For years the rad-fems have been blasting the Barbie doll. The big-haired, math-impaired, impossibly long-gambed Mattel toy with the hundred pairs of high heels and the humongous wardrobe is supposed to represent everything that’s wrong with sexist, patriarchal, capitalist American culture. Barbie’s been blamed from every perceived social ill from anorexia to breast implant-mania to shop-aholism to little girls’ lack of desire to become civil engineers when they grow up. And Ken, Barbie’s straight-arrow boyfriend! When those two dolls get together in their playhouse, they encourage little girls to want to (eeeuuuw!) get married when they reach Barbie’s age!
But just like the grade-school bully who has a secret crush on the girl he’s always tripping in the aisle, at least one wing of the feminist movement wishes not to destroy Barbie but to take her out on a date. According to a story in the New York Post, an entrepreneur in New York City’s East Village has created the “Bobbie Doll,” a lesbian action figure (part of a line called DYKEdolls) designed, its creator hopes, to compete with Ken, and also with Barbie’s new surfer swain Blaine, for the favors of the fair Mattel toy.
Post reporter Joanna Walters writes:
“And her New York creator cheekily believes she might even ‘catch the eye’ of her West Coast plastic counterpart ‘ the ultimate California girl, Barbie, who recently dumped her longtime love, Ken.
“‘He won’t treat her right,’ DYKEdolls creator and East Village resident Stephanie Prod says of Blaine, tongue firmly in cheek.
“‘He won’t know what women want ‘ but Bobbie does,’ she adds.”
Prod told Walters that she came up with the idea for Bobbie while writing her master’s thesis at New York University on the underrepresentation of lesbians in popular culture–an underrepresentation that Prod clearly hopes to cure. Bobbie comes equipped with a leather jacket, a muscle T-shirt and a tattoo. For an extra $15 or so, buyers over age 21 can purchase a kit of accessories: “tiny leather harnesses and miniature vibrators,” as Walters describe them.
Prod insists that the Bobbie doll, unlike the Barbie doll, isn’t designed for children. We sure hope not.