NEWS & ANALYSIS

Senator Rand Paul Makes Clear Transgender Debate is About More Than Children's Toys


As the country zeroed in on the topic of transgenderism in children this week, the popular toy company Hasbro decided to de-gender the famous Mr. Potato Head — only to backtrack the very same day after widespread backlash. The Potato Head controversy is just the latest episode in the ongoing effort from both bad-actors and misinformed progressives to confuse America’s children about their own identities from as young of an age as possible.

“Hasbro is making sure all feel welcome in the Potato Head world by officially dropping the Mr. from the Mr. Potato Head brand name and logo to promote gender equality and inclusion” the company’s announcement reportedly originally read.

But after just hours of backlash, Hasbro edited it’s announcement, which now assures that only the overall company branding is changing, and that the Mr. and Mrs. characters will still be available.

“Hasbro is officially renaming the MR. POTATO HEAD brand to POTATO HEAD to better reflect the full line. But rest assured, the iconic MR. and MRS. POTATO HEAD characters aren’t going anywhere and will remain MR. and MRS. POTATO HEAD,” the website now reads.

“Launching this Fall, the CREATE YOUR POTATO HEAD FAMILY is a celebration of the many faces of families allowing kids to imagine and create their own Potato Head family with 2 large potato bodies, 1 small potato body, and 42 accessories. The possibilities to create your own families are endless with mixing and mashing all the parts and pieces.”

The announcement currently includes a video promotion for the “potato head family” product, which boasts “a modern look for modern families.

“Create your potato head family,” the promo reads while scrolling through various combinations of potato parents and baby, including same sex couples and gender ambiguous couples.

“With potato head, there’s no wrong way to play,” it continues before showing children playing with potato dolls of which the gender is not immediately apparent

The children’s entertainment industry has been pushing subtle and not so subtle progressive gender ideology for years. One of the most controversial forms of this type of child grooming is the infamous Drag Queen Story Hour.

Since 2015, Drag Queen Story Hour has been organizing events featuring “drag queens reading stories to children in libraries, schools, and bookstores,” in order to create an environment that “captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models.”

Several lists of suggested transgender-themed children’s books can be readily found online, including within resource guides maintained by American colleges and universities.

A tome often featured on this list is a picture book co-authored by Jazz Jennings, a transgender child who has been in the spotlight, participating in widely televised interviews about her own transgenderism since she was just six years old. It is said that Jazz was diagnosed with gender dysphoria at age 4. When Jazz was 14, she became the star of a reality television show glorifying her transition. The show’s sixth season aired last year.

Jazz remains an active voice within child transgender activism, and is currently spending time advocating for biological boys to be able to play on girls’ sports teams, an issue that has been at the forefront of American political conversation this week.

More pressing than the attack on rights of female child athletes is concern over policies that would allow the government to provide “gender affirming surgery” (sex changes) and puberty blockers to children who identify as “transgender” without the consent of their parents.

Sen. Rand Paul brought this very real concern to light this week in his questioning of Rachel Levine — the transgender woman who has been nominated to be Biden’s assistant secretary of health.

Levine refused to say that Levine would not support transgender surgeries or other such procedures for minors, telling Paul that “transgender medicine is a very complex and nuanced field.”

Appointments like Levine’s are evidence of the mainstreaming of a destructive gender ideology surrounding minors that has existed for years and flourished in academia and progressive internet communities.

One Facebook group called “Parents of Transgender Children” was exposed in 2019 for facilitating conversations around how to help very young children “tuck” their penises or properly sport a prosthetic one.

But children whose parents aren’t participating in this trend are not necessarily safe — the influence is coming from cartoons, toys, and books. Last year, Cartoon Network was criticized for pushing progressive transgender pronoun ideology on children.

“We can’t tell someone’s gender just by looking at them and shouldn’t assume we know,” read the propaganda comic-strip published by the network.

As if the influence that exists is not enough, some are seeking to require it by law. A new bill slated for consideration in the California Assembly would fine stores selling children’s toys and clothing for not having a “gender neutral” section.

“Large retailers that sell toys, clothes and other children’s items in California would have to devote floor space to merchandise marketed to both boys and girls under a new bill,” Politico reported this week.

“This is an issue of children being able to express themselves without bias,” said Assemblyman Evan Low, whose bill would allow stores to sell whichever products they like so long as all-inclusive shopping areas are maintained.

Journalist Abigail Shrier covered the impact of this type of widespread indoctrination at length in a recent controversial book titled “Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters.”

The book was so controversial that Target pulled it from the shelves after backlash from the members of team left who considered the book to be “transphobic.”

Target reinstated the sale of the book, only to reportedly pull it once again, according to a tweet from Shrier just yesterday.

“I wrote specifically about the sudden, severe spike in transgender identification among adolescent girls. I fully support medical transition for mature adults. And I have no desire to be a provocateur,” Shrier said in a recent op-ed for Quillette defending the book.

“Between 2016 and 2017, the number of females seeking gender surgery quadrupled in the United States. Thousands of teen girls across the Western world are not only self-diagnosing with a real dysphoric condition they likely do not have; in many cases, they are obtaining hormones and surgeries following the most cursory diagnostic processes,” Shrier explains.

“Schoolteachers, therapists, doctors, surgeons, and medical-accreditation organizations are all rubber-stamping these transitions, often out of fear that doing otherwise will be reported as a sign of “transphobia”—despite growing evidence that most young people who present as trans will eventually desist, and so these interventions will do more harm than good.”