Don't expect to find "Gender: I don't know" on Mattel's Barbie.com website anymore. After the [male] spokesperson for Concerned Women for America complained that Mattel's neutral-response option to the question of gender promoted (or worse, created) "gender confusion," Mattel caved in and changed the third option to "I don't want to say."
The full article reporting on the change can be found at GPAC (Gender Public Advocacy Coalition).
There are, however, a few points I'd like to raise here ... a sort of post-script to the Saga of Barbie, if you will.
- If you try to go to Barbie.com without Flash installed on your computer, you get the following cheerful message:
And in fact, the Barbie website's tagline is "Activities and Games for Girls." In other words, though the three-gender option on Barbie.com presumes that boys might visit the website, any boy who gets past the Flash error page and the title bar may be confused enough about his gender (after repeatedly being told that he's a girl) that the "I don't know" option might actually serve a purpose after all!
- The CWA recommended, at the height of the Barbie scandal, that parents who were eager to set a better example through their children's toys buy Blessings Nun Dolls instead. The Blessings website sells dolls dressed in authentic reproductions of habits worn by approximately 300 communities of nuns, including the fabulous "Pink Nuns," the Sister Servants of the Holy Ghost of Perpetual Adoration (pictured at left below).
Virgin Brides of Christ. Dressed in pink. That's about as gender-normative as you get, I guess.
- I want the downstairs guards in the Estimat's building to sign me in as an overnight guest rather than a temporary guest one of these days. No, this has nothing to do with Barbie, but come on now ... I'm there every night. I leave in the morning and say "see you later" to the guards. I wear the same clothing all weekend because I'm too dense to bring a change of clothes Thursday afternoon. I'm clearly not there to do my phonology homework, people.
That is all.