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Barbie, Princesses etc - harmless or perpetuating female stereotypes?

(78 Posts)
WhenSantaWentQuietlyMad Mon 11-Dec-06 21:57:51

Luckily I have not got to this stage yet with dd1.

However, round someone else's house the other day, the children were watching a Barbie film (12 Dancing Princesses as I remember). It was just so ludicrously sexist - at one stage the "mother" said to the girls "You are no better than a common maid".

Am I over-reacting or should I try to resist the onslaught of negative role models for my dds?

WhenSantaWentQuietlyMad Tue 12-Dec-06 11:33:26

I agree stockingsofdinosaurs, what on earth possesses someone to do that?

There is part of me that hopes that it is just an ignorance thing and they don't really get it. For me it just emphasises the sexualisation of female empowerment. For adults it is bad enough, but for pre-pubescent girls I find it highly inappropriate.

As well as sending the message to girls that there is little point creating your own luck, and that your power is only linked to how manipulative you can be towards men.

Dangerous times for our girls I think. I don't want her to look at the world from a fish eye lens of men being in control of their ultimate success.

HoHoHorsewoman Tue 12-Dec-06 11:31:19

As a child I had a Sindy and all the bits that went with it - Barbie wasn't my thing, and DD1 hated Barbie with a passion. DD2 however....Little antichrist, danger-baby, pushes sweetcorn up her nose and farts when sitting on stranger's knees...loves Barbie and anything pink and princessy (but she loves pirates too). I think that we don't have to behave like men to be kickass - celebrate our differences, but take them on when it's important, that's my motto. I work in a very male-dominated world, and can easily hold my own with any of them - no subservience here - but pink is my favourite colour, I have to admit, but then again, DH has 2 pink shirts and a pink sweater, and he's no Barbara Cartland (nor did he ever have a Barbie doll).

Stockingsofdinosaurs Tue 12-Dec-06 11:22:39

Maybe the Playboy mums think pornography is all about female empowerment and think the Bunnies are great rolemodels.
I just don't get why anyone would dress their kids or decorate kids' rooms with a sodding jazzmag logo!

paulaplumpbottom Tue 12-Dec-06 10:30:25

I also think that we should forget that while we are just as good as men, we are women and its fun to be feminine. All the fluffy, sparkly pink that adult women hate is just ways for little girls to exagerate their femininity. I don't neccessarily think there is anything wrongwith that.

WhenSantaWentQuietlyMad Tue 12-Dec-06 08:53:31

Thank you all for your replies.

I suppose you're right magicstar and fortyplus - my dad spent my whole childhood teaching me DIY and stuff, and I was definitely programmed to think of women as 'the same as men'.

However, I am definitely more girlie than my childhood would have suggested.

No TV helps I bet, singsalot, so that the influence isn't wall to wall 24 hours a day. I think that i will have to keep an eye on what they are taking in at a young age, and be ready to say "What a ridiculous thing to say" next time I hear a princess told "You are no better than a common maid".

Food for thought, but not something to be overly worried about is my conclusion. I try not to get too uptight about anything these days.

fortyplus Tue 12-Dec-06 01:06:09

ds2 had a Barbie for his birthday when he was 2
He had fairy wings when he was 3

He's 11 now & shows no signs whatsoever of being a bad influence to young girls!

magicstaronthefarawaytree Tue 12-Dec-06 01:02:40

dd always asks for barbie becauase her friends do. but we have 1 and she rarely plays with it. too busy racing round the house. I always wanted a ballerina sindy and all the bits, and I am more handy andy than domestic goddess.

singsalot Mon 11-Dec-06 23:59:25

I failed to resist,
I never encouraged my dd(5) to like these things either, the thing is she isn't obsessed, she wanted a Barbie, saw it in a charity shop window, so I got it, she insisted it should be put away for her birthday, she sometimes plays with it, but has no idea of the extent of the merchandise that goes with it(no t.v), I also got her a Barbie cake for her birthday(barbie doll stuck in a cake), so she has charity barbie and cake barbie,

dd doesn't have lots of girly friends and none that are really into barbie, it seems to be power rangers with her friends, she hasn't watched it, but is pink power ranger Rosa, which is worse?

I also think if you try and deny them the pink fluffiness of it all then our kids might turn into barbara cartland - she surely never had a barbie as a child?

maybe we are on the slippery slope now, she only wants a barbie horse for xmas, £10 in t.k maxx

Tortington Mon 11-Dec-06 23:12:58

barbie is a slut.

WhenSantaWentQuietlyMad Mon 11-Dec-06 23:07:33

poins dog, you are so right, thank you. I can't really go it alone and ban Barbie - it will just make it MORE interesting for her. However, I can begin the Barbie/Princess backlash campaign, and give her more interesting convos with her girlie mates!

poinsettydog Mon 11-Dec-06 23:00:43

Accept these things as part of the world around them and have conversations about them. Talk about such issues openly and humorously. I think that's the only way to "resist the onslaught"

WhenSantaWentQuietlyMad Mon 11-Dec-06 22:59:42

Essbee - I lusted after the girl;s world head and eventually after years of lobbying I got it.

I probably had girly toys, but I just cringe now.

She will probably turn out OK no matter what, I spose.

essbee Mon 11-Dec-06 22:58:59

Message withdrawn

essbee Mon 11-Dec-06 22:58:08

Message withdrawn

paulaplumpbottom Mon 11-Dec-06 22:56:40

My DD loves the Animal Hospital.(Don't waste money on the helicopter)

WhenSantaWentQuietlyMad Mon 11-Dec-06 22:53:42

Essbee - I suppose ds's are no more clued up about the world, and just as likely to pick an inappropriate role model. Deep down I know that I shouldn't worry about this. I just feel so "icky" about the whole Pink Princess thing. So far I have pandered to it, but I am starting to rebel.

I have a hidden card up my sleeve this Xmas - Animal hospital - {prays please be a vet or a doctor or something}

paulaplumpbottom Mon 11-Dec-06 22:51:50

I'm not sure what a crofter is, but I have thought about having a situation that is a little more innocent. She is only 3 and I'm worried that as she gets older she'll want the Btraz and Playboy junk. I guess in the end you can't protect them from it just try togive them the best cornerstone possible and resign yourself to saying no all the time.

Oh No!!!!

I'm going to be my mother.

essbee Mon 11-Dec-06 22:50:04

Message withdrawn

WhenSantaWentQuietlyMad Mon 11-Dec-06 22:42:43

PPB - you sound like me - have you considered becoming a crofter on a Scottish estate just to insulate the dc from all the malign influences?

WhenSantaWentQuietlyMad Mon 11-Dec-06 22:41:15

I know, essbee, but don't you ever get a pit of the stomach feeling when reading fairy tales? I sometimes think - why don't little boys dress up as helpless objects of female desire?

NappiesGalooooooooooooria Mon 11-Dec-06 22:41:12

thankfully i only have boys so wont have to dwell much on the subject. but personally think all that pink crap is just vomit-worthy.

like i say, damn good job i have just boys. no idea how i'd cope if i had a dd who liked all that sh1t <shudder>

essbee Mon 11-Dec-06 22:41:06

Message withdrawn

paulaplumpbottom Mon 11-Dec-06 22:41:00

Well Hugh Heffner won't be getting a dime of mine or DD's money. There is sooo much pressure for them to grow up so soon. How am I going to keep her a child for as long as she needs to be?

essbee Mon 11-Dec-06 22:39:45

Message withdrawn

WhenSantaWentQuietlyMad Mon 11-Dec-06 22:38:02

No Paula - the chattering classes are there with you. Playboy - positive role model?

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