A new catalog from the American Girl doll company arrived in the mail recently --something my daughter Kristin and I used to really look forward to.
We’ve ordered from the company many times, and one of my fondest memories is of a trip I made with Kristin to the huge American Girl store in Chicago. The occasion was my -- ahem, 40th birthday -- as well as that of my best childhood friend, Suzanne Ebel. We decided to take our daughters and spend a weekend doing girlie fun stuff that we would all enjoy, mainly to teach our girls the importance of developing true female friendships. Our weekend highlight was a play and lunch at American Girl.
Tragically, it seems that the place we carefully chose to help teach our daughters important life lessons about sacrifice, selflessness and friendship now promotes the “me first” mantra of selfish feminism.
The company has decided to donate money from the sale of its “I Can” bracelets to Girls Inc., a group that promotes an agenda that sounds as if it was ripped from the pages of Planned Parenthood.
I know -- it sounds like something that just can’t be true. And believe me, it pains me deeply to say it. Like thousands of other mothers who work to uphold traditional values, I have long appreciated the American Girl dolls for their wholesome image and the way they help our daughters learn about the enormous sacrifices mothers and fathers have made throughout history to provide a better life for their children.
The storybooks featuring Kirsten, for example -- the doll my daughter owns -- focus on what life was like in Minnesota in 1854 for a girl whose hard-working immigrant parents made the difficult decision to move their family from Sweden to America.
But what an unwelcome education we’re getting now about the company that makes these wonderful dolls. On the company’s Web site, you’ll find (on the “Shop” page) a picture of a black bracelet with a red star that says, “I Can.” When you click on the link to find out about buying the bracelet, it tells you about the “I Can” promise: “I can be myself, follow my dreams and always do my best. I can reach for the stars, lend a hand to others and be a good friend. I can make a difference! I promise to try.”