Welcome to my new series: Hi, The Internet Is Mean! Yesterday we talked about the depravity of commenters who gleefully said a bride got what she deserved when a tragic accident took her life during her wedding photo shoot. The newly minted wife met a terrifying, dramatic death but . . . yeah, take that for being happy, bride. How dare you live!
Today let's examine a feel-good story on CNN about a toy store that has decided to organize toys by theme rather than gender. My Chicago Now colleague Carrie Goldman Segall was quoted in the article talking about her daughter's famous love of Star Wars and how the stigma of crossing gender lines with toys can lead to bullying. What a great solution from the toy store, right? I mean, what is the difference between an action figure and a doll, anyway? Oh, ho, ho, pull up a stool to the Internet, babies. Everything is a problem. And now that we're approaching election season, this innocent article about mixed toy shelves is part of the cresendo where gay rights, gender roles and politics intersect.
Let's get to the sample comments.
"Parents are not to teach truth and values to their children? [...] America thought there would be no consequences to eliminating God Almighty , Jesus Christ, The Ten Commandments, Christmas, prayer, and the Bible from their lives and their schools."
Oh, girls like normal-colored legos because they don't get enough Jesus in school. Got it.
"It's one thing to have kids play with gender neutral toys, it's another to encourage boys to play with dolls. I really cannot tolerate this bs liberal point of view."
The liberals made him do it! Secret fact: All boys play with dolls. Some of them play daddy and others shoot them out of potato guns but ask any parent who has a son and a daughter and you will get the same answer: Doll around = played with by all the kids in the family. What? A boy pretending to be a dad is "gay" now? All dads are gay?! The gay is infecting us all? RUN AMURIKAH!
"Don't raise your son to be a mary or your girl to be butch."
No, don't do that. If you daughter plays with Star Wars or video games or wears anything besides a frilly apron while batting her eyes, she'll be butch and that would cause mass chaos - except that 50 years ago a typical woman might look like this and now the average woman (raised on Nintendo and Tinker Toys) uses whitening toothpaste, wears a push up bra and wears a heel height nearly double from the norm of the 1950's.
Let's ask Cher how well that worked out when she stuffed Chaz Bono into this ensemble:
"OK CNN, you want men to become women and women to run the world, we get it."
Is that what CNN wants? A network whose top anchor pool is 75% male? That's a decent ratio, but it's not like CNN is run by a team of amazon women from the Robert Crumb files. Guys, we're talking about how a toy store displays their wares. This is out of hand.
Maybe everyone is so terrible on the Internet because they are anonymous. I guess all that separates human decency from savage fallout is a computer screen. While we're being retro, let's amend one of my favorite 60's expressions: