golliwog doll

right or wrong?

1 to 20 of 78 messages
12/10/2012 at 11:29
In laws have bought my 6month old son a golliwog doll for xmas . I have said I don't want it in our house because I think its a symbol of racism and I don't want him associated with it. am I right or being over sensative? just doesn't feel right to me.
12/10/2012 at 11:31

Its from a time gone by..

12/10/2012 at 11:34

Each to his own where kids are invlved you do what you think is right anyway. For what it's worth it's only a symbol of racism if you think that way 

12/10/2012 at 11:35

Quite apart from what it represents, they're also quite ugly things...

12/10/2012 at 11:38

It represents a stuffed toy and most stuffed toys are ugly

12/10/2012 at 11:38

I would say over-sensitive but then as Barkles says, these were common when he and I were lads - Robertson's jam used the golliwog as it's brand image back in the 50's and 60's (probably before as well) and the dolls were part of that branding.

tbh - I'm surprised they even found a golliwog doll to buy as I wouldn't have though they were made in these more "enlightend" days.  perhaps it's a collector's item??  if so, take it - it might be worth something in the future...

google "Black and White Minstrel Show" if you'e not aware of it - that's what we had to watch on TV in the 50's and 60's.  unfuckingbelievable.....

12/10/2012 at 11:39

I think you know that's rather a naive view EKGO.

Edited: 12/10/2012 at 11:39
12/10/2012 at 11:40

FB, they were on sale in Monmouth recently!!

12/10/2012 at 11:41

This has always baffled me slightly. It's a doll. It's black. What's the problem?

12/10/2012 at 11:44

you have fairly obviously done the right thing.

a strange choice of gift though. i can't believe that the in-laws are not aware of the racial connotations of the golliwog doll, so why choose that out of a million possible options for a present?

are they making a barely-veiled political statement? rage against political correctness?

regardless of the rights and wrongs of golliwog dolls, its pretty appalling to use a 6-month old boy to illustrate some sort of half-baked sociological point.

12/10/2012 at 11:50

They first appeared in children's books in 1895, I understand, and were based on black and white minstrel characters. Now, I understand social mores were different at the time, but there is quite clearly a racist element behind the depiction of black people.

12/10/2012 at 11:52
Don't think its a political statement. Robinson's jam removed it as symbol due to the uproar in the early nineties and at one point it was illegal to display the image. Obviously not anymore. it came off eastgate market in ingoldmells.
12/10/2012 at 11:53

More disturbingly, I will probably have nightmares tonight because I've managed to find one that looks like Ken Dodd.



Edited: 12/10/2012 at 11:53
12/10/2012 at 11:53

sarah - The Golliwog represents a symbol of racism. they are a ridiculous caricature (admittedly so are other dolls) with frizzy hair, white staring eyes and paws instead of hands. to my knowledge it's based on a horrible 19th century storybook character by Florence Upton who was roughly treated and ridiculed by his playmates.

aside from any historical context however, it is not about what i think and it is not about what you think.

i'd say a significant number of black people find golliwog dolls offensive, and therefore common politeness should stop us from reproducing their icon where possible, and certainly not normalizing them as presents for children who cannot know better.

12/10/2012 at 11:54

runningowl - if it isn't a political statement, then what? why give that? they cannot be unaware of the offense it might cause. are they just stupid?

12/10/2012 at 12:04

I find Barbie dolls offensive, and I'm fairly certain I could find plenty of people who agree with me. I'm not calling for them to be banned though.

And I'd be amazed if the doll was given to make a political statement, that just seems utterly absurd. It's a doll. It happens to be black. I wouldn't find it offensive, and I'm not going to presuppose offence on someone else's behalf. As you say, lots of dolls are caricatures. Surely it's a greater example of racism to say you can't have a black doll?


12/10/2012 at 12:06

Should all red heads be protesting against this sort of thing? Stereotypically frizzy hair, freckles, etc. It shouldn't be normalized!





12/10/2012 at 12:07
bizarre thing to buy to be honest - forget the racist angle but its an old fashioned toy - whats wrong with an iggle piggle or peppa pig???!!
Now if its some authentic antique thats going to fetch thousands when your little one is grown up then let them look after it.
12/10/2012 at 12:07
Barkles wrote (see)

FB, they were on sale in Monmouth recently!!

that's Monmouth for you mate....

but perhaps let's not get too over-sensitive here - these dolls are probably made by some nigg....coloured person....  

12/10/2012 at 12:10

no, because nobody is saying you can't have a black doll. are all black dolls gollliwogs? no.

this is a Golliwog doll, which has strong cultural and hstorical associations with the subjugation of black people, and that is what we are discussing.

As I said, regardless of the rights and wrongs, the doll does cause offense to people, something the in-laws could not possibly have been unaware of. Imagine if the wee boy took the doll into nursery. right or wrong, it would cause offense, which places a small child in a very awkward position which they could not have been aware of.

whether it's politically correct nonsense or not, it isnt fair on the child. if the parent wants to parade a golliwog doll around that is their business as a free adult, but the child cannot exercise that choice.

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