Brutalizing Society, part II

Part II has been a long time in coming. In part I, we looked back at the role "an extremely violent and depraved video game"--a "murder simulator"--played when a 17 year old violently murdered a 14 year old playmate in the British Midlands.

Now we look ahead and wonder what effect the Barbie torture craze will have on our already brutalized society.

A British study of seven- to 11-year-old girls found they hate the doll so much they are driven to violence.

"The girls we spoke to see Barbie torture as a legitimate play activity and see the torture as a cool activity, in contrast to other forms of play with the doll," said Agnes Nairn, author of the report.

"The types of mutilation are varied and creative and range from removing the hair to decapitation, burning, breaking and even microwaving."

Ms Thompson said while the thought of Barbie being violated that way upset her, she believed children, and particularly Ebony, had to be allowed to express their creativity.
Mrs. Thompson, the mother of Ebony, a Barbie torturer, thinks her daughter should be allowed to express her creativity in this way, as if acting out torturous fantasies is a healthy expression of creativity.

Is Mrs. Thompson representative of our society in being unwilling to condemn Barbie torture? Of course, this is meant tongue-in-cheek, but is Barbie torture, like our murder simulating video games, a cause of a further brutalization of our society, or merely an expression or effect of our currently brutalized society? (Did Abu Ghraib mixed with feminism cause Barbie torture, or will Barbie torture cause more Abu Ghraibs?) These questions are so difficult.

Now, more seriously, what kind of connection or relationship might Barbie torture perpetrated by previously precious and playful little girls have to the horrible fantasies depicted in Section IV.A - D of the Baker case, 890 F. Supp. 1375 (E.D. Mich. 1995), or in the first footnote of the dissenting opinion of the appeal of the Baker case, United States v. Alkhabaz, 104 F.3d 1492 (6th Cir. 1997)? Like Mrs. Thompson, the U.S. courts found nothing wrong with Baker's horrendous, torturous fantasies in this case. (WARNING: the material presented in the facts of this case and the footnote referred to is HIGHLY offensive and EXTREMELY upsetting. Do NOT follow the link if you are sensitive or faint of heart.)