Feministic Progress Goes “Boink”


Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.  ~Timothy Leary

Barbie! Nooooo!

Let me explain something: I’m a feminist but I’m not one of those feminists. You know, the kind with shapeless sweaters, a permanent scowl, and a raging distrust of everything with a Y chromosome.  I’m just the kind who thinks women should receive the same equitable treatment men do. I doubt very highly, however, that any woman will ever be able to start at right tackle for the Chicago Bears. Or join the Navy SEALs on their next raid in the Middle East. There are certain things women just aren’t cut out to (and probably shouldn’t) do.

That being said, my feminist hackles always seem to get raised this time of year, when manufacturers trot out an assortment of “cute” and “sassy” Halloween costumes for girls as young as three or four. I mean, if the girls don’t look like hookers in training, they look like the sole survivor of an explosion in a glittery Pepto-Bismol factory. Everywhere you look it’s short skirts, sparkles, and lots and lots of pink. If it’s not this:

then it’s likely to be some variant of this (witch, vampire, fairy, etc.):

Wander down the aisles of any big-box store and you’re not going to get much variety. If a girl wants to buy a costume rather than make one, her options are limited. (Notice that the manufacturers put out very few action-oriented costumes, like superheroes or ninjas, aimed at girls.) I understand that most girls want to be princesses and ballerinas and Tinker Bell for Halloween. It doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have some options. And of course, for those creative enough, there’s always the local thrift store, which might provide vintage pieces for a cowgirl, hippie, or secret agent look.

Everybody always seems to get on my case whenever I bring this stuff up. I’m really not sure where my passion for all things feminist comes from. I don’t have a daughter, don’t plan on having one any time soon, nor do I even have a younger sister or cousin or niece to fight with over the whole Princess thing. I guess all I want is to see, along with the Disney Princesses and Bratz of the world, a few Eleanor Roosevelts and Madame Curies and Amelia Earharts and Ayn Rands. Girls that see how many possibilities await them, instead of submitting to preconceived notions about who they should be.

And that’s what feminism should be about. Making sure today’s girls aren’t limited in their opportunities, and encouraging them to be spies or fighter pilots or computer programmers, IF that’s where they show interest.

That, and gradually getting rid of the horribly regressive Disney Princess and Barbie feature film brands, which really do look as if they came from the Pepto factory. For comparison, take a look at the artwork for the upcoming Three Musketeers film reboot:

and the animated Barbie version:

Because nothing says “swashbuckling adventure” and “all for one, one for all” like sparkling pink mini-skirts. Girls, you should aspire a bit higher than that. And you can always ask advice from this sort-of feminist.

Enjoyed this post? Be sure to click “Like” and subscribe to P&Q so you’ll never miss another exciting edition of pop culture madness. Contact the author anytime at wikusandmurdock@yahoo.com.

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~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on October 11, 2011.

8 Responses to “Feministic Progress Goes “Boink””

  1. I just had the same experience shopping for a baby shower. All the “boy” clothes were dragons, dogs, trains and sports. “Girl” options were limited sparkly pink princesses and stars. Nothing like starting gender indoctrination at birth. My friend’s little girl is going to be getting a lot of green monkey rompers, I’m afraid.

    • Nothing wrong with green monkey rompers…I seem to remember buying something similar for a friend’s baby shower for her daughter. Because I refuse to buy anything with “I’m Cute” across the front.

  2. Great post! So true!

    BTW you just keep getting more and more awesome with every post!!! 😀

  3. Girl, I am right there with you on everything you just said. I was so scared when I found out I was going to have a daughter, because I’ve always been a tomboy. It seriously gave me nightmares thinking about trying to raise a girly girl princess type. Luckily, she seems to have inherited the tomboy genes, but even something as simple as buying her a pair of shoes is a pain because EVERYTHING is pink! I hate that. We are venturing out to buy her Halloween costume this weekend, and I can only imagine the fun that awaits.

  4. This reminded me of how my friend dresses her daughter – pretty much any way her daughter wants.

    And when this is what she wants, it’s AWESOME.

    SUPER FANTASTIC HALLOWEEN COSTUME!!!!!!!!

    She’s http://www.beansandink.com if you want to follow. 🙂

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