Friday, October 27, 2006

Ew.

Tesco condemned for selling pole-dancing toy.

Okay, this is straight from the UK. But, ew.

Apparently the woman in the photo above was searching for Christmas gifts for her daughters (ages 10 & 11) online when she came across a pole-dancing kit in the toys and games section of the British company Tesco's web site. The "toy" or "game" (depending on how you use it I suppose?) is called "Peekaboo Pole." Here's a portion of the marketing copy from the web site:

"Soon you'll be flaunting it to the world and earning a fortune in Peekaboo Dance Dollars". (emphasis is mine!)

Clearly Tesco, the company that sells this product, feels it's appropriate to groom girls for glamorous careers as exotic dancers in strip clubs. It seems they'd actually like to be part of the educational process - teaching them how to pole-dance while they're young.

The Tesco web site entices potential buyers of the Peekaboo Pole to "unleash the sex kitten inside...simply extend the Peekaboo pole inside the tube, slip on the sexy tunes and away you go!" However, the company denies that the pole is "sexually oriented" and have agreed to move it from the "Toys and Games" section instead being sold under "Fitness."

Tesco also features another "fitness accessory" presumably geared towards men (?) called Peekaboo Poker featuring a young woman in her underwear hawking the idea for "outrageous fun." The box is clear in its directive: "You set the limit." Somehow that's not much of an assurance to me.

I'm not sure why our society feels that young girls need, want, should be subjected to "toys" that purely objectify them at an incredibly young age. I am incredibly frustrated that it is now acceptable to sexualize girls, young girls, in the name of "entertainment."

My daughter brought home a Bratz doll the other day - a gift from a friend. It's unclear how my daughter was supposed to play with her. The doll was huge - half the size of my four-year old daughter and had a fully developed body and an ambiguously ethnic face with loads of make-up and a head full of wild, auburn hair. She was wearing a long, fur-like coat and looked, well, she looked straight out of a porno film.

How again is my four year old supposed to play with her? What kinds of games, stories, pretend play is she being encouraged to engage in with this oversized porn star doll?!

"Look at me Mommy, my bratz doll is pole-dancing with my brand new Peekaboo Pole-Dancing kit! Someday I'm going to pole-dance in my fur coat too!!"


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