Let's play group sex

After a flurry of protest, toy maker Hasbro will not manufacture the Pussycat Dolls' dolls.

Published May 25, 2006 3:18PM (EDT)

Plans to market girl group the Pussycat Dolls as actual dolls were canned yesterday under pressure from a grass-roots parents protest. Toy giant Hasbro, which, according to the New York Daily News, was targeting the dolls "to girls as young as six, bowed to a letter-writing campaign launched last month by Brooklyn mom Lisa Flythe."

The Pussycat Dolls, the campy burlesque dancers who were once led by Carmen Electra and whose current claim to fame is "Don't Cha," a song about group sex, have found a huge fan base among teenage girls. Although the Daily News doesn't go into detail about why Hasbro thought the racy dolls would be a good idea for young girls, it seems as though the company figured the toys would appeal to the same market as Barbie, whose anatomically impossible body has long been a figure of parental anxiety. But Flythe and parents from groups like Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and Dads and Daughters clearly felt the Pussycat Dolls were more than questionable.

Flythe, 43, who has a 4-year-old daughter, told the Daily News, "Every single person I spoke to was shocked that [the dolls] would even be considered. It could be an appropriate adult entertainment product but definitely not for kids." The kids' dolls were supposed to be sold for $15 apiece and were slated to come out this fall in time for the holidays. By yesterday morning, Hasbro had received more than 2,000 protest letters and e-mails, the Daily News reports.

While parents certainly have the right to choose what is appropriate for their children to play with, are the Pussycat Dolls really much different from their older cousin Barbie?

Update: I have to admit that although "Don't Cha" is as catchy as hell and was stuck in my head while writing the post about Hasbro's Pussycat Dolls' dolls, I had never paid much attention to the lyrics. The New York Daily News reported that the song "featured lyrics about group sex," which, as Brad in the letters section points out, probably refers to a single line: "But I know she aint gon' wanna share."

I stand corrected, the song is not about group sex. However, I stand by the fact that you can still have your Pussycat Dolls dolls play group sex.

By Sarah Goldstein

Sarah Goldstein is an editorial fellow at Salon.

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