Woolworths has withdrawn a line of bedroom furniture for girls called “Lolita” after pressure from members of an online parenting forum, RaisingKids.co.uk. Yes, Woolies (or at least the designer) thought it would be a great idea to brand a little girls’ bed with the name of a book about a paedophile, a name that has now become synonymous with the sexualisation of young girls and, or course, paedophilia.
To top things off, Woolies claim that they had no idea what the name meant:
This was one product sold online and in the Big Red Book and quite naturally the people who arranged it had no idea about that word. They’d never heard of the word and in fact, neither had I. I had to go on to Wikipedia to find out the meaning of the word.
Do they seriously think we’re that stupid? Lolita was a young girl that had sex with older men*, beds are linked with sex, and Lolita is an extremely rare name in the UK. It is clear that the designer, or the catalogue maker, or whoever it was that chose the brand name, made a conscious decision to link their product with the sexualisation of young girls. This is hardly surprising considering the success of the Playboy range of products aimed at just this target audience.
Of course, it’s also no surprise that the ‘political correctness gone mad’ crew are drooling all over this:
OH COME ON!!!!!
How did we become this PC obsessed bunch of idiots.
Are you people saying I can’t name my next child Jack ( the ripper) Fred ( West), or maybe Myra ( which is a little old fashioned anyway).
Ah yes, because Lolita is really as common a name as Jack and Fred. Sigh.
I don’t think this is an example of the cynical sexualisation of young girls on the same lines as the Playboy product range: ‘Lolita’ does not promote a porn brand which portrays women as disposable sex objects, nor is it emblazened across the girl’s bed as she sleeps: it’s just the name given to the product. Nevertheless, it’s certainly in incredibly bad taste, and is yet another example of the sexual branding of products aimed at girls, who are no longer exempt from the imposition of the patriarchally constructed sexuality and objectification they will have to deal with as they become women.
*The novel Lolita is narrated by the man who abuses her, who makes out that she led him on and initiated the sexual episodes between them.