Monday, February 20, 2017

 "I'm always looking for an interesting twist on a doll," says Robert Tonner, the CEO and founder of the Tonner Doll Company in Kingston, New York.
 World’s First ‘Transgender’ Doll 
Unveiled at New York Toy Fair 
republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:
 NEW YORK — A doll made in the likeness of a reality 
television star who was born a boy but identifies as a girl was unveiled
 this weekend in New York.
The Tonner Doll Company, led by Robert Tonner, introduced the Jazz Jennings doll at the International Toy Fair in Manhattan on Saturday.
“Jazz stands for everything I respect from a human nature point of view: She’s incredibly brave, intelligent, warm-hearted and creative,” he said in a statement.
As previously reported, Jennings is known for being the center of the TLC reality show “I Am Jazz,” which follows the now 16-year old’s life living as the opposite sex.

“Although born male, Jazz is a transgender female and has been living as a girl since kindergarten,” the network describes the show on its website. “Parents Jeanette and Greg have spent the years finding doctors to treat their daughter, while fighting the discrimination and misconceptions associated with what it means to be transgender.”
“Jazz is on a regimen of hormone therapy so that she can look and develop like the other girls in her school. But, Jazz struggles with comparing herself, and the lagging pace of her breast development to her friends,” it outlines.
Tonner said that he first learned about Jennings in 2007 when the then six-year-old was featured on “20/20” with Barbara Walters. Years later, after he noted that Jennings was becoming a prominent voice on “transgender” issues, he contacted the teen’s parents to advise that he would like to create a doll in Jennings’ image.

“Especially with the nastiest coming up in this political climate, I thought this is the perfect time for something like this,” Tonner told Forbes.
He said that while he may not include the word “transgender” on the doll box, his hope is that the figure initiates conversation.
“This is a great kid—an advocate, an entrepreneur, [and] one of TIME’s most influential teenagers. I’m doing the doll of a very accomplished kid,” Tonner stated. “I hope that it does get conversation started.”
“My trainer says, ‘What makes this a transgender doll if she has no parts?'” he outlined, speaking of a talk he had at the gym. “I said, ‘It’s about who it represents. It represents a person with an issue that 20 years ago, you couldn’t have done it. Now it’s opening up conversations, and that’s what I like about it.”
Jennings says that he is happy with the doll.
“Ever since I was little, I always loved playing with dolls,” the teen told the New York Times. “It was a great way to show my parents that I was a girl, because I could just express myself as I am. So this really resonates with me, because it was something so pivotal in my own journey.”
But some have expressed concern that the doll is a furtherance of the progressive agenda.
“Sorry, but I’m so tired of this ‘politically correct’ [thinking],” one commenter wrote on the Tonner Doll Company page.
“God help us!” another exclaimed.
The doll will be tested in approximately 50 stores beginning in July, and will be sold for $89 and $99, depending on the outfit.
Blurring Gender Lines? Pastor Concerned After American Girl Introduces First Ever Male Doll 
republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:
 MIDDLETON, Wisc. Hoping to offer a doll that 
will appeal to both girls and boys, American Girl has unveiled their 
first ever full-size male doll, which has lead to criticism from a North
 Carolina pastor who believes the move will blur gender lines and 
confuse young children about whether it is acceptable for boys to play 
with dolls like girls do.
For over 30 years, American Girl dolls, along with their accompanying books and accessories, have been popular toys for children in the U.S. The original dolls featured storylines and outfits of young girls from different periods of American history, but since 1995 the company has sold doll characters in various modern settings.
On Tuesday, in an effort to continue modernizing their line of dolls, American Girl announced the creation of its first-ever full-sized male character doll.
“A boy character has been a top request from our fans for decades,” said American Girl spokeswoman Stephanie Spanos in a statement.

The doll, whose name is Logan Everett, is advertised on the American Girl website as a bandmate and drummer to a female doll character named Tenney.
“Meet Logan, Tenney’s bandmate and drummer!” the company’s online description of the new doll states. “The 18” Logan doll has gray eyes that open and close, and short brown hair. Logan’s unique hand positioning helps him hold instruments! He arrives in a plaid button-down shirt, a T-shirt, jeans, underwear and shoes.”
The company hopes the new male doll will be of interest not only to girls, but to boys as well.

“We’re hopeful Logan will appeal to both girls and boys,” Spanos said. “For boys, we know Logan can speak directly to them and give them something unique and special to call their own.”
However, the unveiling of the new Logan Everett doll has left one pastor wondering why American Girl—whose mission is “celebrating girls and all that they can be”—is now also marketing dolls to boys.
Keith Ogden, pastor of Hill Street Baptist Church in Asheville, North Carolina, fears the new male doll will blur gender lines and confuse impressionable children as to whether it is the norm for boys play with dolls just like girls.
“This is nothing more than a trick of the enemy to emasculate little boys and confuse their role to become men,” he said in a statement.
“There are those in this world who want to alter God’s creation of the male and female,” Ogden continued. “The devil wants to kill, steal and destroy the minds of our children and grandchildren by perverting, distorting and twisting [the] truth of who God created them to be.”
He told the Asheville Citizen-Times that he believes the new American Girl doll is a reflection of society’s gender confusion and lack of morals.
“Now you are going to have little boys playing with baby dolls and that’s not cool,” Ogden said. “We need to get back to our old values and morals.”
He opined that churches need to be assisting youth during a time when gender identity has become a national issue, including in regard to youth activities. Ogden noted that the Boy Scouts of America recently announced that it will allow girls who identify as boys to serve as Boy Scouts.
“It just doesn’t make sense,” he remarked. “It’s not natural for a boy to act like a girl. It’s not natural for a girl to want to be a boy. … You’ve got the government and people who placate this mess instead of telling little boys they can’t change their biology.”
The Young Women’s Christian Association of Asheville (YWCA), however, said that it sees no issue with the doll.
“At the YWCA, we encourage play that helps all children explore what it means to be human and to accept each other’s differences,” CEO Beth Maczka told the Citizen-Times. “We are happy to see dolls that celebrate diversity and represent different races, abilities, body types and genders.”
  YWCA of Asheville 
185 S. French Broad Ave., Asheville, NC 28801
 Email the YWCA | Phone: 828-254-7206 | Fax: 828-258-8731
 Ami Irish Green, Director of Women's Empowerment - ext. 116;
 Kim Reed, Director of Empowerment Child Care - .ext 119;

 Focal Areas
The YWCA of Asheville is proud to be a host organization for The Tzedek Social Justice Fellowship, a unique one-year paid career and community development opportunity for emerging nonprofit and social justice leaders interested in becoming resilient agents of change in their communities.