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To think this was inappropriate?

(115 Posts)
DontTouchTheMoustache Tue 08-Nov-16 10:27:46

I was driving this morning and I ended up waiting behind a car that had a few teddies on the parcel shelf, facing outwards. At first thought that was quite cute but I noticed the one on the right was a golliwog doll. As from as I was aware these dolls were designed as a racist insult? I was a bit shocked but I don't know if I am behind the times on this?

PeppaIsMyHero Tue 08-Nov-16 10:33:57

I have the same view as you. The only time I've seen one outside an Enid Blyton book was on Antiques Roadshow and the racial element was talked about then.

HRarehoundingme Tue 08-Nov-16 10:33:59

I wouldn't have a problem with it - Ypu don't know it wasnt a childhood toy of the drivers like the other teddies.

DontTouchTheMoustache Tue 08-Nov-16 10:37:01

I see your point HR but they didn't look like old childhood teddies as they looked brand new. It doesn't mean the driver was making a racist statement, they might have just like the teddy and not known the connotations I suppose.

Libby34 Tue 08-Nov-16 10:38:07

Strange one isn't it. My mum played with them as a child and she says she never made a correlation with black people, just saw them as golliwog dolls and that was that. I was kind of indifferent, until i took a racism module at university. Argyll and Sutherland regiment awarded their troops with a golliwog brooch to represent every "arab" they killed. Also Enid blyton's poem 10 little N---- was illustrated by golliwog dolls, and in the style of 10 green bottles sitting on a wall, each little N word dies a hideous death until there are none. So I personally find them hideously offensive, but many people know they're offensive but don't understand why or what the meaning entails so don't actually agree with the "ban".

FatOldBag Tue 08-Nov-16 10:38:48

I think they're referred to as golly dollies now. But yes, you don't see them much these days because they are generally seen as racially offensive.

KaosReigns Tue 08-Nov-16 10:39:15

From what I understand they were traditional Egyptian dolls that expats would send home which are now viewed as racially offensive due to their colour (and possibly confusion regarding their origins).

But I'm not British or Egyptian and honestly couldn't tell you where I got that information from. Still I'm 99.9% sure that the random person on the highway did not mean to make any racially charged offensive statements with their teddy collection.

jopickles Tue 08-Nov-16 10:39:52

Gollywogs dolls are now on sale again in lots of shops but they have had a name change to gollys.

Sparlklesilverglitter Tue 08-Nov-16 10:42:17

I have one of them dolls, certainly not as a racist thing! It is in my bedroom with a few other teddies from my childhood.

Allthewaves Tue 08-Nov-16 11:18:54

Never knew the the link with gollys and racism until came into mumsnet - not everyone is aware

DontTouchTheMoustache Tue 08-Nov-16 11:25:29

libby that's really interesting, I have to admit I had no idea of the history I just thought they were used as a may to mock black people (in a similar way to back face). It's clear though that not everyone is aware of the connotations of it was probably perfectly innocent, I just took me by surprise as I presumed everyone did. I am surprised they still sell them tbh

Prawnofthepatriarchy Tue 08-Nov-16 11:49:59

I've got my grandma's copy of Little Black Sambo, which is considered a terrible racist book. OK, it was popular at a time when most British kids never saw nonwhite people, but there's nothing racist in the text. It's all about how brave and clever the hero is in defeating the tiger.

Evilstepmum01 Tue 08-Nov-16 11:55:29

I have one, but its not called a Gollywog, theyre being made again and called Jolly Gollies.
Think theyre awesome and my friend is ethnically diverse black and loves the one I bought for her too!

Each to their own but I think PC can go a bit far sometimes!

user1478551766 Tue 08-Nov-16 12:00:34

From what I understand they were traditional Egyptian dolls that expats would send home which are now viewed as racially offensive due to their colour (and possibly confusion regarding their origins

Thats not at all true. They are based on charicatures of american slaves, nothing whatsoever to do with Egypt. this is the original "golliwogg" from a story by Florence Upton, New York, in 1873. The costume, the hair, the red lips etc are all clearly based on earlier imagery of the slave/minstrel stereotypes here and here

There is no mystery to the golliwog. It always was racist, it was designed to be. IT's just that racism in that way was acceptable to a lot of people for a long time, and to some still is.
Yes, people will have and display golliwogs and assert there is no racism in it, but there inherently is whether they see it or not.

OhNoNotMyBaby Tue 08-Nov-16 12:02:22

I bought one for my eldest daughter 2 Christmases ago - she has hidden it in the wardrobe and won't show it to anyone.

I bought it from a [Black] Ghanaian lady, at our school's Christmas fair, who was representing a Ghanaian school where the pupils were making gollies to raise funds. Since she didn't have a problem with it, I didn't.

user1478551766 Tue 08-Nov-16 12:04:58

Ah the whole, "it can't be racist because I know a black person who likes them". Doesn't change the origins or the offensiveness to a lot of people.

Littleballerina Tue 08-Nov-16 12:07:22

I think it's ridiculous to drive around with teddies/ dolls in your car full stop.

Hereward1332 Tue 08-Nov-16 12:12:01

Libby34 - can you link to the Enid Blyton poem you mention?

GeorgiePeachie Tue 08-Nov-16 12:12:05

My aunt's bathroom has gollywogs in it. It's a doll from her childhood. She is not racist. She grew up in Africa and had dolls that looked like her friends, as an expat in Africa.

They ARE racist, but it doesnt mean that the person who owns it is.

BratFarrarsPony Tue 08-Nov-16 12:15:31

I thought we called them gollies these days?
No I do not think they are racist.

Nanny0gg Tue 08-Nov-16 12:17:28

I had one as a child in the 50s/60s.

I wouldn't have one now and I wouldn't like it if my DGC had one either (but they don't).

NC1nightstand Tue 08-Nov-16 12:19:00

Yep I totally agree Littleballerina!

My exMil used to make them, she gave me one to keep until we had our first child. Thank God we never had children. He has gone on to have kids with his current wife and I bet they have each had one made for them. The mind boggles!
I think they are offensive purely because their origins are racist!

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 08-Nov-16 12:24:44

I can believe the person in the car was unaware. Plenty of people are.

However, I wouldn't have one because I know plenty of people do know of their associations and do find them offensive - and why you'd want something that you know might upset someone, I don't know. Life's too short.

2kids2dogsnosense Tue 08-Nov-16 12:28:09

I think it's ridiculous to drive around with teddies/ dolls in your car full stop.

Same here.

(<straps stuffed Owl cushion into child's safety seat in back of car before going off to the shops.)

icclemunchy Tue 08-Nov-16 12:28:47

We have one. It was one of DPs fave toys as a child and we found it in a box of things in the loft. We keep it because it holds fond memories of childhood for DP but I wouldn't display it somewhere where it could offend someone

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