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View Full Version : A law against selling non-human face dolls. Another reason to ridicule France.


Road Rash
08-01-2003, 10:04 PM
I got an e-mail from the Fun Stuff Newsletter with this little bit of trivia:

It is illegal to sell an ET doll in France because
they have a law forbidding the sale of dolls that do
not have human faces.

This is too weird to believe. Is this true? If so, what is the motivation? This would make all the Fundamentalist Christian activism against Harry Potter almost sane!

How can France claim to be a free society with this silly law.

Squink
08-01-2003, 10:18 PM
Originally posted by Road Rash
How can France claim to be a free society with this silly law. Stones, Glass houses. (http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2003/6/26/234737.shtml)

Road Rash
08-01-2003, 10:32 PM
Hardly a comparison. You are linking Jerry Falwell's (not a lawmaker) commentary on the SCOTUS sodomy decision. Only a few states still had Sodomy laws in the first place. Plus, it has not been that long in history when sodomy was illegal in all of Europe. The trend has been toward greater personal freedom. I do agree that sodomy laws are silly, but something even more absurd could compare better. A better example would be a very silly, as in less serious, law in the U.S. that is just weirdly absurd.

I have no major issues with France. I am sure there are silly U.S. laws that make no sense to anyone but a few. I am curious about the French law about not allowing non-human.

Road Rash
08-01-2003, 10:34 PM
I am curious about the French law about not allowing non-human...faces on dolls.

stoyel
08-02-2003, 12:29 AM
I'm only seeing this claim on "fun facts" sites. Not hugely convincing, as they have a habit of being debunked (and never updated when they are) but I'll keep looking. If you have another cite, it'd help. Right now, it seems pretty unlikely -- at what point is an item a "doll" and not a "toy"? It's certainly not illegal to sell teddy bears or model horses, if a quick google for French toys is any indication.

You may be amused by www.dumblaws.com, which occasionally bothers to back up its listings with references to serious pages. You know in Houston, it's illegal to purchase beer after midnight on a Sunday, but it's perfectly okay to buy it on a Monday? (There are a few ways you could interpret that, but I still don't know what they have against Lindberger cheese.) And San Antonio has an anti-flirting law. By comparison, I only see a few listings for France (though I'll grant you, it probably just receives fewer submissions).

Whether you meant it to sound that way, your thread title and the ending comment came off as rather hostile. Not a great way to encourage people to help.

Nanoda
08-02-2003, 12:29 AM
Can't verify it, can't debunk it. Some reasonable laws just have weird results. (http://www.danger-room.net/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=137)

stoyel
08-02-2003, 12:32 AM
That's Limburger, sorry. You can tell how much I know about it -- we don' get nunnathat gor-may stuff down heres.

Master Wang-Ka
08-02-2003, 12:37 AM
Huh?

So, what, teddy bears aren't allowed there?

How about "Planet Of The Apes" action figures? After all, the book was originally written by a Frenchman...

Road Rash
08-02-2003, 06:00 AM
Originally posted by stoyel
I'm only seeing this claim on "fun facts" sites. Not hugely convincing, as they have a habit of being debunked (and never updated when they are) but I'll keep looking. If you have another cite, it'd help. Right now, it seems pretty unlikely -- at what point is an item a "doll" and not a "toy"? It's certainly not illegal to sell teddy bears or model horses, if a quick google for French toys is any indication.

You may be amused by www.dumblaws.com, which occasionally bothers to back up its listings with references to serious pages. You know in Houston, it's illegal to purchase beer after midnight on a Sunday, but it's perfectly okay to buy it on a Monday? (There are a few ways you could interpret that, but I still don't know what they have against Lindberger cheese.) And San Antonio has an anti-flirting law. By comparison, I only see a few listings for France (though I'll grant you, it probably just receives fewer submissions).

Whether you meant it to sound that way, your thread title and the ending comment came off as rather hostile. Not a great way to encourage people to help.

You may have a point. It may be pure bunk. Or, it may be a mis-interpretation of a strange law that simply is not enforced. I may try to do a search connecting "ET Dolls" and "France."

Being from Houston, I am curious about the drinking law you cited. "After midnight on a Sunday,...okay to buy it in a Monday?" After midnight on a Sunday IS Monday.

Full service bars are allowed to serve until 2 a.m. every night. Bars that sell only beer and wine (these often allow you to bring your own hard liquor and sell you 'set-ups') must close at midnight, Except on Saturday, which they can stay open until 1 a.m. Same for stores that sell beer and wine. All these places can begin selling at 7a.m.. Except on Sunday, when it is at noon. At a restaraunt, or sporting event (which motivated this exception), you can buy beer or wine if you also buy some food. Liquor stores must close at 9 a.m.. They are closed on Sunday. All state law.

Although this may be some strange local ordinance that has been ignored for years. Back in the 1980's, when certain nightclubs became a haven for teenagers on Ectasy, they blew the dust off an old ordinance from the 60's that stated drinking establishments must close when the drinking stops. Shortly later, often with just a little drywall, seperate "after hours" clubs opened next door to many discos.

Road Rash
08-02-2003, 06:02 AM
minor correction

At a restaraunt, or sporting event (which motivated this exception), you can buy beer or wine if you also buy some food....at 10 a.m.

everton
08-02-2003, 07:15 AM
Originally posted by Wang-Ka
Huh?

So, what, teddy bears aren't allowed there?

How about "Planet Of The Apes" action figures? After all, the book was originally written by a Frenchman...
stoyel already told you about teddy bears three posts before yours. Here's a French site selling Planet of the Apes figures (http://www.cinestore.com/html/liste_riche.php?type=type&id_type=167&id_theme=329&groupe=2&code_origine=1063AE). Search for "La Planète des singes" for more of the same.
Originally posted by Road Rash
I may try to do a search connecting "ET Dolls" and "France."
The trouble with searching on that is that the French word for doll isn't "doll", so you'll just find a lot more bullshit sites recycling the same "fact". If you want to search for yourself, figurines is the word for action figures and poupée means doll.

This site shows Star Wars action figures that were on sale in France in 1978 (http://chezmaitreyoda.free.fr/figurine/1977/fiche/1977a1979.php3) (be patient, the server seems a bit fragile). Yoda's face doesn't look human to me, nor does Chewbacca's or the Jawa or the Sand People. I didn't search for ET because "et" means and in French, so that could be confusing.

Do you believe everything you read in e-mails Road Rash? You must be a Nigerian bank account scammer's wet dream.

Road Rash
08-02-2003, 07:23 AM
Originally posted by everton
[

Do you believe everything you read in e-mails Road Rash? You must be a Nigerian bank account scammer's wet dream.

I have a lot, A LOT of money coming to me in a lost account. All I have to do is come up with the $5000 in research money, and I will be laughing at you in the poor house.

LAUGHING, I TELL YOU!!

everton
08-02-2003, 07:41 AM
Do you agree that your thread title and OP were pointlessly hostile? It's no wonder relations between France and the USA are so poor if people go out of their way to be so disparaging on the back of such flimsy evidence.

As a neutral bystander I find it pretty depressing.

postcards
08-02-2003, 09:16 AM
...Liquor stores must close at 9 a.m...

Don't you mean 9 p.m.?

The Great Philosopher
08-02-2003, 01:27 PM
'Free society'? Personally, I wouldn't feel my freedom was being particularly imposed upon by the fact that I couldn't buy a doll with a non-human face on it.


Now, maybe if it was illegal for me to engage in a regular form of sex for gay men, and legal for others to watch and arrest me, as seems to be the case in Texas...

Dogface
08-02-2003, 01:32 PM
Originally posted by stoyel
You may be amused by www.dumblaws.com, which occasionally bothers to back up its listings with references to serious pages.

For my own state, every single non-referenced claim they make is utterly false and not on the books. It's an amusing site, but it's a site run by liars and frauds.

jjimm
08-02-2003, 01:34 PM
Somebody'd better tell the Disney store on the Champs Elysées quick, before they get busted!

manhattan
08-02-2003, 04:42 PM
Well, since you seek this in the context of ridiculing France, I think I'll just send this on down to the Pit.

mazirian
08-02-2003, 05:05 PM
Well, well... Another reason to ridicule Texas.

Road Rash
08-02-2003, 05:10 PM
Now we're in the pit. I suppose you'd think I would bash France more. I meant for the second sentence of my title to end with a question mark, if that is any consolation.

But go ahead and flame me. I deserve it. Flame France if you feel (hey, a toungue twister!). Flame silly sodomy laws. Flame nazi-moderators. I'll bring some hot dogs and place them close to my pc.

Just try to make the flames colorful.

Nametag
08-02-2003, 06:14 PM
If you want colorful flames, try some metal salts like chromium or potassium.

sailor
08-02-2003, 06:25 PM
>> A law against selling non-human face dolls.
>> Another reason to ridicule France
>> How can France claim to be a free society with this silly law

What about the law in Texas which forbids wearing a brown tie with a blue coat? Another reason to ridicule Texas (as if we needed more). How can Texas claim to be a free society with such a silly law? Why didn't George Bush stay there and spare the world?

Road Rash
08-02-2003, 06:47 PM
Originally posted by sailor
>> A law against selling non-human face dolls.
>> Another reason to ridicule France
>> How can France claim to be a free society with this silly law

What about the law in Texas which forbids wearing a brown tie with a blue coat? Another reason to ridicule Texas (as if we needed more). How can Texas claim to be a free society with such a silly law? Why didn't George Bush stay there and spare the world?

Good one! Although I would replace GWB with Tom Delay.

I'd ask where you read this, but I haven't seen anyone wear a brown tie with a blue coat lately, so it must be true. This will get you a ticket from the fashion police in Houston. Although enforcement is more lax in the rural areas. Not as bad a color scheme as some college footbal teams around this state though.

I think "parking on the dance floor" will get you in trouble down here as well.

markdiscordia
08-02-2003, 09:07 PM
Originally posted by everton
Do you agree that your thread title and OP were pointlessly hostile? It's no wonder relations between France and the USA are so poor if people go out of their way to be so disparaging on the back of such flimsy evidence.

As a neutral bystander I find it pretty depressing.

Yeah, clearly Road Rash is a high-ranking member of the US government, delivering official policy of the federal Department of Dolls.

hajario
08-02-2003, 09:52 PM
Originally posted by sailor
What about the law in Texas which forbids wearing a brown tie with a blue coat?

Maybe that's because law enforcement officials wear that particular combination. Wearing that would violate a reasonable law against impersonation a cop.

You see, that's the thing about those lame-ass silly law sites. They take a resonable law and twist it to make it sound silly.

Haj

stoyel
08-03-2003, 01:52 AM
I did say the site occasionally backs up its claims.

And yeah, Road Rash, the "after midnight on Sunday is Monday" is why it seems like such a ridiculous law. I haven't looked it up, so I won't even try to assert that it's still on the books (or ever was). Same situation as with the E.T. dolls, really.

I do know that several of the laws listed for Massachusetts and California are factual, if not enforced, but the ones that are easily confirmed tend to be the most reasonable. I don't see why asking ice cream truck drivers to obtain a licence is a big deal, but there you go.

Even with the question mark, though, that last sentence would still be unnecessarily hostile. So long as we're in the flame pit... If you want to talk about civil liberties, consider the fact that six states (in '97, at least -- including your own Texas) still do not, in theory, allow atheists to hold public office. The laws aren't really enforced, so far as I know, but the fact that they remain on the books bothers me a lot more than some weird quibble over E.T.

http://archive.aclu.org/news/w053097c.html

Ridicule whom you will, but don't expect more than an eye-roll from anyone else until you find a reason to do it. Even then, all we'll be hearing is "Wolf! Wolf!" again.

everton
08-03-2003, 06:03 AM
Originally posted by markdiscordia
Originally posted by everton
Do you agree that your thread title and OP were pointlessly hostile? It's no wonder relations between France and the USA are so poor if people go out of their way to be so disparaging on the back of such flimsy evidence.

As a neutral bystander I find it pretty depressing.
Yeah, clearly Road Rash is a high-ranking member of the US government, delivering official policy of the federal Department of Dolls.
What a moronic comment. Do you really believe that the bad relations between France and the USA only operates at government level? The bullshit in the OP has already been debunked.

gex gex
08-03-2003, 08:38 AM
Road Rash, whether your intention was malicious or not, that was a pretty dumb-ass OP.

And I always was bad at flames.

The Green Feather
08-03-2003, 09:53 AM
Originally posted by Road Rash
Now we're in the pit. I suppose you'd think I would bash France more. I meant for the second sentence of my title to end with a question mark, if that is any consolation.

But go ahead and flame me. I deserve it. Flame France if you feel (hey, a toungue twister!). Flame silly sodomy laws. Flame nazi-moderators. I'll bring some hot dogs and place them close to my pc.

Just try to make the flames colorful. I'm 1/4 French so 3/4 of me is fairly amused but the rest of me is really pissed off! Am I conflicted? You bet!

Jaade
08-03-2003, 10:23 AM
Originally posted by Road Rash
You may have a point. It may be pure bunk. Or, it may be a mis-interpretation of a strange law that simply is not enforced. I may try to do a search connecting "ET Dolls" and "France."

Being from Houston, I am curious about the drinking law you cited. "After midnight on a Sunday,...okay to buy it in a Monday?" After midnight on a Sunday IS Monday.

Full service bars are allowed to serve until 2 a.m. every night. Bars that sell only beer and wine (these often allow you to bring your own hard liquor and sell you 'set-ups') must close at midnight, Except on Saturday, which they can stay open until 1 a.m. Same for stores that sell beer and wine. All these places can begin selling at 7a.m.. Except on Sunday, when it is at noon. At a restaraunt, or sporting event (which motivated this exception), you can buy beer or wine if you also buy some food. Liquor stores must close at 9 a.m.. They are closed on Sunday. All state law.

Although this may be some strange local ordinance that has been ignored for years. Back in the 1980's, when certain nightclubs became a haven for teenagers on Ectasy, they blew the dust off an old ordinance from the 60's that stated drinking establishments must close when the drinking stops. Shortly later, often with just a little drywall, seperate "after hours" clubs opened next door to many discos.

I've been living here for three years and I was *still* trying to figure out how this worked. ~grins~

markdiscordia
08-03-2003, 02:09 PM
What a moronic comment. Do you really believe that the bad relations between France and the USA only operates at government level? The bullshit in the OP has already been debunked. [/B]

The word chosen was "relations." That usually denotes something formal. In any case, if some person in France thinks that one person's post on a message board about doll laws means anything about the US in general, then he's just as dumb as the Americans who think everyone in France burns down McDonald's while chanting "no blood for oil."

armedmonkey
08-03-2003, 02:49 PM
Originally posted by everton
The bullshit in the OP has already been debunked.If you could put aside your francophile histrionics, you would realize that no, it hasn't been debunked. No one has been able to find a site confirming it or debunking it as of yet.

I haven't either, but I vaguely remember a similar US law. I can't find a cite, but there are different import duties for dolls and other toys. Because of this, there has to be a law defining what is or is not a doll. My guess is that the French have something similar (maybe they're trying to protect local doll makers?) A doll with a non-human head is "illegal" only in the sense that it's not a "doll", and it has to be called something else. You could buy an ET doll, but it's not going to say doll on the box. It will say action figure, figurine, plush toy, or whatever, but not doll.

Tusculan
08-03-2003, 03:31 PM
Good suggestion, A Monkey With a Gun. It prompted me to do some googling.
The first thing I found was actually a Canadian proposal (http://www.parl.gc.ca/36/1/parlbus/chambus/house/bills/private/C-374/C-374_1/361282bF.html) for a law making it an offense to sell a doll (poupée) with the encouragment to have it suffer degrading treatment. The explanation (http://www.parl.gc.ca/36/1/parlbus/chambus/house/debates/220_1999-05-03/han220_1105-f.htm) mentions:

Pourquoi a-t-on mis le mot «poupée» dans ce projet de loi? C'est parce que les mots ont un sens dans notre langue. En français, le mot «poupée» veut dire tout objet ayant une forme humaine.

Why is the word 'doll' used in this proposal? It is because words have a meaning in our language. In french, the word 'doll' (poupée) means an object having a human form.

This seems to confirm your suspicion.

Then I checked Legifrance (http://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/html/index.html), which should contain all French laws. The search function only got me one law, the 'Arrêté 06 juillet 1995', listing movie titles, one of which was 'Maison de poupée' (Doll house).

Based on this, I do call bullshit, with the proviso that there may be a different regulationt that isn't law and/or isn't listed on Legifrance, or that the OP's source meant a different word (which would however be unlikely given the earlier Canadian quote).

I guess this is the best we can do at the moment, since it is hard to prove something doesn't exist. Maybe clairobscur, if he drops by, can enlighten us.

Tusculan
08-03-2003, 04:00 PM
I've tried as well to find an ET doll on sale in France. Googling is next to impossible since 'et' is French for 'and'. 'poupée extra-terrestre' didn't get me any hits. However, through looking for 'figurine extra-terrestre' I got to a French site (http://perso.club-internet.fr/vmillat/ctici/seriestv&films/et/et.htm) that sells movie merchandise, including a cute pluche ET doll.

Peluche E.T. (24 cm) ou (36 cm)
Du haut de ses 24 ou 36 cm, retrouvez et faites découvrir cet attachant personnage tiré du film ET. En peluche vêtue de son petit gilet rouge.

Note that it is not refered to as a doll, figurine or whatever. This page (http://perso.club-internet.fr/vmillat/ctici/seriestv&films/xfiles/xfiles_figurines.htm) does call an alien 'doll' a 'Figurine Extra terrestre'.

Assuming that this site is operating completely legal, subject to French law, this proves it is not illegal to sell an ET doll in France. It may be illegal to call it a 'poupée'. But that is not what the OP said. I think we can conclusively call bullshit on this one.

FTR, Googling for "ET doll france" gets lots of web pages, all repeating this inane 'fact' without a single reference'. This makes me thankful for the knee-jerk 'Cite' reaction here at SDMB

Tusculan
08-03-2003, 04:02 PM
Addendum: the site refers to all 'action figures' as 'figurines', even when they are human. 'peluche' is the word for 'pluche doll'.

LauraLittlePony
08-03-2003, 04:24 PM
Has anybody figured out why there would be a law against selling "dolls" with non-human faces? I'd assume there would be some kind of purpose behind the law in order for it to have been passed and kept on the books. What would be the point there?

So can we consider this debunked, since Tusculan found us the action figures? Or is it technically still true, since ET "dolls" do not appear to be sold? Sorry, Road Rash, but this isn't the sort of "fact" I'd come across and use to ridicule, just because it's so unlikely to be true and not-misleading. . .

everton
08-03-2003, 10:25 PM
Originally posted by A Monkey With a Gun
If you could put aside your francophile histrionics
Nothing I have posted to this or any thread could possibly be interpreted in that way. If you want histrionics you need look no further than the OP (although to his credit Road Rash has already claimed he didn't intend it to appear that way).

If you want to search for yourselves, the name of Spielberg's film is "E.T. l'extra-terrestre" in French. Echoing what Tusculan, has said it does seem that the word for soft toy is peluche rather than poupée.

Having done a little further googling I discovered this site for a soft E.T. (http://www.cinestore.com/html/fiche_produits.php?page=1&groupe=2&code_origine=20227A&id=12865&code_origine=20227A), this one for a range of toys including human and non-human dolls (listed separately) (http://www.joueclub.fr/FrDecor/rcc/SearchProduct-List2.asp?marqueid=111), this one for a range of Babar toys (http://www.perenoel.com/jouets/babar/), this list of toys available on e-bay including a French Tin Tin poupée carrying his dog (http://www.calindex.com/ebay-collections-autres-collections-tintin.html) and this one offering various Disney branded characters (http://perso.club-internet.fr/vmillat/ctici/seriestv&films/waltdisney/disney_peluches.htm).

I also found this American Toys'R'Us site (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/browse/-/171569/ref=t_th_ln_w_5/002-8006258-8755216) for comparison. E.T. is there too of course, but not among the dolls.

If you still feel that a country is not free unless its people use the word "doll" for their cuddly toys then I feel sorry for you. I have no doubt that there are stupid laws gathering dust on the statute books of most countries including France. The Dumb Laws website has some fun with them, but only a fool would approach the claims it makes without a great deal of scepticism.

KidCharlemagne
08-04-2003, 01:38 AM
It's because of this law that you can no longer get Gerard Depardieu action figures.

lno
08-04-2003, 08:46 AM
I got one of those action figures off of eBay, including his rotating rapid-fire fromage cannon. The detachable nose was gone, though.

dalovindj
08-04-2003, 09:27 AM
And yeah, Road Rash, the "after midnight on Sunday is Monday" is why it seems like such a ridiculous law.It is a dumb ass law for sure, but I don't think it is a paradox/nonsense law. It means that between 12:00 midnight on Sunday and 12:01 a.m. on Monday it is illegal to sell booze. They have regulated out one minute of the drinking week. The lives they must have saved . . .

American courts have taken up the issue of non-human dolls in the past with some pretty foolish results. They were not, however, trying to restrict the sale - the debate was stirred up by disagreements resulting from the fact that tariff rates are different for "toys" then they are for "dolls:According to the U.S. tariff code, human figures are dolls, while figures representing animals or "creatures," such as monsters and robots, are deemed toys. This resulted in the U.S. Court of International Trade taking up the important legal question "Is Wolverine human?" (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/news/archive/2003/01/20/financial1003EST0010.DTL&nl=fix). They decided that the X-men are not human and therefore are toys instead of dolls. They fucked up. The whole point of the X-men was to send a message of tolerance to kids in regards to differences in other people. Do not fear someone because they are different cause we're all human. The court has taken a racist position against the X-men and that is some funny shit. Especially since they said Superman is a human doll WHEN HE IS OPENLY KNOWN TO BE AN ALIEN! How stupid can you get? This one has got cites. The Wall Street Journal covered the story, and you can still get the article if you are a member (I'm not or I'd link).

DaLovin' Dj

ENugent
08-04-2003, 01:15 PM
I just skimmed through the opinion, which can be found here (http://www.cit.uscourts.gov/slip_op/Slip_op03/slip-op%2003-2.pdf). It did make entertaining reading, although I can't say I agree that the X-men are nonhuman.

Necros
08-04-2003, 04:05 PM
And I'd like to see someone tell Kingpin that he's not human, either.

TwistofFate
08-05-2003, 07:18 AM
Road Rash, you are a fucking idiot.

Bryan Ekers
08-05-2003, 09:02 AM
All this proives is that when someone is out to make a buck (or to try to prevent a competitor from making a buck) logic goes out the window and is replaced by hairsplitting definitions. And since the people making bucks also make political contributions, lawmakers end up playing along.

Bryan Ekers
08-05-2003, 09:09 AM
Besides, who the hell needs another reason to ridicule the French? We can use the reasons we already have for the next few decades.

Coldfire
08-05-2003, 09:29 AM
Originally posted by lno
I got one of those action figures off of eBay, including his rotating rapid-fire fromage cannon. The detachable nose was gone, though. Cheese firing attack monkeys? :)

dalovindj
08-05-2003, 09:34 AM
And since the people making bucks also make political contributions, lawmakers end up playing along.Heh, reminds me of this quote:The one great principle of English law is to make business for itself.
~ Charles Dickens

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