Thursday, October 13, 2005

Take up Knitting

The Girls, Inc. and American Girl doll company story has been all over the pro-life web sites and blogs.

I didn't see any direct references to Planned Parenthood on the site but their fingerprints are all over it. If you are familiar with Planned Parenthood's modus operandi you are familiar with the lingo and buzz words that let you know, "We support abortion" -- references to "rights", empowerment, helping girls to explore "community activism, careers, healthy risk-taking" and "stopping violence". Then there's the lack of support for abstinence education funding. Just check out their Legislative Action Center.

The trademarked mission/motto for Girls, Inc. is, "To inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold." The words kindness, love, and beauty never appear. I suppose they need to toughen girls up for the world Planned Parenthood, Girls, Inc., and the media and consumer markets have prepared for them. The name Girls, Inc. -- emphasis on the Inc. -- says it all.

In the words of “Donny” DonDero, National Executive Director from 1963 to 1974, here's how the organization has changed since it's founding in 1864.

I look back very happily on my time leading Girls Incorporated, and I think the organization today is marvelous. It used to be mostly home-oriented — cooking, sewing and washing. Fortunately — because I think it was important to move with the times — it has become more of a socially progressive organization. The emphasis really has changed.


I did those things as a girl and teenager in the 70s and 80s. I loved to knit and embroider and bake. I still do. Those hobbies are much more healthy, productive, worthwhile, and educational than all of the Girls, Inc. "progressive" community activism, career exploration, and sex ed programs combined. But it's not really about the girls anyway. It's about corporations selling products, CEOs and high-profile "do-gooders" winning awards, and certain groups pushing their ideology.

Margaret Gates, National Executive Director from 1983 to 1993, was probably a little too honest in her statement discussing program development at Girls, Inc.

The time was right. There were all these folks out there – child development experts, educators, women’s colleges – who were talking about girls’ needs, but they couldn’t do anything without access to girls. [All these experts needed girls they could actually test all their whacked-out theories on.] When the foundations saw us, they knew they were looking at a good thing. [Access to inner-city and poor girls from broken homes with parents who didn't have a clue what we were trying to do. White middle-class kids with parents who were also clueless and spent their time trying to be hip, smoking pot and swapping spouses worked just as well.] We had the infrastructure for getting programs out to a quarter of a million girls around the country. Not only that, we wanted to do programming that a lot of other organizations wouldn’t touch. Like sex education... [Oh, great.]

We decided to build a more comprehensive approach to sex education. The program we ultimately called Preventing Adolescent Pregnancy exposed the myths [abortion is a bad idea] and imparted the truth [abortion is a good idea], showing girls that they had the power to control their sexuality and their reproductive future [by just popping a few pills or foreign instruments in your body]. In a rigorous evaluation, this program was deemed successful in its dual goals of postponing the age of first sexual activity and reducing the incidence of adolescent pregnancy.

If only we could go back and interview these girls, who are now women, and see where they are in their lives and how they feel about the Girls, Inc. experiment they were unwittingly part of.

[Comments in brackets and italics mine.]

People are being encouraged to call the American Girl company, a subsidiary of Mattel Toys, Inc., in Middleton, Wisconsin to voice their complaint about Girl, Inc.'s support for abortion. A better idea, if you live in Washington state, call one of the licensees of this...uhm...garbage... and voice your displeasure.

(Licensee) YWCA of Seattle, King County & Snohomish County
1118 Fifth Avenue Seattle, WA 98101
Mailing Address 708 Martin Luther King Way
Seattle, WA 98122
Bus: (206) 568-7850
Fax: (206) 568-7851

(Licensee) YWCA of Pierce County
405 Broadway Tacoma, WA 98402-3995
Bus: (253) 272-4181
Fax: (253) 597-6683

(Licensee)Grays Harbor County Public Health & Social Services Department
2109 Sumner Avenue
Aberdeen, WA 98520-3600
Bus: (360) 532-8631
Fax: (360) 533-6272

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