“Hey Babe!”: Has Lego Gone “Rape Culture”?…


Date: May 6, 2013

…Lego Apologizes for Cat-Calling Sticker…

…Lego Apologizes for Cat-Calling Sticker…

…The Other Link…

…The Other Link…

…And The Still Other Link…

…And The Still Other Link…

“Not long ago, Josh Stearns, a father of two young sons living in western Massachusetts, posted photos of a set of LEGO stickers on his Tumblr account. Stearns, who had just begun introducing the “diminutive building blocks” to his 4-year-old son, was appalled by the image of a hard-hatted construction worker waving at an unseen passersby, shouting “HEY BABE!”

“I was so disappointed to see the brand affiliated with a product that normalized street harassment and cat-calling,” he wrote.”

Long story short…Josh complained to Lego, and Charlotte Simonsen [senior director at LEGOs corporate communications office in Denmark] returned with an apology…and explained relations with the business behind those graphics, had discontinued some time ago…

Of course…what this Lego set portrayed, was very light hearted humor…a variant on construction workers whistling, at the attractive female walking by…

…It’s something of a dorky social performance, which some males embrace…in attempts to catch the attention, of a pretty lady.

I suppose, there may be some debate…as to whether this is the best choice, when creating a product for “5 to whatever” year old kids…Or I would at least suggest, it’s more a question of safe public relations, in a culture where so many people are looking for anything to get offended over…But, I cannot get over just how tame this set of stickers is…While at the same time, Josh Stearns represents this whole situation as “severe”…and “normalized street harassment and cat-calling”…

I tend to think, it’s just a silly, harmless caricature, myself.

The “rape culture” thing…

…This is actually not in the story, but it is infused into the conversation down in the comments section…

Now personally, I accept the idea of “rape culture”, where there is a discernible institutionalization of rape within a culture…Or to put it another way, where people get raped and the culture is set up to shelter and defend that rape…And I’m thinking things like, children sold into sex houses…slaves who are forced to engage in sex…street gangs who terrorize and rape the population…

…What I don’t think of…is every single vague reference to male sexuality, which someone, somewhere might find tasteless…or rude.

When things have traveled this far down the road…I think this is so far removed from true “rape culture”, that the people who are evoking this whole idea of “rape culture” over such trivial things…are not only devaluing it’s meaning…they’re manipulatively using the term, in attempt to force their own power over others…

…And that is probably the singular thing which bothers me, about the way “rape culture” is being used these days…It’s more an invented piece of propaganda, which allows people to jump through hoops, and mentally associate anything they dislike with the act of rape…

What so typically follows, is said same people looking down in judgement, at those who disagree with them…”Oh?!…You support rape?!”…

…It just feels way to much, like the same old thing…like the same dirty social tricks, pulled on us.

This reminds me of the April 1st report of “Muslim Furor” over a Lego set which I originally presumed as an April Fools day joke…until I found the same basic report, from January of the same year on a different site…And, they also link to still another instance of said report…

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