Thursday, February 17, 2011

Barbie and The Feminist Movement

My daughter is participating in National History Day at her middle school. This year's theme is: Debate and Diplomacy: Successes, Failures, and Consequences. The kids compete at the middle school and if they win they go on to a regional competition at the local college. If they win at that level, they then go to Denver  to compete on the state level. If they win state, they go on to compete nationally in Washington D.C. My kids have made it to the state level, but never to the national level.

My daughter chose to debate the effects Barbie has had on our society. Feminists claim that Barbie has had a negative influence on young girls and their self-esteem, so my daughter wanted to research it.

As we've talked about it, I have to say that I think it's completely ridiculous to blame self-esteem issues on a doll. Umm, it's a doll. How can a doll have adverse effects on anyone? It's an inanimate object. I played with Barbies all the time. I even had one fashioned after Miss America that I thought was beautiful. I had all sorts of Barbies and I loved playing with them. I never wanted to be Barbie nor did I ever want to look like her because, well, she was a doll, and I'm a real person. I could easily differentiate between real and make-believe. I'd have to say that if a doll undermines your self-esteem, you have some serious issues brewing.

Eleanor Roosevelt said it best when it comes to self-esteem, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

My daughter's teacher told her to research the feminist movement and see how it related to the Barbie controversy. My daughter asked me about the feminist movement and I was happy to give her my opinion. The feminist movement has been responsible for the degradation of women and is directly responsible for the murders of millions of innocent babies under the guise of women's rights.

Personally, I do not want to be the same as men. The moment women set out to become like men is the moment our society began to degrade. There was a time when men respected women. They opened doors, pulled out chairs, carried heavy packages, spoke in milder tones, protected the fairer sex, and held women in high regard. Now, that's all changed. Men don't respect women at all. Chivalry is mostly dead. Of course, there are those who are still taught to be chivalrous and to respect women, but they are few and far between. I think domestic violence is directly related to the loss of respect men have for women which is a direct result of the feminist movement.

The feminists like to scream and yell for equality and what they miss is that we already are equal, but equal does not mean the same. My daughter's teacher claims the feminist movement gave women choices. What choices? The choice to seek a career instead of motherhood? Will all that money and prestige keep those women company when they're old and gray? Will the absence of a family really bring happiness? Of course, there's the choice to sleep around with whomever happens to be available, a choice that was once unacceptable. And there's the worst choice of all, killing a baby simply because it's inconvenient. The feminist movement has taught women to not only be selfish but also irresponsible.

The women's movement has done nothing to improve the lot of women and I'm ashamed of all those women who have tried to make me the same as a man. I'm proud to be a woman. I love being a woman. I love being a wife. I love being a mother. I resent the implication from feminists that somehow I'm not a real woman because I don't have some high-powered career and have chosen to stay home and do the most important job in the world: raising my children. My only regret is that I couldn't have 10 more kids.

And what does Barbie have to do with all of this? The feminists claim that Barbie has skewed the expectations of little girls. That girls who play with Barbies will grow up with a distorted sense of reality. Really? I say to the feminists look in the mirror for a distortion of reality.

The best part of the whole thing is that when I asked my daughter where she went for her research on feminism she replied, "I went to because I figured that was the best place to find the truth about women." Yes!! I love that. She even wants to include a quote from The Proclamation about women's true roles. Color me a very proud mama.

Whether my daughter wins or not at school, she's already a winner in my book!

UPDATE: She won third place out of 30 entries and will be competing in the regionals.Yay!


kbrebes said...

Wow! This was awesome! Grreeaat post, Rebecca. I'd LOVE to read her paper! I feel like I want to copy your post and save it to re-read! I'll just come by for another visit and re-read it then!!!

Tamara said...

My grandmother said, the feminist movement gave her a voice. She didn't feel she could speak up and talk to her husband about her needs and wants, she felt invisible until the movement.

I realize that not all points of the feminist movement where beneficial, but I have to say I'm grateful for the fact that each woman can choose the type of life they desire.

Same as you, I've run across many women who think less of a woman who want to say home and raise a family.
But isn't that the very same issue women had before the movement? Some women wanted to work outside the home and were looked down on for doing so.

I like the idea of women doing what's right for themselves.

If I want to be a stay at home mother, I can. If I want to be a working mom, that's an option too. If I choose not to have children then that's another.

(Indecently I'm a stay at home mother of 5 children and have been for the last 16 years and love doing it.)
It's a great topic and thanks for writing about it.

Anonymous said...

Well, there are lots of woman out there that can't have children or for one reason or another don't get married.

I think it is nice that they have opportunties outside of being secretaries, nurses, and teachers. In addition I think woman doctors have really been able to address the health needs of women in ways that male doctors never would or could.

In addition, woman used to not be allowed to study at certain universities or colleges at all. It is good to see many woman getting college educations and improving themselves. We didn't only come to earth to procreate, you know. The glory of God is intelligence, and the more knowledge we obtain here the better for us in the afterlife.

Sure, some woman have used feminist arguments to excuse atrocious behavior, but I really wouldn't want to go back to the 40's or 50's. We can't forget about the good that has been done, as well as the bad.