What’s Not To Love About STEM Barbie?


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.

Sources & Image Credit:

qz.com

thamesandkosmos.com

 

 

 

 

 

Shoe Shopping In The Barrio


This Gringa needs a new pair of dancing shoes!  I know exactly what I want:  open toe, 2” heel, no platform, crisscross ankle strap, velvet, satin or similar soft fabric, wide strap across the instep just above my toes, maybe with some sparkly jewels, one pair in black, one pair in nude, and one pair in white.  I could find this perfect shoe at the local specialty dance shop but, on a Barrio budget, who could afford ‘em? What’s a poor, workin’ girl to do? Well, this gal hits the mall for what would become a noteworthy shopping experience.

At five-foot, five-inches tall I stand a wee bit taller than my husband (although his Latino machismo makes this impossible for him to believe).  This fact means a low heel is a critical factor in shoe shopping.  Also, because I dance like a madwoman with her hair on fire and am not interested in broken ankles, I prefer a low heel.  As I peruse the selections at the various stores in the mall I seem to have the same conversation again and again with the sales staff.  These exchanges go something like this:

“Can I help you find something?”

“Yes, please.  I’m looking for some shoes to wear out dancing… Oh my, impressive, but, seeing as I’m not a hooker, not really what I had in mind.  Thank you, though.”

“Have you been helped?”

“Well, if that’s what you wanna call it.  What I’d really like is a pretty, low-heeled, strappy sandal with more of a princess look than the hooker look, if you know what I mean.”

“Heh, heh, well, let me see what I can find for you.”

“Mmmm hmmm. Now THAT’S quite a shoe! Just exactly how high is that platform? Really! Well, it’s awfully inflexible.  What I’m looking for are some new dance shoes and, since dancing like Frankenstein is really not my style, I guess I should keep looking. Thanks anyway.”

Finally, after four desperate hours of shopping and finding nothing but KISS and Elton John inspired platforms with five-inch spike heels (Frankenstein hooker shoes!), I left the mall totally disillusioned.  I felt incredibly old and out of touch with fashion.  Then, behold, I spy a popular discount store.  I am now more in need than ever of some retail therapy.  Hmmm, what have I got to lose?  And there, against all odds, I rejoiced with the angels because I found my heart’s desire at… Payless Shoe Source.  Who knew?!  Not only did I find beautiful, satin, jeweled princess shoes, but, best of all… I COULD AFFORD TWO PAIR!