Surprise surprise, Australian-designed. Well, I don't know where people are getting this idea that it is racist. I mean, it looks like a golliwog, but apart from that...
A retail chain is making no apologies for selling "Golly" dolls which many people believe have racist connotations.
A full display of the Australian-designed Golly range is on show at Acquisitions St Lukes - ranging in price from $79.99 to $149.99.
Ah. I see what you've done here. They're not golliwogs at all. They're "Golly's". They're probably named that because the inventor said "Golly, that's a great idea for a doll" when he or she came up with it. Any resemblance in name or appearance to any other doll, racist or not, is entirely unintentional - like in that Law & Order episode where the famous and eccentric fictional singer dies after complications with fictional drugs prescribed by his fictional doctor.
But Richard Thomson, general manager of Acquisitions, does not believe the store's dolls are offensive.
"We don't sell Golliwogs, we sell Gollys," he said. "The reason we're very careful about calling them Golly and not Golliwog is because we realise that 'wog' is an offensive term and we wouldn't want to be associated with the use of it."
So I would hate to break in here and claim that it's not actually the word 'wog' that offends people about golliwogs. It's the concept, and therefore the word, of the golliwog. But you wouldn't want to be associated with that.
Always a good test. "Is it racist?" "I dunno." "Is it popular?" "Yes." "Well it can't be racist then." "How are they selling in our Christchurch store?" "Great!"
He said the dolls had been on sale for about a month and had proved popular in the 10 stores around the country.
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"They're selling exceptionally well."
Asked if the company had considered that some people might find them offensive, Mr Thomson said: "We recognise that's always a possibility but our view is that these are caricatures in the same way as Barbie or any other doll is.Barbie does truly represent the horrors of the centuries-long exploitation and deprecation of tall, skinny, blonde women.
"It's very difficult to please everyone and what we do is we say: 'Look, this is our style and we sell a huge range of products and people will pick and choose the items that they like or don't like and that's absolutely as it should be."For example, when I walk into Acquisitions St Lukes I turn my nose up at the racist doll section and proceed directly to the area festooned with Nazi memorabilia.
Anyway, it's interesting how a stupid story about a rubbish shop selling what really is a terrible piece of overpriced awfulness becomes essentially an ad for said shop, simply because the reporter involved can't manage to ask some critical questions that ought to make up Lecture Two of Journalism 101:
- "If it's not a golliwog, why is it called a Golly?"
- "Do you think that the use of Golliwog imagery in the context of colonialism has anything to do with the taboo attached to the figure?"
- "You do realise that you sound like an idiot, don't you?"