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.