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Enid Blyton character

(77 Posts)
ChocolateHelps Sun 23-Feb-14 18:33:16

AIBU to be surprised / shocked that the Enid Blyton 'Amelia Jane' books has a golliwog in it? DMIL has given a set to DD2, 5yrs old and DD has asked me to read to her. If asked, how do I explain a golliwog?

OwlinaTree Sun 23-Feb-14 18:36:32

Why would you be shocked? It was a common toy when Enid Blyton was writing.

I'm not sure about how to explain it tho, other then to say 'it was a common toy when Enid Blyton was writing but people don't play with then much now'

Would that be enough info for a 5 yo?

MarianneEnjolras Sun 23-Feb-14 18:40:35

Yabu and how have you got to adulthood and not known about golliwogs in Enid blyton books?

As for explaining it depending on age surely you just start with "it's an old fashioned toy" then explain why we don't have them anymore if you need to.

FoxesRevenge Sun 23-Feb-14 18:42:28

Yep, YABU to be surprised.

DinahLady Sun 23-Feb-14 18:44:22

YABU! They were a well known and loved toy back in the 50's when she wrote her books. They were part of the era.
You can't just go round airbrushing history to suit today! hmm

If asked, how do I explain a golliwog?

Just tell her it was a type of cuddly toy that used to be popular then. Why would you need anything more than that at the age of 5?! confused

bodybooboo Sun 23-Feb-14 18:47:13

I had a gollwog as a child and also models of a band of gollywogs as my gran sent off to Robinsons jam company for them. they were incredibly popular in the 70s.

I also have an Enid book where the characters are 3 gollywogs called Golly, Woggie and Nigger.

not going to do the n...r bit as that's just silly. the times were what they were and that's history.

amazed you are suprised by this. you must be very very young.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 23-Feb-14 18:48:28

Yabu - they were common in the area she was writing in.

Explain it was a toy that doesn't exist anymore.

5 is a bit young to fully understand what a golliwog was and why it's no longer acceptable.

Also, how well can your DC read? Can't you just say doll instead?

bodybooboo Sun 23-Feb-14 18:48:41

and as for explaining to a 5 year old? it's a cuddly toy what's to explain?

bodybooboo Sun 23-Feb-14 18:50:00

er and they are sold now at our local garden centre so are in no way a toy of the past.

FoxesRevenge Sun 23-Feb-14 18:52:13

They are still widely available for sale.

Topseyt Sun 23-Feb-14 18:54:37

Don't make a big thing of it. It was/is just a cuddly toy. Nothing else to it.

I had a golliwog when I was a child. I loved it. It never once occurred to me that it could ever be racist, as it eventually became.

When Enid Blyton was around many things were thought of very differently to how they are today. It was a normal toy then. I think it fell out of fashion when political correctness became the norm.

StarGazeyPond Sun 23-Feb-14 18:56:28

Oh FFS, don't be so silly OP !

JakeBullet Sun 23-Feb-14 19:00:56

Agree with everyone else, it's a cuddly toy....they may even have been edited out of the modern books.

Just tell her that they are an old fashioned cuddly toy.

When Enid Blyton was around they were common.

When I was a child in the 70s they were all over jam/marmalade jars too as I recall.

XiCi Sun 23-Feb-14 19:01:55

Oh for fucks sake. Seriously?

Yes YABU, and a bit pathetic tbh

LetZygonsbeZygons Sun 23-Feb-14 19:37:28

Ive seen them in shops still. I still have one I had as a child.

Out of interest, did/do black people actually find them offensive? at the time then and now?

they were of their time granted, and I remember the jam too.
a lot of EB characters were of the time too.

have you actually tasted ginger beer? yuk! its called beer, is it like an alcopop thing? (serious question!)

TheOriginalSteamingNit Sun 23-Feb-14 19:41:01

'It is an old fashioned toy which you don't see any more because its racist. Now, shall we read a better book?'

thegreylady Sun 23-Feb-14 19:43:28

Ginger beer is gorgeous.It is non alcoholic.It used to come in bottles with stoppers that had a clip and a rubber seal. We used to make it using a 'ginger beer plant' which is what I bet EB meant. The most authentic version today is Fentimanns smile

thegreylady Sun 23-Feb-14 19:45:03

Golliwogs were common when I was a child.Everyone had a golly and a teddy and no one thought anything of it. Mumsnet told me they were racist so I don't defend them.

FoxesRevenge Sun 23-Feb-14 19:46:21

OP, don't ever watch the Dam Busters film. The black lab retriever in it is called Nigger. It was made in 1955. You watch/read these things and understand some words and phrases were acceptable for the time. Hearing them now or reading them helps you appreciate how we have moved on. Such words/phrases/toys are part of our history and you can't delete that.

SpookedMackerel Sun 23-Feb-14 19:46:54

If you want to avoid the issue, just give the golliwog character a name - call it Gregory or something - then just use that when reading instead of using the word "golliwog". No explanations needed, you can still enjoy the book without any angst or handwringing.

movingmovingmoving Sun 23-Feb-14 19:51:29

DM got DD a doll of Upsy Daisy from in the night garden for her 1st birthday. DF refers to it as her golliwog. Hopefully she won't catch on to the name I would be blush

Pipbin Sun 23-Feb-14 19:55:40

If you don't draw attention to something like that then it won't be an issue.
Is it a character named in the story or just a picture in the story?

bodybooboo Sun 23-Feb-14 19:56:47

my teen dd took my collection into school as part if her sociology GCSE. That and my copy of Mandy annual with its 'suitable jobs for girls' by alphabetical order.

'y' was 'young wife' circa 1976, fantastic.grin

ThePinkOcelot Sun 23-Feb-14 19:56:54

FFS! PC brigade gone crazy!!

PrincessSophieSoph Sun 23-Feb-14 21:47:19

Can someone please explain to me as a twenty three year old how golliwog is offensive?! I remember collecting the stickers from Robinsons Jam at my Nannas! Agree with above post,PC brigade gone mad!

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