As the ATYPICAL SOUNDS writer most in touch with the female neonate demographic, it’s only right that I weigh in on the subject of Barbie’s ongoing initiative to empower young women with strong positive role models being portrayed throughout their product.
Personally, I think it’s better when men speak about women’s issues because we don’t have that nasty old inherent bias to worry about, you know? So I’ll be attacking this subject with an objective point of view. This is what people want in their toy analysis.
So now that I’ve established my dominance, as per the advice of my personal bible, The Game, here’s the scoop:
In addition to Barbie’s wildly popular Ava DuVernay line and the company introducing a wider array of body types that deviate from the usual portrayal of thin and tall blonde beauties, the beloved doll is now getting variation in her career opportunities. Yupp, Barbie’s a game developer now.
In typical internet fashion pertaining to whenever a woman does something, whether she’s real or plastic, a wide range of opinions were shared. It was worth any vitriol it may have gotten, though, because this is a forward thinking move in the right direction.
Game Developer Barbie is a much needed injection of niche that Barbie’s previous jobs never had. Just look at the other careers on that site. Obviously, they’re all great jobs that are important to portray; you women should be able to have a Dr. Barbie and Teacher Barbie available for purchase. Both of those careers, however, now stand as foundational jobs aren’t as loaded with gendered pretenses as other fields. It’s thankfully now the norm to allow a female doctor to diagnose somebody without her being accused of witchcraft. Electing to branch out into the tech world, Barbie’s simply acknowledging the need to amplify the representation elsewhere.
By giving Barbie a job in tech, a field notorious for its ridiculous lack of inclusion for women, it’s a minor step in normalizing an initiative already set in motion by a large collection of women in a continuous uphill battle. Whether it’s the black hole of sexism that is #GamerGate, or that the basic principle regarding female characters in video games is to put as little clothes on them as possible, the video game and tech world is still seen as a boys club.
Can a doll immediately fix this? Of course not. But it’s a great sign that Barbie now sees how diverse the job market is, and there’s true importance in women establishing a foothold in areas that were seldom before seen as an ideal fit for them. Let’s see if they use this momentum to give Barbie even more unfairly male-dominated professions going forward. What’s to stop her from getting into venture capitalism or truck driving? Maybe even a Bernie Bro Ken doll that says “I’m more of a humanist than a feminist” when you pull on his string. The possibilities are limitless.