I was offended by something else that the Barbie said. Does any one else remember that the doll also said, "Let's go shopping!"? The doll was conditioning girls to become consumers, but didn't give any balancing encouragement for girls to become producers as well. Are we valued solely for our purchasing power?
This weighs on my mind as I have been bombarded with back to school shopping messages for the past month and I am taking my daughter to register for middle school (6th grade) on Monday. Moreover, we still don't know which math class she should take. The students were given a couple of math placement tests in the Spring, but her scores were inconclusive. It may just be decided by what will fit with the rest of her schedule.
At least she will be rocking the back to school wardrobe I made/refashioned for her. We had fun putting it together, but I am under press embargo until after she has debuted them at school. She has given me permission to blog about the two dresses I made her for her 5th grade graduation. Stay tuned, and visit her blog.
* If you don't find that "math class is tough", then perhaps you should take a more challenging math class. One of the things I found most attractive about math was the state of "flow" that I achieved when working on difficult problems. This has helped me over many a rough patch in adolescence and early adulthood.
- This Barbie came out in 1992 and not in the late 1980s. I amended the post.
- According to this NY Times blurb, each Barbie said 4 of 269 phrases.
- Language Log gives a full history and discusses the issue in depth.
- Someone posted a Youtube video of the offending Barbie. This one says "Math class is tough." "Party dresses are fun." "I'll always be here to help you." "Do you have a crush on anyone?"
I agree with the first two. I am glad that Barbie is such a good friend, that she will always be there to help you. She's a way more self-sacrificing person that I want to be. Younger girls play with Barbie today than in 1992 (4-6 yo); the last phrase would be highly inappropriate for such young girls. However, I have to give Mattel kudos for a gender-neutral statement. Could Barbie be a lesbian?