October 22, 2013
Double Standard? Or Strained Analogy?
VC asks. You decide.
Grim links to this graphic, and comments:
A friend of mine sent me this picture, which I found rather surprising. I don't think it's a double standard, so much as their just not being interested in the quality of boys' toys to the same degree. I had honestly never thought of their point at all. Of course I remember He-Man, who was just a cleaned-up kids version of Conan, a physically similar character.
The double standard analogy struck us as rather strained, unless of course one believes that little boys seriously imagine there's some kind of real world analog to a fantasy superhero with supernatural powers that come from a magical sword.
Perhaps we should not be so dismissive: who among us doth not continually fantasize about wielding a ginormous Magical Sword?
But let's suspend disbelief and consider the conceit for a moment. To do that, we should compare aspiring to be like Barbie when one grows up with aspiring to be like He-Man. To aid in the discussion, we took the liberty of concocting a side-by-side comparison matrix:
Hmmmm.... if this is your child (male or female) which role model seems most worthy of emulation?
On a more frivolous note, our curiosity about best selling Barbies led us to find a picture of our one-and-only Barbie doll, received in 1964 upon the occasion of our 5th birthday.
Mom was not thrilled - she thought that Barbie dolls were not a fitting toy for a 5 year old. Honestly, we can't say we played with her a lot. She was boring because she didn't DO anything. Dressing her up didn't exactly fire the old imagination. This all got us thinking about how we spent most of our time when we were just a rosy cheeked little Editorial Staff.
We distinctly remember taking great pleasure in our collection of trolls. We spent many happy hours braiding their hair and teasing it into beehive hairdos:
But then we also liked camping (yes, that's the Editorial Staff at about 10 - not exactly the most graceful age. We hadn't quite grown into our arms and legs yet):
Riding bikes was a major pastime, as were playing tag on summer nights, practicing gymnastic stunts and walking on stilts, playing football and War, and re-enacting episodes of The Girl From UNCLE:
Oddly, we don't remember much pink, Barbies, or princess fantasizing. So, were we some sort of aberration, or is the fervent longing to possess a pink Dream House inextricably intertwined with having two X chromosomes?
Posted by Cassandra at October 22, 2013 07:24 PM
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That's a completely valid point, but one which would be more persuasive, to me, if the criticism of Barbie were that she was a shallow vapid twit.
But no, feminist only care about her looks :-)
Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at October 22, 2013 09:42 PM