Although there are many radical feminists who will probably get on the hate bandwagon when it comes to the children’s toy Barbie, the gringa is not one of them, especially in light of a new STEM Barbie that is now available for little girls or boys who want to engage in imaginative play as a scientist.
Detractors may complain and focus on the cup half full but the gringa hopes her dear readers will not chime in and join the gringa in concentrating on the positive. I mean, we are talking about a child using their imagination to engage in a fantasy of their future life. What is so wrong if the kit contains a washing machine along with a microscope? Do female scientists never launder their clothes?
Why is it offensive that Barbie has a spinning clothes rack on which to hang her laboratory smock? Should a technologically savvy scientist still use a caveman closet system?
What’s up with complaining about her high heels? With all the talk by feminists of equal freedom and liberty, why not mind your own business and let a gal practice her liberty and freedom by wearing her footwear of choice whether it be flip-flops or 6-inch mega-heels? Where’s the real feminism in emotionally manipulating a woman to wear what a feminist says she must wear?
And who cares if Barbie still has her curves? Do we really think five-year-old girls are traumatized by Barbie’s perfect breasts and hips? Why would we so underestimate our children by supposing they cannot tell the difference between a man-made doll and the reality of the human body? I don’t recall my own self-image being brutalized because my Barbie had a nicer waistline than me. By the time I became concerned about my waistline I was at an age where Barbie had long since been forgotten.
Okay, dear readers? Just let the kids enjoy a toy that inspires science dreams for their future. Let them pretend to save the planet or discover the cure for cancer while at the same time pretending to cook up a batch of cookies (I mean, who the heck hates homemade cookies?!) or host a dinner party with Ken and Nikki (I mean, after all, don’t scientists also have friends and like to throw a party?).
Let little children build that darn spinning clothes rack and learn how the heck gears work and why they are an ingenius engineering invention. Let them discover the reality of torque and force and speed while having a bit of fun. Let kids put together that little shoe rack with the chain thing-a-ma-jig and the next time their chain falls off their bicycle see the pride and self-esteem bloom when they discover that they can fix it all by themselves!
As kids try to manage keeping all those micro-sized jewelry pieces and accessories stable on the spinning accessory holder, let them discover the mysteries of centrifugal force. Then let them stare in amazement at their feet one day when they realize that’s what’s keeping them from launching into outer space.
However, best of all, as far as the gringa’s concerned, let your little girls build and use that gender stereotyped washing machine in their Barbie play. Then the next time your own machine breaks down save a bundle on a repairman by handing your little girl a box of grown up tools and letting her at it.
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