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Thursday, February 03, 2005


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Oh, matty, I wanted to answer your question- I collect AG dolls so I know- that is what the catalogs and website have said ever since she came out for sale. They haven't changed the wording.

Okay, I agree and disagree with the article. I agree that people should try to make their communities better...WHEN they don't have children. If Marisol's parents didn't have her yet, sure they should try to fix whatever they think is wrong with Pilsen, join groups, do clean-ups, have a crimewatch...oh, don't get me wrong, I have never been to Pilsen so I do not know if they need these things or not. I am only suggesting these dieas because the person who wrote the article said that people should try to fix their communities instead of leaving them.
Now that's where I partially disagree: If you DON'T have kids, go ahead and try to fix it. But once you have kids, your first priority is to those kids, not to the neighborhood. If you think it is bad, then get out and raise your kids where you think it will be better. That's the responsibility of a parent. That is a higher responsibility than the one to fix up your neighborhood. So if your single or with no kids then I think you should stay and try to make it better, but once you have kids you need to be thinking about what you think is best for them, not what you think is best for the neighborhood.

And as for the actual book, I seriously doubt that many people protesting have even read the book completely.
I have read it completely and although it's not the greatest book, they NEVER act like it is some hot crime area.
Marisol's parents make it perfectly clear that they live in an apartment in the city, and they just want a house with a yard so Marisol doesn't have to play in the street! And to me that makes sense! What parents wouldn't want their kids to have a backyard to play in? Why do you think lots of city people move to the suburbs once they have kids? For that very reason!
And, in the book, if you actually read it, you will see that Marisol really loves her neighborhood and does not want to move. She speaks fondly of all the different neighbors she has and of her school and the community in general. Poeple are blowing this way out of proportion, and I think that most of them haven't even read the book.
Also, I think when people protest this they are just out to gain something for themselves, like Pilsen students were demanding that Mattell pay for their school things and fix up their boys and girls center or soemthing like that because of the book. Asking for that, to me, just seems like trying to milk it, and also- the very things they were asking for point to the fact that MAYBE it isn't such a great area. AS I said, I have never been there so I don't know if its good or bad- but the things the students are trying to get Mattell to pay for make it sound like they don't have anything.

Pilsen does have some really dodgy areas. And people can go ahead and get upset all they want, but it's the truth. I don't gunplay considered dangerous anymore, or is it politically incorrect to call attention to the fact that a neighborhood that has some small amount of shooting going on might NOT be the best place to raise a kid?

Neither is the suburbs, for that matter.

Pilsen isn't an art gallery now, either. I disagree. It's still possible to find cheap rent(in the dodgier areas!)

Funny that the American girl website says this: "Marisol Luna was born to dance. She loves her close–knit neighborhood and her dance classes—so when her parents decide to move, she’s devastated! But then a friend helps her see that a real dancer never loses her faith. Lively, confident, and imaginative, Marisol has a story to tell that’s all her own"

was it changed recently, i wonder, or is this the simple front to cloud what stereotyiping there is. however, we shouldn't forget that the American Girl dolls do provide products with a fair amount of historical context in the storylines.

This has historical roots. For all the talk of community and family, white Americans have celebrated minorities more when they have abandoned their community and extended family for middle class life.

She is fair skinned, but Elena you should know as much as anyone else that we come in all colors.

oh one other thing, doesn't anyone find this "American girl" to be rather fair skinned? Is the other Latina from New Mexico light skinned too?

Yes, I too wish that "...little girls like Marisol living in the inner city can be proud of their neighborhood and not have the perception that they must leave the neighborhood so that they can do better for themselves," ignoring that however for a minute, I have not found Pilsen to be a dangerous place. No, I've never been there really late at night but whenever I think of Chicago I think of Pilsen, I think of las Panaderias, las tiendas, los familias, I can't wait to go back to Pilsen. BTW I once read that Chicago is the 4th largest city of ethnic Mexicans (After Mexico City, Los Angeles, and Guadalajara).

hey lady --

chicago is a community of varied (and predominantly segregated) flavors, styles, colors, ethnicities and sexual preferences. . . pilsen is an art gallery area now -- i am not even sure if i could find an apartment with an affordable rent there -- there WERE some good lofts there a few years ago, and it was supposed to be a good place to buy for less than other areas, mostly b/c no one was really buying there -- what is odd to me is that if this girl (american girl doll) grew up in brooklyn (i know, this is a fictional character -- hear me out) she would be proud of being from brooklyn -- bed/stuy do-or-die!! if she were from washington heights or jamaica, queens, she would be proud -- she would be a SURVIVOR, and she would be giving BACK and not giving UP (okay, her PARENTS) -- i wonder if her parents were second-generation immigrants, in the story -- sometimes it seems to me, that the second-generation may be MORE race- and class-concious, almost as much so as whites-

anyhow, i agree with your assessment and your frustration -- it is a sad ommentary. it's a modern problem, living in an urban area -- i have left several neighborhoods in chicago b/c of crime and fear (for my own safety, as a single woman), and i have fled others b/c the gentrification drove up the rents, and i could no longer afford to live there -- i don't know. i sometimes want to be an urban pioneer, but there are other times when i am just annoyed with the lack of services in the pioneer areas, or that i am too afraid of gang activity to take odessa to the park --

so glad you are back on line!!

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