What?! I have two sons. They don't think that Al Snow has a real woman's head in his hand. They don't believe that Al Snow's "head" is anything but a fake dummy's head which, it must be noted, does NOT have a gender. He never refers to the Head as him or her. It is simply a mannequin head that has no underlying brutality to it.
Here's my take on this situation. Wal-Mart sells toy guns. Cap guns, shotguns, pistols. They sell bows and arrows. Is emulating using these things a GOOD thing? They also sell dice, cards, and poker chips. Is gambling a GOOD thing? Strolling down the aisles, I have seen monsters and actions figures that spew green goo from their pores and eyes; I have seen actions figures that come with red food coloring so they can "bleed." I even saw a doll that cries when you spank her! WHEN YOU SPANK HER! Is that what we want to teach young parents-to-be? To spank their babies? No, of course not. Still these items sit on the shelves. And Al Snow is pulled. Why? Because Wal-Mart bought into the "wrestling is immoral" credo.
They are afraid of Mrs. Parton's reaction. But just LOOK at this woman's comments! "My sons are 6 and 11. What kind of message would this toy send them about brutalization of women?'' Ms. Parton said. My sons are 8 and almost 14. I think that by watching how I, as a woman, conduct myself and respect myself, my kids have a good understanding of how women should be treated. I believe that it is my responsibility to teach my sons that all people, women and men alike, should be treated respectfully. I don't think Al Snow's mannequin head will give my kids the green light to behead a woman and write on her forehead. And, if I may expound, what kind of message is that doll who cries when you spank her giving to children? I think spanking a helpless baby is pretty darn brutal is you ask me!
Wal-Mart supports their position by saying, "Our management has decided it is at least a questionable item,'' Bisio said from Wal-Mart's Bentonville, Ark., headquarters. "So we are removing it from the shelf, probably permanently.'' I swear to you that I am going to write to Wal-Mart and complain about the toy guns in their store. I also will complain that the "severed hand" which is sitting amongst their old Halloween stuff is telling my sons to cut people's hands off. I then will question why they have on their shelves video games who's object is to kill as many people as you can to win. While I am complaining, I think that doll better go. I don't want MY kids thinking that they should spank a baby!! Now, once I am done with my complaints, do you think I will make it to the AP Wire and do you think that the items in question will be pulled from the shelves? If I may paraphrase Steve Austin, "OH HELL NO!" Why not? Because my complaints are "petty" and not worth review. Partons' are valid because the evil that is taking over the world, pro wrestling, is involved.
Now then, this woman follows up her complaint with the most interesting of comments, "I could see if this was an adult novelty item, people could make a choice about whether to buy it. But the label says it's recommended for children ages 4 and older. That's terribly wrong." Wait a minute!! Is there a REASON why there is suddenly no choice when it comes to buying an action figure? This woman is saying that because the label says it is for ages 4 and older (by the way, that is a safety label, not one that monitors morality), parents have no choice when it comes to purchasing it? OH PA-LEESE. That statement says it all. This woman has no time to actually find out what Al Snow and Head are all about. She has no clue that the head is a sexless mannequin head. She doesn't know that she has every choice in the world to bypass it and buy a doll that cries when you spank it. She sees pro wrestling and sees what she perceives as a "bad" thing and goes off, with absolutely no foundation based on reality. We ALL have a choice. We, as parents, MUST make choices. One choice is to be involved with what our kids watch on TV and play with at home.
If this woman feels that Al Snow is not a good choice for her children, so be it. But how dare she have the figure pulled off the shelves before I had a chance to buy one for MYSELF!! (I am 4 and over so I can play with it if I want to!)
One last question: WHAT is terribly wrong about a label saying the product is recommended for children 4 and older? Would it be better if there were no warning so a baby could choke on small parts? My point is simply this: Don't tell me what to read, don't tell me what to watch, and do NOT tell me what I can buy. If stores continue to cave in to lame complaints about pro wrestling action figures, what will be next? If we all complained every time we saw something we, personally, found objectionable and the stores pulled the things from the shelves, there would be nothing in the toy aisle! My good friend was appalled by a stuffed cat that produced baby kittens from its stomach. Sometimes there would be three, sometimes four, and if you were really lucky, five kittens would come out of the Mamma cat. My friend thought it was way too questionable to give that toy to her five year old daughter. Guess what? She bought her daughter something else instead and life is good. We all have choices. If it's all the same to Mrs. Parton, I would like to make those choices myself, without her "help." And Wal-Mart, I got three words for ya: Shame on you ... for censoring my ability to choose. Anybody want to join me on a road trip to Toys R Us?
I have said my piece and I am moving on. Please let me now if you agree with what I have said. I want to hear from you, the women wrestling fans.