitude that I don't have a daughter and will probably never be beseeched, wheedled, or cajoled into going to the mecca that is American Girl Place.
The American Girl company now faces a boycott by Don Wildmon's American Family Association and Ann Scheidler's Pro-Life Action League. Why? Because American Girl is raising money for Girls Inc., a nonprofit group whose stated mission is "inspiring girls to be strong, smart and bold." So what's the problem? Scheidler says, "While Girls Inc. has some good programs, they also support abortion, oppose abstinence-only education for girls, and condone lesbianism." Lawd ha' mercy! Not that!
Girls Inc. has been around for 140 years and serves 800,000 girls, most of them from low-income families. They also support women's rights. According to their website, "Girls Inc develops research-based informal education programs that encourage girls to take risks and master physical, intellectual and emotional challenges. Major programs address math and science education, pregnancy and drug abuse prevention, media literacy, economic literacy, adolescent health, violence prevention, and sports participation." How controversial!
Now, you can buy all the American Girl dolls you want, but the money that goes to Girls Inc. is from their sales of "I Can" wristbands. Why not save yourself the trouble of buying another rubber bracelet and just donate to Girls Inc. instead?
Another grand idea: Mr. Tangerine asks, "Where's the American Boy Place?" He wants a place he and Ben and a doll can go, all three of them wearing matching outfits. That would be lovely, wouldn't it?