Friday on my mind
A pointy haired Barbie, now there's a thought that makes me shudder, where's my pink cattle prod.
Toy giant Mattel has withdrawn from sale its painfully sexist Barbie book I Can Be A Computer Engineer after a storm of protest. It apologized for making the anatomically-impossible doll incapable of fixing a PC without two lads' help – let alone program any software for one. "The portrayal of Barbie in this specific story …
Such classics as:
Barbie the mumsnetter - an everyday tale of a toxic life in nappy valley punctuated with lattes and deep conversations with other barbies about how awful ken is.
Barbie the career women - nothing gets in the way of her flight to the top, so Ken ends up banging the nanny, his personal trainer and barbies best friend
I get a headache trying to think down at the level of those storytellers (prhase used without prejudice).
The "quality of that story reminds me of a snoopy cartoon, where snoopy gets a rejection letter for a story he has submitted, together with a rejection for the next story he might want to submit.
There was a similar storyline in an episode of Lost: The Hot Blonde One was asked to gather sticks for a fire but turned on the charm and got The Fat Guy to fetch them instead. Her brother complained that she'd not fetched the sticks but she pointed out that she actually had. She and Barbie are equally empowered but feminists won't see it that way because they want equal representation only in safe, well-respected, high-paying jobs like Programmer and will never demand equality in lumber yards.
I for one hope that someday people will grow back a bit of common sense and stop looking for meanings which aren't there in the first place.
So just because Barbie is a girl you can't write up a story about how she doesn't understand computers because she's a girl and therefore its sexist? However, you can write up such a story when the main character is a male? So how is that not being sexist?
I'm getting annoyed too; with the double morals being uphold.
So when someone writes a story about how a girl doesn't know anything about a computer its an outrage (even though, shudder, some people (who cares about gender in the first place? you? you sexist!) actually really don't know shit about computers).
Yet when someone writes a story about how certain women allow themselves to be degraded to mere party / company or heck: sex slaves (Fifty shades of grey anyone?) then it's quickly turning into a best seller. Oh I know: "that's different because its targeted at adults".
Sure, however; this Barbie book was targeted at teens and from what I can tell only a bunch of stuck-up adults actually had problems with it. So... different? How?
In my opinion some people should be forced to watch The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs. A South Park episode no less. One of the many reasons why I think the older seasons were /so/ much better than what we got now.
SO basically; the boys write a book, with the only intend to make it as offensive and disgusting as possible. A mother (don't want to spoil the plot ;)) finds it, gets disgusted with it yet still thinks she understands "what the meaning of the story is".
While in fact there was none. Just writing up a disgusting piece of work for fun. Using as many "no no" words as possible.
This is IMO no different. Just because Barbie is a girl some people consider it sexism if she doesn't know shit about computers. Apparently those people are even totally incapable to realize that the target audience would never get those ideas of sexism.
Unless of course you bring them into contact with such. Like, for example, making a huge fuss about it and making all the kids believe that this actually is a BIG deal, even though they never would have thought so in the first place.
And voila; now all of a sudden you realized the exact opposite of what you tried to do; because now the people involved get into the stereotyping that "writing stories about girls who don't know IT is bad".
Why it's bad? Would anyone ask that question at the risk of being called a sexist?
So now we're down to "girls aren't bad with IT per definition, because 'we' said so".
Gee, and when I put it like that it sure as heck sounds like dictatorship to me!
Who cares about allowing people to decide for themselves if they think the story is suitable for their children or not?. Naah, who cares about freedom of choice anyway? This is all for the common good after all!
Yah, and that last sentence is what most dictators also use to justify their actions. Just saying....
The irony of course is that in the real world women can and do get jobs in IT. Many quite high up. On the other hand if a guy goes to interview in a skirt suit with pink nail polish he'd be lucky to get past reception. If we're going to properly deal with gender equality it's going to take more than a barbie doll and an angry mob...
Or having daughters, who, despite our best efforts, love all things Barbie.
I feel a trial at the Hague is due for the creators of Barbie, Pokemon and whatever that stupid show is called where the kids mingle with animated "beings" who can't talk properly "LaLa not like"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Probably more to add to the list but that's a good start..... crimes against humanity... a pox on their houses....
Take a walk down the girls' aisle of any toy store and you'll see that the only change is the prevalence of pink LEDs.
You will find that most things are pink because that is what the majority of girls like. It is not people forcing them to do it (most of the time).
My daughter is pink mad but we thought she would grow up a tomboy. The first year of her life with two older brothers was all about army and lego and dinosaurs (the sterotypical boy toys though she does like them too). The strange thing, pink, she loves it and dolls and all the sterotypical girly things, though as mentioned she gives the boys as good as they get with the boy toys (note the boys play with her dolls too and we encourage it).
Basically what I am trying to say here is that the companies that make these things know that the majority tend to be this way because of our biology. Hence they try to cater towards what is going to sell the most, hence pink.
This book is obviously belittling Women. We are trying to teach our kids they can do anything but, the pink thing stands, most girls like pink and it is not people necessarily forcing them to like it.
Not entirely - most of the pink preference is due to culture not biology. http://www.theguardian.com/science/2007/aug/25/genderissues
My grandfather preferred pink and red related clothing when he was alive and when we were in Thailand I saw more pink in the men than I did on the women.
If "women love pink and men blue" was completely biological then most or all cultures would have a distinct preference between the colours.
Thanks for that link, but what does this opinion piece have to do with what I observed in my own kin?
A bad survey done badly (and with older people with a bias already), proves nothing but neither does the opinion of the writer in denying it.
In fact reading that article where it mentions cultures, it is actually talking about different races, so there may even be biological differences. Or, are you trying to tell me that all the races evolved in the same way?
I and a friend had a pink phase when we were in our teens, how does that relate to a younger person / baby choosing one thing over the other? How do you tell what is conscious and unconscious? Can you please point me to a scientific paper on this and not a newspaper opinion piece please?
> If "women love pink and men blue" was completely biological then most or all cultures would have a distinct preference between the colours.
Indeed. I seem to remember reading somewhere that pre-Victorian times, pink was the usual colour for boy baby clothes and blue for the girls, the exact reverse from how things are now.
The "girliness" of pink seems to be a fairly recent innovation.
I have spoken to many "software engineers" (male and female) who match the Barbie of this book more closely than anything else. They come up with an idea, draw some pretty pictures, then hand it to a team of programmers who do the real work. Then they claim all the credit.
These are just like the architects who draw pretty pictures, then hand them to a team of civil engineers to actually make it work. But the architect, obviously, gets the credit, not the people who turned a drawing not too dissimilar to those produced in crayon by a 5 year old into a real design.
I've actually had a lot of that from my father. He's a civil engineer, and has banged heads with many architects over his time. There have been several instances where the "design" (i.e. pretty picture) is either impossible to build with current technology, or so eye-wateringly expensive it may as well be. This never deterred the architect, and my father's "diplomatic skills" (or lack thereof) often ended up with him quitting, being fired, or being pushed sideways into another project. He would often later find out that the architect backed down, and the alternative design he had proposed was accepted when someone who didn't just p*** everyone off proposed it in a more diplomatic way.
BTW I know that this speaks volumes about my dad's likeability and employability. I don't like him much myself at times, and certainly wouldn't want to work with him!
"BTW I know that this speaks volumes about my dad's likeability and employability. I don't like him much myself at times, and certainly wouldn't want to work with him!"
You should ask him if he ever had another child about 46 years ago who he never met. Maybe I'm your long lost brother - I must've inherited a similar attitude from somewhere!
Grace being ever so gracious, and following the basic rules of leadership, would have praised Barbie's team with the team present (and hopefully some onlookers). Then taken her aside to explain that it was her team that did the job. Taking all the credit is very wrong and can result in serious repercussions in her future endeavors. (It would definitely have a deleterious on her next Fitness Report if such behaviors continued.)
I've run into glory-hounds before, even transferred to my choice of duty station. (Captain had no choice in the matter). They usually don't last long as the troops see that going that extra bit results in nothing for them or their subordinates. Hell, once I was order to never help a certain LCDR. His commander was going to flame out on his own.
Long post to help make sense on why Barbie wouldn't cut in Adm. Grace Hopper's world. Hell of a leader.
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I have to agree with the outraged on this one. The doll itself seemed to be a reasonably positive effort on Mattel's part, but the book totally undermines that.
getting boys to do the hard stuff and then claiming all the credit, although we can all think of a few bosses (male and female) who've turned this into a successful management strategy - perhaps the author cocked up and accidentally submitted his work on a management training manual to Mattel.
Err... if she did not get the boys to do the hard work her name would not be Barbie. Let's face it - this is what Barbie indoctrination is all about.
Disclaimer - I got a daughter age 6 which is given samples of the anorexic wh*re effigy once in a while as a present. She plays with them from time to time too (not often thankfully).
However, you are more likely to see her feet sticking from the 80l crate of lego in the playroom looking for the bits she need to complete the next model. That or trying to disassemble the shared computer with a screwdriver I left lying around :) For which I am greateful - she seems to be reasonably impervious to indoctrination. The fact that pestering for anything based on adverts on CITV is an automatic NO in our house probably was some help here too.
Our daughters played with Barbie but were also impervious to indoctrination - for the same reason as yours, I think - instant No to anything on an advert. Eldest is quite happy to take a laptop apart to replace the screen. I'm only daring enough to replace a hard drive or memory.
And they are pissed off because barbie (oh she's not ugly and fat like real women can be) didn't code it? Barbie stands for everything women can be with a bit of plastic surgery and liposuction and a brain the size of the planet. Let's not set the bar too high for girls, of course she can program! Yeah, and I'm GI Joe, not that I saw him working in a hairdressers salon recently.
Unluckily, I met one like that...
Anyway, guess "girls" now understand how IT people feel everytime they are portraied in some blockbuster movie - fat, wearing teenager clothes in their forties, unkempt beard and hair, an old pizza beside the keyboard, living with mama, etc. etc.
Of course this stereotypes are OK, if Brad Pitt is the hero....
I hate to break it to you, but Dilbert is not a documentary.
Yes, I used to believe that too. I hate to break it to you though, but that all changed once I got a job at a large multi-national.
Next you'll be trying to tell me that Chris Morris's 'The Day Today' is supposed to be comedy. When it's actually training material used by most media organisations.
Just Dilbert, as many other strips, take inspirations from real life - and you missed the comment I had a first hand experience of someone like that in the strips... there are women who learnt they have power over men, and will use it to reach their goals.
The dilbert strips were there just for a smile...
I guess I was lucky. The girl I tutored in the algebra would trade for kisses. Lots of them. On the other hand (I'm an economist, sue me), she could strip down, repair, even improve anything mechanical. Anything. And when she tuned my bike, well I had to pay in kisses. Lots of them.
That is the kind of Capitalism that people Like or Hate. It causes feelings of Enjoyment or Envy or Hatred. It makes people want to Cheer or Rise up with Knives. It speaks to me of both of you knowing your own strengths and weaknesses and working it all out.
Realistic ? Yes I agree, but I went to school 20 years ago but yet, it is a realism that existed then and might still today
Not sure why some people were so upset by this Barbie episode. It's always been a teen-age fashion doll, that was the whole point! She was supposed to be superficial and stupid while having as many accessories, friends and glamour as possible. Although it's based on a certain actually existing type who are around already since the 1950's and arose with modernity I suppose. But to start now to wonder if the doll might be still encouraging the Barbie in the child.... that's really,...uhmm naive? It's the Barbie World which influenced and influences the doll as icon and gadget. The criticism on the book is like believing FPS games has signicant influence when ti comes to murder in the streets or terrorism. A message then to all the upset women and men: the doll is not meant to educate. If you think education has anything to do with the doll or the books than you should get a job in the fashion industry for a few years and learn how the business, and the world, really works. It will make you laugh more and cry less about these things while at the same time realize the modern world is very much populated by the Barby types seeking assistence everywhere but not because of education or toys.
>> the doll is not meant to educate.
Nor does it. However it does influence, especially very impressionable minds. Perhaps you are able to look at it and shrug off its influences because you've developped this skill over many years being an adult, if so I congratulate you. We should certainly hold children to the same standards as yourself!
The Barbie type will be aroud until the coming collapse, as will her male counterparts.
On another thread, some fool repeated the received wisdom that the population will start to fall after reaching 9,000 million around 2050. Not going to happen. Humans today are lemmings (yeah, I did enjoy the old game, thanks to those of you who are and are not at Rockstar, also loved Chinatown Wars).
Collapse is coming, it will be within this century. It will likely not be acknowledged at first.
Population growth will not magically stop at 9,000 million around 2050, it will continue until some kind of collapse.
...some fool repeated the received wisdom that the population will start to fall after reaching 9,000 million around 2050. Not going to happen. ..
"Some fool" was repeating the consensus opinion of the world's population specialists, who have been commissioned to do multiple studies into this area.
Perhaps you could tell us the basis for your rejection of all this work? Perhaps all the scientists are conspiring because they have been bribed by Big Oil?
A quick visit to her brothers Action Man / GI Joe collection and voila, Peshmerga Barbie
(Showed my daugher those pictures and she cheered; I must be doing something right...)
Innacurate retellings of classic fairy tales with Barbie playing the kead role. The moral of the story always seems to be with hard work and quick thinking you can overcome adversity to become a princess, because anything else is a failure.
My 4 year old daughter is obsessed with these films but thankfully wants to be an astronaut.
1930 called and they want their attitudes back. Strewth, I'm an old bloke and I'm offended by this. I'm reminded of that ambitious but otherwise useless bimbo who was running some govt scheme to teach kids to code but admitted she couldn't code herself. I expect she's the prospective Labour candidate for somewhere or other by now. How's that for an idea for the next Barbie role model book & doll? £200 from all good toy shops and most crappy ones as well.
"I'm reminded of that ambitious but otherwise useless bimbo who was running some govt scheme to teach kids to code but admitted she couldn't code herself."
Which would suggest Mattel got it right. Not how we might like it to be but how it actually is. But it does beg the question how it should be and how that should be reflected in fiction.
I am all for standing on one's own feet acquiring skills to do things but that shouldn't preclude recognising people do have better aptitudes and talents for some things than others. To create false expectations in the opposite direction is as equally harmful as promoting bimboism. Not everyone can do everything or do everything well, but that doesn't make you a failure.
'we can all think of a few bosses (male and female) who've turned this into a successful management strategy', although Barbie is not a manager in this scenario.
Amusing that the product had been around for years before the twit-storm broke out.
Also amusing that it is not a rare phenomenon IRL!
To the earlier poster who referred to Grace Hopper, who really did walk the walk, Cobol remains big in banking and finance after how many years? She was a commodore, not an admiral.
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"rear admiral (lower half)"
Not sure whether serious.
Also, the Barbie graphical style is weird, like a collage. Why is it that way?
Also, Skipper looks better than Barbie, both are about 14 so what are they doing writing games which seem to be inspired by SHRDLU and Steven is not portrayed as an asocial nerd to be made fun of, because LOL Computers, so there is that. Looks suspiciously like a jock though. Stay away.
We believe girls should be empowered to understand that anything is possible and believe they live in a world without limits.
P is now NP
the idea of a software engineer not being able to fix hardware is not unknown - only last month we had to spend 2 hours on a conference call explaining to an application development team that, no they couldnt load their new module into a specific SAP system in our maintenance window because we would actually have the system shutdown for a break-fix.
We ended up having to say it very slowly, very loudly over and over again
When you hold the book in your hands to read a story, the opposite book is upside down, facing out. So the final insult to this entire literary disaster is that when you read “Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer,” it appears that you are so fucking dumb, you’re reading “Barbie: I Can Be an Actress” upside down.
Oh dear - yet again Corporate dinosaurs show how far back in the 80's they are stuck....I'm not surprised the old Barbie issues are in the fore again, frankly its time the dirty old men at the top were cleared out of industry and positions of power. just tired of so many wrong messages sent to kids these days...
"We believe girls should be empowered to understand that anything is possible and believe they live in a world without limits."
And some of them are smart and can achieve whatever they want by hard work and using their brains; others can achieve what ever they want by using their brains and realising they also have good looks and can include those as part of their success strategy.
A good friend of mine had a very blonde 'enhanced' girlfriend for a few years she was no Einstein and knew it, she wasn't stupid either and knew that looks and the willingness to be arm and eye candy was a skill that could help her to achieve things, a nice girl and still a friend of mine. Everything she could get in pink she would buy including her wardrobe to keep her pink clothes in. Also liked Hello Kitty ( preferably in pink).
Often appearance is almost as important as skills in getting a job, there is nothing wrong in teaching that being a software/hardware engineer or as my very pretty feminine step daughter was for a while a motorcycle mechanic but giving girls the impression that they must achieve is as bad as telling them they mustn't. All kids should be encouraged to try things and give them support in those things they show interest in.
Better to teach all kids (Girls and boys equally) to 'Be the best you can', believing you live in a world where anything is possible and without limits is going to make a lot of people disappointed when they don't achieve much because they have limits.
Regarding IT as has been mentioned many times here before, to get girls or many boys interested, make the teaching interesting not teaching by rote from teachers who are not interested in the subject.
"The portrayal of Barbie in this specific story doesn’t reflect the brand’s vision for what Barbie stands for," a Mattel spokesperson said in a Facebook posting.
Bullshit. You signed off on it, you put your name on it, you put your brand on it, it's yours.
Not getting away with it this easily.
I think it's worse - I think it shows the classic view that the Arts graduates have of Engineering, and the Sciences generally.
The Barbie books are meant to show Barbie being successful. The people who wrote this obviously thought that they WERE showing Barbie as successful. They just didn't have the first clue about what a 'Computer Engineer' did.
And, being Arts types, they didn't feel the need to find out. They just decided it was something to do with computer games, and involved talking to geeks. So that's what they wrote.
You or I would have had a plot involving the school not being able to allocate classrooms or trace equipment, and Barbie putting together a database application to sort this out - testing and documenting the same. I really don't think that Arts students connect that sort of thing with computers at all. They just think that services 'happen'...
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