Dear God these people are ignorant

A sexism row has erupted over a new Barbie doll which encourages girls to become engineers by building washing machines and racks for their shoes and jewellery.

No, not that bit, this bit:

Jo Jawers, a spokeswoman at campaign group Let Toys Be Toys, accused the Engineering Barbie of “pinkifying” science, adding that it risked sending out a message that domestic machinery is used primarily by women.

She added: “While the doll is a step in the right direction it’s a real shame the things the girls can build relate to domestic chores while boys get the whole of the rest of the world. Arguably the washing machine is greatest invention of the 20th century but its not a women’s machine. We don’t want the message to be that the washing machines belongs to the girl.”

Twat. Damn near the entire Industrial Revolution has been about automating women’s work. We’ve still not quite managed to crate children properly but the first step was to automate the largest part of any woman’s working life, spinning. Seriously, the number of hours of hand spinning that went into even the homeliest of home spun shirt was horrendous. Then came weaving, in this century that washing machine and…..running a household has gone from being a full, full (60-80 hours a week) time occupation to being something that can be done in the small gap between getting home and wine o’clock.

The Spinning Jenny and the Washing Machine are, arguably, the two inventions that made women’s liberation possible.

36 comments on “Dear God these people are ignorant

  1. When I became a mother, My washing machine was my single greatest ally, watching the laundry go around entertained sproglet too.

  2. Doesn’t matter what type of Barbie I buy my daughter, ballerina, engineer, president or WAG Barbie, they would be stripped and made to do gymnastics in their pants till their joints fall apart.

  3. Which is interesting because there is a push by people to make STEM more interesting to girls by making it relevant. You know, talking more about ordinary girls’ lives and things they can relate to.

    Which is to say, cooking, shoes and washing machines.

    Some colonial Chancellor has just given a speech decrying the decline in physics in an effort to get more girls involved. Apparently if you ask fewer questions about calculating the time dilation on a space ship and ask more questions involving feelings, girls are happier.

  4. The author should be dispatched, under cover of darkness to ISIS held territory in Eastern Syria to get a taste of genuine oppression…..

  5. The two most important events in all of history were the invention of beer and the invention of the wheel. The wheel was invented to get man to the beer.

    These were the foundation of modern civilization and together were the catalyst for the splitting of humanity into two distinct subgroups:

    1. Socialists,

    2. Conservatives.

    Once beer was discovered, it required grain and that was the beginning of agriculture. Neither the glass bottle nor aluminium drinking dispenser were invented yet, so while early humans were sitting around waiting for them to be invented, they just stayed close to the brewery. That’s how villages were formed..

    Some men spent their days tracking and killing animals to B-B-Q at night while they were drinking beer. This was the beginning of what is known as the Conservative movement.

    Other men who were weaker and who were less skilled in hunting learned to live off the Conservatives by showing up for the nightly B-B-Q’s and doing the sewing, fetching and carying, and hair dressing. This was the beginning of the Labour movement..

    Some of these socialist men eventually evolved into women. They became known as girlie-men. Some noteworthy Labour achievements include the domestication of cats, the invention of group therapy, group hugs and the concept of Democratic voting to decide how to divide the meat and beer that Conservatives provided.

    Over the years Conservatives came to be symbolised by the ‘tree of life’. Socialists are symbolized by the ‘girlie-rose’.

    Modern Socialists like imported beer (with lime added), but most prefer white wine or imported bottled water.. They eat raw fish but like their beef well done. Sushi, tofu, and French food are standard Socialist fare. Another interesting evolutionary side note:…..most of their women have higher testosterone levels than their men. Most social workers, personal injury lawyers, journalists, dreamers in ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ and group therapists are Socialists. Socialists invented the off-side rule because it wasn’t fair to take advantage of aforethought.

    Conservatives drink domestic beer, i.e. real ale. They eat red meat and still provide for their women. Conservatives are big-game hunters, lorry drivers, forestry workers, construction workers, firemen, medical doctors, nurses, police officers, engineers, corporate executives, athletes, members of the military, airline pilots and generally anyone who works productively. Conservatives who own companies hire other conservatives who want to work for a living.

    Socialists produce little or nothing. They like to govern the producers and decide what to do with the production. Socialists believe Europeans are more enlightened than Englishmen. That is why most of the UK Socialists want to be in Europe when most european Conservatives are coming to England.

    Here ends today’s lesson in world history:

  6. “Sushi, tofu, and French food are standard Socialist fare.”

    And, particularly, courgettes. A diet rich in courgettes is strongly correlated with a need for safe spaces, sensitivity to micro-aggressions, emotional incontinence, love of trans- national governance and general effeminacy.

  7. Theo – Is hating trans-national governance compatible with a fondness for brussels sprouts? I’m asking for a friend.

  8. Dear Mr Worstall

    “A sexism row has erupted over a new Barbie doll…”

    Free publicity!

    Are the manufacturers getting skilled at gaming the perpetually outraged, or is Jo Whoever a shill for Big Barbie?

    DP

  9. The Meissen Bison – “Is hating trans-national governance compatible with a fondness for brussels sprouts? I’m asking for a friend.”

    Depends how you cook them. I think either (a) raw or (b) boiled and served with butter should be alright. But nothing fancy.

    Anoneumouse – that was genius.

  10. Engineers build washing machines and shoe-racks, do they? I certainly took a washing machine apart during my engineering course to see how it worked, but I don’t think we were ever expected to go into assembly line work when we graduated.

  11. > The Spinning Jenny and the Washing Machine …

    These days I’d also add the motor car. It’s nigh impossible for a mother of young children to hold down a full-time job without a car to do the home-school-work triangle. It simply takes too long on public transport.

  12. We’ve still not quite managed to crate children properly…

    I thought the trend these days was for free-range children.

  13. TMB

    One positive outcome I expect from Brexit is that we are no longer required to call these little circular brassica florets Brussels sprouts. I imagine this was a result of an EU regulation imposed on us without us noticing. Our civil service has been asleep at the wheel since 1973.

  14. DevonChap,

    Sounds like your daughter wants to be a PE teacher.

    So Much For Subtlety said:

    Which is interesting because there is a push by people to make STEM more interesting to girls by making it relevant. …

    Some colonial Chancellor has just given a speech decrying the decline in physics in an effort to get more girls involved.

    STEM was too hard. It’s now STEAM.(The A is for Art.)

  15. @ BraveFart
    They were called Brussel Sprouts in my childhood years before the Treaty of Rome.
    If the Civil service had been asleep at the wheel we should not have suffered all the “gold-plating” of EU regulation that made much of it (even) worse.

  16. Theophrastus, and your diet rich in courgettes – many of them have a sex life rich in said vegetable too!

  17. I read Tim’s comment out to me wife and she was in total agreement, commenting that’s why we now see more women professional artists, musicians etc. My own anecdotal evidence is the amount of women I see going out on the sea fish boat trips from Weymouth.

    “I look forward refuse collector Barbie, sewer inspector Barbie and scaffolder Barbie.”

    Again some wise words from my wife when we were listening to some mouthpiece on the radio complaining about the lack of women plumbers: Women are daft enough to scrambling behind other people’s toilets.

  18. “Theo – Is hating trans-national governance compatible with a fondness for brussels sprouts? I’m asking for a friend.”

    Yes quite compatible. Fans of brussels sprouts fear European post-consumption emission controls.

  19. “One positive outcome I expect from Brexit is that we are no longer required to call these little circular brassica florets Brussels sprouts.”

    No. Food is named after other locations to either make it exotic or to blame foreigners for it. Brussels is not exotic, so calling them Brussels sprouts is an attempt to blame the Belgians for them.

    Although for all his faults, it is inappropriate to blame Erdogan for the turkey

  20. ““Is hating trans-national governance compatible with a fondness for brussels sprouts? I’m asking for a friend.”

    Depends how you cook them. I think either (a) raw or (b) boiled and served with butter should be alright.”

    OK, that’s how to cook friends. Now how about Brussels sprouts?

  21. Thanks to all for your kind advice on the brussels sprouts. My friend will be able to continue enjoying them.

    I suggested that he henceforth call them brexit sprouts.

  22. You have to be mentally ill to obsess about a doll building washing machines. Do these people ever take a step back and think “fuck, what am I doing?”

  23. Witchie
    Courgettes are a byword for degeneracy. Paul Johnson rightly called them “filthy foreign muck”.

  24. Theo

    On the matter of courgettes I suggest we henceforth refer to them as zucchini in deference to our hoped for enhanced special relationship across the Pond, and not use that bastard Frog word anymore.

  25. BraveFart – I get the US usage angle but zucchini is just another bastard foreign word.

    We need a new word redolent of St George and Agincourt or else something that indicates the non-culinary uses that Witchie (that saucy minx) references.

  26. Ha ha, Theo, that’s very gourd.

    How about the category “Vegetable as sex toy?”

    I can’t get further than Constable.

    Thoughts?

  27. I have dragged up my 8 year old daughter on my own since she was 3. I drink beer and shoot guns and have the worlds largest collection of power tools. Her maternal family’s business is agricultural engineering and when I’m at work she spends hours wandering around their workshops and “helping” the hairy arsed mechanics. At age five she cheerfully told me that she had been assisting them with the repair of a Land Rover but hadn’t got very far because the engine was absolutely fucked. I can’t imagine a more masculine environment to grow up in. And yet she is obsessed with barbies, baking cakes, dresses and unicorns. Could it possibly be that girls are just different to boys? Jo Jawers and her ilk can fret all they like about girls not playing with boys toys and vice versa, but in my (admittedly limited) experience they work out what they want pretty independently of any external influences. I’m sure though she will be happy to hear that my little angel has no interest in helping with any household chores though. The washing machine is firmly in daddy’s power tool category.

  28. Gus – “I’m sure though she will be happy to hear that my little angel has no interest in helping with any household chores though.”

    Sterling child raising there. In a decent world you would get a medal or something. However it is possible that exposure to a manly world results in a little girl thinking about how she is different from the boys and so encouraging her to emphasize those differences. If you had raised her in Progland, she might have made her teens before noticing boys and girls were different.

    Still, an outstanding but not perfect job. At some point, if you want grandchildren, you need to think about your future son-in-law. Teach her to cook and clean.

  29. Speaking of medals, given the west’s appalling birthrate I’ve been thinking we should adopt some variation of the Soviets’ mother’s medal. But to keep the SWJs in line make it perfectly OK to administer a good kicking to anyone who abuses bearer of same.

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