I'll admit, I know very little about American Girl products. I don't have any pre-adolescent females living in my house, and haven't since I was about 6 years old myself. Before writing this story, however, I consulted with someone who does who informed me that they a very big deal indeed.
It turns out that they sell dolls and books and gifts and all sorts of stuff that would appeal to girls who are, I would guess, somewhere in the 8-13 years old range. If you clicked on through to that last link, you'll notice on the right hand side of the screen toward the bottom, that they are selling and promoting something called an I can band. Prominently displayed on screen are pictures of young teen and pre-teen girls wearing their I can band. Says the website:
American Girl will give 70 cents for every dollar of "I CAN" band sales, plus a $50,000 donation, to Girls Inc.®, a national organization dedicated to inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.sm
It all sounds just fine and schmaltzy until you saunter over to the Girls, Inc website and discover what their vision of a strong, smart, and bold girl is:
We recognize the right of all women to choose whether, when, and under what circumstances to bear children. Reproductive freedom and responsibility are essential to other rights and opportunities, including pursuit of education, employment, financial security and a stable and fulfilling family life. Restrictions of reproductive choice are especially burdensome for young women and poor women. Girls Incorporated supports a woman's freedom of choice, a constitutional right established by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973 in Roe vs. Wade.
Girls, Inc. on "sexuality":
To make responsible decisions about sexuality, pregnancy and parenthood, girls need and have a right to sensitive, truthful sexuality education; convenient access to safe, effective methods of contraception and protection from disease; and referral to comprehensive information, counseling, clinical and other services that support their responsible decisions. We recognize that any sizable group of girls includes those who face issues related to their sexual orientation or that of a family member and who face discrimination based on this sexual orientation. Girls have a right to positive, supportive environments and linkages to community resources for dealing with issues of sexual orientation.
They also feature on their website under "resources" a pamphlet for those of lesbian, bisexual and "questioning identities" that advertises such illuminating reads as Annie on my Mind, which is described in the pamphlet as:
A fictional account of the high school experiences of 17 year-old Liza Winthrop, who was a freshman majoring in architecture at Massachusetts Institute of Technology at the time of publication. Her vivid memories of meeting her friend Annie at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and their mutual attraction for one another comes back to her as she writes a
letter to her special friend several years later. The subtle sexual awakening in Liza is sensitively portrayed as the two girls become friends with two of their teachers who are lesbians. The reading level is appropriate for older middle school or junior high girls.
I find it absolutely bizarre that a mass marketing company like American Girl, who markets to relatively young women, would knowingly engage in such a cross-promotion with a company whose mission includes pro-abortion indoctrination and orientation advocacy for junior high girls. If there is a sane and rational explanation for this, I would love to hear it.