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Old 10-22-2005, 09:23 AM   #16
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Girl talk

October 22, 2005

IT WAS a natural fit when American Girl -- manufacturer of a popular line of dolls portraying life from the mid-1700s through World War II -- announced this fall that it would fund programs sponsored by the national philanthropy Girls Incorporated. Nobody expected a protest.

But these are testy times, when labels are often too quickly applied. The American Family Association and the Pro-Life Action League, two conservative groups, did just that in denouncing a fine corporate gesture as one promoting abortion and homosexuality.

The groups have inundated the doll manufacturer and the philanthropy with e-mails and phone calls demanding that the funding stop because Girls Incorporated supports Roe v. Wade as well as sex education that includes information on homosexuality.

But those issues are just two in the 141-year-old charity's extensive program book, dedicated to building character and inspiring girls to excel intellectually and athletically.

In giving $50,000 to Girls Incorporated and in establishing the ''I Can" program last month, American Girl did not provide general funding but stipulated that it was supporting the specific areas of leadership skills, math and science education, literature appreciation, economic literacy, and sports.

''We are profoundly disappointed that certain groups have chosen to misconstrue American Girl's purely altruistic efforts and turn them into a broader political statement on issues that we, as a corporation, have no position," the company said in a statement.

But Randy Sharp, special projects director at the American Family Association, insisted that there is an 'ideological connection" to what his group sees as offensive political agendas. He noted that even when money is dedicated to presumably acceptable efforts, ''it frees up other monies to be used for the promotion of abortion and homosexuality."

Were protesters not so bent on labeling an enemy, they might find a friend in Girls Incorporated, which, according to its president and CEO, Joyce Roche, believes that the family should be ''the primary source of information on health and sexuality." She noted that her organization teaches about the benefits of sexual abstinence and works to prevent teen pregnancy.

The American Girl ''I Can" program calls on girls to make this pledge: ''I can be myself, follow my dreams, and always do my best. I can reach for the stars, lend a hand to others, and be a good friend. I can make a difference! I promise to try."

Proponents of all political persuasions can surely join in supporting that uplifting manifesto. Seeking the common ground rather than the battleground can create a brighter future for the country and its children.

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Old 10-22-2005, 10:31 AM   #17
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A brighter future. Sounds good in theory, but I'm leaning towards the Sex Pistols' prognosis these days

no future
no future
no future

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Old 10-22-2005, 06:50 PM   #18
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We should be afriad. If these groups were operating in a political vacuum, they'd be laughable. But they're not. They have covert support (even to the level of financial contributions) at the very highest levels of gov't. The so-called guardians of Moral Virtue have way too much power these days. So anything they do should be taken very seriously. This isn't something that American Girl Inc can shrug off.

Funny, in the train station in Albany, NY I met a charming mother and daughter couple who were going down to NYC for an American Girl convention 2 wks ago. That was the train I was taking to Madison Sq Garden for the band's Oct 7 show. (BTW..strange to see apic of Bono walking on an empty MSG stage and thinking, "OMG,4 or 5 hrs later I was standing RIGHT THERE in that place in the photo!) The little girl had a huge Abigail doll. I like the characters myself, having worked in a bookstore I know the series well. Standing there waiting for the train, we talked AG and....U2. I still have an aftereffect of "gig lag" (LOL, Bono, I know that feeling well! I always called it the "concert high") Reading about an AG controversy now is just..weird.
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Old 10-22-2005, 09:00 PM   #19
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you now when groups like this pull this kind of shit it just makes us man-hating, baby-killing, liberal tramps want to buy these products even more , if only to spite them!

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