Attention Broadsheet shoppers! Run, don't walk, to American Girl Place!

The terrifying doll emporium is the enemy of our enemy.

Published November 4, 2005 2:14PM (EST)

Broadsheet boycott update: Where to spend all the feminist do-gooder dollars you're saving by eschewing Target, Abercrombie and Fitch and all things Cinderella? American Girl Place.

Wait, what?

Marjorie Ingall, the Forward's "East Village Mamele" columnist (reg. required), notes this week:

"A few weeks ago, the American Family Association and other conservative groups threatened a boycott of American Girl dolls because American Girl contributes to Girls Inc. (formerly Girls Clubs of America), a 141-year-old national nonprofit youth organization. American Girl is currently selling cute little star bracelets, the proceeds of which support Girls Inc.'s programs in science and math, leadership skills and athletics. The AFA calls Girls Inc. 'a pro-abortion, pro-lesbian advocacy group.' (Wow, like the entire state of Vermont!)

"This is because its Web site (in an area it took me several minutes of clicking to find) declares its support for Roe v. Wade and says that girls have a right to 'positive, supportive environments' when 'dealing with issues of sexual orientation.'"

Also this week, a Catholic school outside Milwaukee canceled an American Girl fashion show that would have raised enough money for a new playground and library renovation -- all, as the Chicago Sun-Times put it, because of "concerns that the doll company behind the show gives money to a national girls organization that accepts abortion and lesbian sexual orientation."

"It's a bargain we'll just have to pass up. The cost is too high. Our integrity isn't for sale," said a pastor at the school, the Academy of Our Lady of High Dudgeon. (The school's real name is St. Luke School.)

How to express our outrage? How to demonstrate true American values? Shop, shop, shop! Writes Ingall:

"I myself have been boycotting American Girl for many years. But only because I think dolls are creepy and want to stab me in my sleep. Okay, and also because the idea of getting dragged into a universe in which you have to buy the dolls (at $87 a pop) and the clothes for the dolls and the matching clothes for your child and the wagons and the beds and the horses and the books and then you have to take the entire plastic mishpocha to American Girl Place and get everybody's hair styled and eat in the café with its special doll-chairs and teas and ... where was this sentence going? Oh yeah, it makes me hyperventilate. (And American Girl is like the black-tar heroin of the doll world. You think you're just going to buy one educational book and one Kirsten the 1854 Pioneer Girl from Minnesota, but before you know it you've bought 42 dolls and you're muttering to yourself and living in a cardboard box on the Bowery ...) Until now, conservatives loved American Girl, what with the dolls being patriotic and nonhoochily dressed. My own mother-in-law has been salivating to buy Josie one since her birth. I've always said no. Now, however, thanks to this boycott, I just told her to knock herself out. Thank you, American Family Association! The enemy of my enemy is my doll!"

That, and you can also donate directly to Girls Inc.

By Lynn Harris

Award-winning journalist Lynn Harris is author of the comic novel "Death by Chick Lit" and co-creator of She also writes for the New York Times, Glamour, and many others.

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