A mom in Argentina was shocked to find what appears to be a small plastic penis on her 3-year-old’s fairy doll.
After the mom shared a photo on Facebook, her post went viral, prompting a debate about what’s being called a transgender doll. Some parents expressed concern that the doll might influence sexuality. Members of the transgender community in Argentina have reportedly said that having a toy like this doll may have made their childhoods easier.
I think everyone needs to back up a few steps.
First of all, that dangly little piece of plastic doesn’t look a whole lot like a penis. It looks like a manufacturing defect.
Even if it is intentionally a penis, do we really care? Dolls with penises have caused a huge stir in the past, and it all comes down to parents freaking out about genitals that roughly half of human beings have. Child psychologist Ricardo Rodulfo told The Daily Mail, “It doesn’t matter to a child whether their toy has male genitalia or not. The idea causes more disturbance among adults.”
Of course, this is a supposed penis on a doll wearing fairy wings and a dress, which complicates things a little. But I have to seriously question calling this doll a transgender doll. Transgender men and women aren’t required to show anyone what their genitals look like. Genitalia doesn’t define gender, it defines sex — a distinction that continues to confuse many adults. Sticking a tiny plastic wang on a fairy doll doesn’t promote transgender acceptance. Instead, it puts an unnecessary emphasis on what’s hanging between someone’s legs.
Kids don’t need “transgender dolls.” Kids need the freedom to express themselves without the constraints of gender stereotypes. Kids need parents who aren’t terrified that toys will warp their sexualities.
Kids need parents who will accept and love them — no matter what.