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Saturday, February 21, 2015

What will Hello Barbie say?

Barbie was invented by Ruth Handler, based on a German toy hooker doll. The Germans are an odd people. Her husband, Elliot Handler, developed the "talking"mechanism. Over the years, their company, Mattel, developed plenty of dolls and talking toys. But when Barbie talked, all hell broke loose. She said, "Math class is tough," and feminists protested.

(The feminist obsession with the Barbie doll is humorous. It takes only 11 inches of plastic to set them off.)

Now Mattel is rolling out Hello Barbie. The doll will have conversations with kids. I wonder what she will say.

I know what it won't say, "Math class is tough."

In 1992, Mattel released Teen Talk Barbie. It was a weird set up. While Barbie had 270 phrases, each doll only said four things. One of the four was "Math class is tough!" The American Association of University Women protested because -- I'm not really sure why. No one said math is easy. Not even Einstein. Anyway, Mattel said, fine, if you don't like the doll, we shall swap it for another one. It also dropped the phrase from Barbie's lexicology.

Now, 23 years later, Barbie speaks again. Well, some more.

The Time magazine story was intriguing in its details: "The necklace on the doll will feature both the microphone and the speaker that help enable the conversations. Hello Barbie will retail for $74.99 when it launches, likely in time for the holiday season. The doll requires a Wi-Fi connection to talk, though kids can of course continue to use Barbie the old-fashioned way when the Internet’s down."

So for just $75 you can expose your kid to the ranting of some lunatic Chinese hacker. Or Islamic State jihadist. Or worse yet, your local women's studies professor.

Frankly, I'm holding out for the transgendered Barbie. Of course, in Barbie World, Ken has the same genitalia Barbie has so maybe the transgendered Barbie already is here.

Barbie can say anything -- except four words: Math class is tough.


1 comment:

  1. Feministas are forbidden to be happy. It's In The Book--you can look it up.