Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Barbie 2012

Cross-posted at Sociological Images

Barbie is running for President of The United States of America... again.

The candidate as Euro-American.

She even has a campaign Tumblr. But what is her platform?

Okay, so she's not taking any strong stands on the GOP's War on Women's reproductive rights. But she did come up with a totally awesome nickname for her campaign ("Glam-paign"). 

Apparently, however, candidate Barbie will do something no other candidate can: she will bridge the racial divide in America by morphing herself into four different ethnicities!

The candidate as African American, Asian American and Latina(?) American.

Yes, I get that this is a toy. And the Miss-America-style platitudes are to be expected from a company that wants to sell to both sides of the political divide. But it's a shame that girls don't get a chance to see that women really can change the world.

This week, Malawi swore in Southern Africa's first female head of a country. She wasn't elected as such, but as Vice President took the position after President Bingu wa Mutharika died in office. (A scenario that could have happened with Sarah Palin, had John McCain won the Presidency.)

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf - President of Liberia
Doris Leuthard, Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, Simonetta Sommaruga - Members of the Swiss Federal Council, Switzerland
Pratibha Patil - President of India
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner - President of Argentina
Dalia Grybauskaitė - President of Lithuania
Laura Chinchilla - President of Costa Rica
Dilma Rousseff - President of Brazil
Atifete Jahjaga - President of Kosovo
Monique Ohsan Bellepeau - Acting President of Mauritius
Slavica Đukić Dejanović - Acting President of Serbia
Angela Merkel – Chancellor of Germany
Julia Gillard - PM of Australia
Yingluck Shinawatra – PM of Thailand
Helle Thorning-Schmidt – PM of Denmark
Portia Simpson-Miller – PM of Jamaica
Kamla Persad-Bissessar – PM of Trinidad and Tobago
Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir – PM of Iceland (Appointed)
Hasina Wazed – PM of Bangladesh 

The United States has yet to elect a woman to the position. And while Canada has had two appointed female Vice-Regents, we have yet to elect a woman to the Prime Minister's Office. (Kim Campbell was nominated for the position directly by her party.)

So perhaps it's time for Barbie, who has been in every federal election since 1992, to campaign a little harder. Or for North American countries to catch up with the rest of the world and nominate and elect a woman of substance who isn't seen as just "another Barbie".


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