Monday, November 23, 2009

Barbie? Is that you?

When I was young, I loved Barbies. Truth be told, I still do. Do I think they are unrealistic and present an ideal of femininity that is unattainable and possibly damaging? Yes, I do. Do I have a bin of unopened Barbies in my basement. Yes, I do.

I played with Barbies into my early teen years. Am I a feminist? Yes, I am.

In spite of Barbie? Well, certainly not because of her.

So my sensibilities really don't know what to do with Burka Barbie.

Step forward for Barbie in cultural awareness? Achievement for women everywhere?

Um, no and no.

It's one patriarchal oppression to another, and I gotta say, Barbie's doing better for herself in hot pants and a belly shirt.

This does not wash with me: "I know Barbie was something seen as bad before as an image for girls, but in actual fact the message with Barbie for women is you can be whatever you want to be."

Sure. On Barbie's website, she says she can be whatever she wants to be, from a rock star to a race car driver, and so can I.

And now, Barbie can be stoned to death for adultery.

That's progress.

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