You go, girl…right back to the 40s, and stay there.Posted: October 11, 2010
I’ve reached my limit with retail. I’m tired of a no-respect job, where I have to wear an ugly uniform, where I’m treated like an idiot by customers and coworkers alike. I want a job where I can actually make some forward progress in my life, while working a steady schedule and having time for the pursuits that really matter, my studies in particular.
One of the law offices in town is advertising for a legal secretary. I’ve done secretarial work before, and I think I’d be good at it. I’m currently fine-tuning my resume to submit it. The thing is that when I pray for help with a particular matter, I like to put a symbol of that prayer on my makeshift altar to remind me of my goal. So I went looking for a businesswoman/attorney Barbie in a business suit that I could lay there to remind me (and perhaps the gods) of where I’m trying to go. Amazon had multiple bride Barbies, and seven in bikinis, but none in business, law, or politics. There was a “baby doctor” and a “pet vet,” but that goes back to the same idea that women are to be sweet, nurturing creatures who take care of children and small animals, rather than smart, powerful beings who shape the world we live in. (Not saying that doctors/veterinarians aren’t intelligent–far from it–but the idea that smart women can *only* be healers grates on me.)
It makes me think: what kind of message is the world sending to little girls? I grew up in an age of girl power, watching Sally Ride go into space on TV, and the first president whose administration I remember clearly was married to a powerful woman in her own right, an attorney, then senator, then presidential candidate herself, and now Secretary of State. There’s never been a doubt in my mind that a woman’s place is wherever the hell she decides it is, but I don’t think that this generation is getting that message. Yes, now we have another smart, sophisticated, powerful attorney as First Lady, but there was a long period between in which we had a mousy schoolteacher who simply stood by her husband as his warmongering policies ripped our nation apart. Dolls are getting skankier with every new introduction, rather than showing little girls that intelligence and education are sexy. We’re allowing ourselves to be objectified, and it has to stop.