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Is making a Mammy or Golliwog craft item offensive? Not looking for an argument, just honest answers

I design for the craft industry making handpainted buttons and embellishments. I have been asked several times to make Golliwog and Mammy buttons but I have said no... I don't know if they would be offensive. I live in Australia, just wanted to find out what others feelings would be - is it offensive to black men and women?


Asked by Anonymous at 9:19 AM on Aug. 9, 2009 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (6)
  • I don't know anything about the Golliwog thing, but I know that Mammy dolls are considered offensive by African Americans. They are cartoon character of a stereo type.

    Answer by beckcorc at 8:56 PM on Aug. 9, 2009

  • I think these images were used in the old days to ridiculed black people. Please correct me if I'm wrong?

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:24 AM on Aug. 9, 2009

  • well that is what I'm wondering. I have been told a story that the term Golliwog comes from a group of islanders ? who helped the Australian army during a war, but if so why are they deppicted wearing garish costumes. I suspect it is a nice story to excuse making them as dolls

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:29 AM on Aug. 9, 2009

  • *I* personally don't find it offensive. The "mammy" figure is a part of ethnic culture. According to Wiki, though, it's now considered a slur. So I guess it's your choice in the end. Could you maybe fill specific orders for specific customers? I dunno.

    Answer by caitxrawks at 9:32 AM on Aug. 9, 2009

  • The Golliwog was based upon a black-faced minstrel doll and is a character from a book from the 1800s, I think. People have found them to be offensive, especially as Golliwog was sometimes used as a racist term. I have seen Golliwog dolls still for sale in some toy shops in England, so presumably people associate it more with a toy from their youth than with any ethnic group, or it wouldn't be worth them risking offending potential customers. When I was a child, I saw it as a funny looking doll and never associated it with actual people of any ethnic group. In this day and age it is very easy to offend people, so I would probably err on the side of caution and keep away from things with race connotations.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:19 AM on Aug. 9, 2009

  • I wouldnt think it would be but again people these days are so sensetive about everything i guess it depends on the person, do whatever you feel is comfortable, if you feel uncomfortable with it dont do it. Oh and BTW im from Australia too!!!! YAY for us Aussies! lol

    Answer by Aussiemum85 at 3:22 PM on Aug. 9, 2009