One of the most iconic symbols of childhood play is the doll. Dolls have always served an important role in culture, primarily in preparing daughters to be mothers. At the heart of doll play are two important concepts: identification and imagination. For example, the baby doll in the hands of a girl is a tool that helps her to identify with motherhood. The dress-up doll at her bedroom tea party allows her to imagine her own future role building a culture of hospitality for her family. With the historical doll a young lady both imagines and identifies with the adventures of girlhood past. The point is this: dolls have traditionally played an important role in the social and intellectual development of young ladies.
Humanists, including feminists of various stripes, recognize the power of play in shaping cultural identity and gender norms.
It's a long article, but well worth the read. It made me excited to help my husband-to-be establish a Christ-centered home where even the toys our children play with have meaning and purpose!
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