Are these things really the same?

 Image from Adelaide Now

Image from Adelaide Now
Daisy doll from Positive Images
Daisy doll from Positive Images

Adelaide Now is running a story on the return of Golliwogs. A store in Adelaide is selling them, saying that banning them in the first place was an act of political correctness gone too far.  The first photo is of a customer’s child surrounded by the dolls.

 I tracked down an image of an African American doll being sold by This one retails for about £25 and there is similar one available for about £18. Pretty much what you would expect to pay for an equivalent quality doll in Australia.

I think there is a marked difference myself. A commenter on the Adelaide Now website also highlights the fact that the word golliwog itself is racially loaded and problematic.

But would a golliwog by any other name be acceptable?

Categories: ethics & philosophy, history, language, social justice

Tags: , , ,

6 replies

  1. As so often with these things, I don’t understand why people don’t understand the following:
    someone’s discomfort with your racist guff OUTWEIGHS your slight inconvenience in not being able to sell/do/say that racist guff
    (obv, not “you, Mindy” but “you, person who wants to do racist things, in this case, the shopowner”)
    That’s true even if you think that the discomfort of others is irrational or illogical.
    It’s also true even if you CALL your racist guff a tradition, and even if it really IS a tradition (I’m skeptical in this case).

  2. The person in charge of the toy section at my work ordered three toy golliwogs. I was so embarrassed that I told her not to order them again because they were racist. She eyerolled, but agreed not to buy more. The other ones were still sitting on the shelf, though, so I bought them at cost price and threw them out. I did not want someone walking into our small, mostly white town, and seeing that bullshit staring back at them. So yes, they’re definitely back in toy catalogues.
    It’s not just the name, though – it’s the Minstrel Show cariacture of a face.

  3. That’s fucking typical for this country. People just don’t even think about how they treat people of colour. The Indigenous Australians are so thoroughly “dealt” with, and immigrants of colour from Africa and/or the Americas are so few compared to the hordes of white folk that nobody gets called on their bullshit. It roils me, it makes my stomach clench.

  4. What Jo Tamar said, basically.

    Sorry kids, lose the racist toys, but look on the bright side, you can console yourself with the other 4,569,301 soft toys/dolls available to play with, most of which reside in our house. Sigh.

  5. Never fails to amaze, this whole insistence on something so racially and politically loaded when there are other things one could have / do that is a hella lot less problematic.

    On an off-note, that Daisy doll is really quite adorable!

  6. I did a google search to see what sort of prices GWs retail for. Oh my goodness, I wouldn’t recommend doing that search. I found some beautifully made dolls and no doubt not intended as offensive, but still breathtakingly so.

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