11
   

What is your image of a woman scientist?

 
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2016 07:36 am
@Banana Breath,
Banana Breath wrote:

Rest assured, scientist Barbie is all-business. She tests all the pickles for firmness strictly by the book.
http://i65.tinypic.com/2m2djys.jpg

Why is Barbie holding a glowing possibly radioactive pickle?!
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2016 08:43 am
@Fil Albuquerque,
Fil Albuquerque wrote:

Amy Farrah Fowler
http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/bigbangtheory/images/8/8a/Amy_farrah_fowler.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20120408145704
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/34/34/ce/3434ce410fea1a29c2b3dbd05ad00a56.jpg


Yes, Fil, and as I pointed out in a post above, the "real" Amy Farrah Fowler, Mayim Bialik, has a PhD in neuroscience.

I have to agree with Max as to what the purpose of this thread is. We all know what a Barbie doll looks like. They aren't going to change her essential plastic characteristics depending on what career they give her.

This talk of "she doesn't have knees", "look at her neck", "she's not wearing 'enough clothes' and "there aren't buttons on her lab coat" so she's tempting the 'real' male scientists are ridiculous.

There aren't lab buttons on her coat? That's really reaching. Sorry that Matel didn't glue 2 little beads onto her jacket.

It's like you can't win for losing. Barbie wears a bathing suit, she's a bad example. She wears a lab coat, she's a joke.
The message is you can be attractive and be a scientist. This particular doll isn't wearing sexy clothing. Her arms are covered, her top is not low cut, her skirt isn't obscene. She's wearing heels, but not skimpy sexy ones. They look sturdy to me. Maybe because it's because she has the audacity to wear shoes that aren't black or brown. I thought we were past all that. More importantly, she's wearing those shoes because that's the way her plastic feet are shaped. She's wearing what most women in the U.S. would wear on the street. Yeah, maybe a little short on the skirt, but not something we don't see every day on women of all shapes and sizes.

So what's the message? That you have to plain jane yourself down if weren't born with good looks of your father and/or mother, in order to be taken seriously? You're not allowed to wear bright pink while working? You can wear an imaginative skirt with little molecules on them? No smiling allowed?

When I was a little girl, all Barbie was allowed to do was drive around in her red convertible or sit inside her Malibu Beach house. Pretty boring stuff after a short time. Re the knees, they never had lines on them, but they bend. I used to delight in making them bend the wrong way. Also, I liked holding her underwater in her bathroom sink pool until the bubbles stopped coming out of her. My own experiements.

Now she has cool safety googles and a microscope and lab jacket, and she still catches grief.
Is it because her lab coat has pink stitching, giving it a girly twist? Is it because her skirt is just so short? (it's not) Is it because she spent some of her earned income putting blonde highlights in her healthy looking hair?

Seriously, WTH is wrong with this doll exempt that she doesn't play into some obviously false stereotype that if women are to be taken seriously they must wear clothes the color of mud and look like they aren't allowed to exhibit in any way the fact they are female?

So what My image of a woman scientist?

A woman who's intelligent, at least in her field. I don't know how to portray what someones intelligence is. I guess if the intelligent woman is attractive, then attractiveness would be in evidence. If the intelligent woman is tall, short, heavy, thin, brown, white, has large/small breasts, long/short legs, I guess that would be what I'd see.

I don't know, what is your image of a male scientist?







chai2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2016 08:45 am
@TomTomBinks,
TomTomBinks wrote:

I'd do #s 3, 5 and 7 !


Yes, but would any of them "do" you?
TomTomBinks
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2016 09:17 am
@Setanta,
What's a matter, you don't like girls?
0 Replies
 
Glennn
 
  3  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2016 09:18 am
@chai2,
Quote:
This talk of "she doesn't have knees", "look at her neck", "she's not wearing 'enough clothes' and "there aren't buttons on her lab coat" so she's tempting the 'real' male scientists are ridiculous.

There aren't lab buttons on her coat? That's really reaching. Sorry that Matel didn't glue 2 little beads onto her jacket.

It appears that you really don't understand that my post was in jest. Did you actually believe that this thread was serious? Lighten up.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2016 09:30 am
@Glennn,
This is a serious topic Glennn.

I am raising a very smart pre-teen girl. The mixed messages she is getting from all sides; including peers, toy companies, teachers and feminists is confusing to say the least.

I did ask her opinion on the specific Barbie from your original post. This is an interesting part of an ongoing discussion on what it means to be a smart, scientifically oriented girl in the 21st century.


TomTomBinks
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2016 09:31 am
@chai2,
Probably not. Just trying to lighten the mood.
I think the stereotypes you're talking about ARE gone, or nearly so. The reason Barbie gets grief isn't because she "dares" to have a career, but because she perpetuates the stereotype.
Banana Breath
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2016 09:49 am
@chai2,
Quote:
It's all so confusing when women just won't look the way many mens stereotypes of them dictate.

Yes Chai, that's part of the point. But men aren't the only ones creating and maintaining stereotypes; women, children and organizations do so as well. And by the way, I read about Hedy Lamarr's spread-spectrum communications technique and patent before I saw any of her film roles.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2016 09:54 am
@Banana Breath,
It seems to me that your use of the word "stereotype" is problematic. Can you define it?

Most women wear skirts at least a couple of times a month. Most men rarely wear a skirt. It is safe to say (and it matches my anecdotal experience as a tech worker) that far more female engineers wear skirts than male ones.

Is this a stereotype? Or is this just part of the normal reality of the society we live in. Should we be trying to prevent female engineers from wearing skirts (if they choose to)?


izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2016 10:07 am
@Banana Breath,
She inspired one of the characters in the latest Bernie Gunther.

http://c3f827.medialib.edu.glogster.com/LHC0dZMKqhA8CGfHi3Ar/screenshots/6jahbt7e4iur43124fmtfnf/1427458714-large.jpg
0 Replies
 
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2016 10:16 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

What is the point of this thread?

Barbie is a line of dolls that is targeted toward girls, in the traditional sense of the word "girl". It remains a very popular toy, lots of girls want them. Every doll in the line has the traditional view of "prettiness". That is the point of the line of toys and the reason for its continuing popularity.

Is the point that Barbie shouldn't make a science doll? Or is the point that the science doll shouldn't follow the normal standards of prettiness in this sort of toy.


What the point should be is that a girl should not think that being pretty excludes her from having a brain that can be used. There was a time when a brainy girl was supposed to be either bordering on unattractive or just a very plain Jane.

Plus, there was a time when the only criteria for attractiveness was a pretty face by certain standards. Sort of like 1950's television. Today, I believe, a woman's figure puts her in the running for attractiveness, the face seeming to not be of the same importance. We've become a more equal society in this one criterion, perhaps. My opinion only.
0 Replies
 
Banana Breath
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2016 10:31 am
@maxdancona,
Quote:
It seems to me that your use of the word "stereotype" is problematic. Can you define it?
Most women wear skirts at least a couple of times a month. Most men rarely wear a skirt. It is safe to say (and it matches my anecdotal experience as a tech worker) that far more female engineers wear skirts than male ones.
Is this a stereotype? Or is this just part of the normal reality of the society we live in. Should we be trying to prevent female engineers from wearing skirts (if they choose to)?

We could start with a basic dictionary definition: "a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing." One possibility in the realm of stereotypes of women scientists is the idea that they are homely/unattractive. This idea has been perpetuated for decades on the premise that "they study science because they couldn't get a date" or "they are too absorbed in their work to pay attention to their appearance." The existence of this image in film, television, literature, photography, popular lore and other media can inhibit women from pursuing scientific careers because it challenges their self image and promises to cast them in an unfavorable light. The "scientist Barbie" is problematic NOT because she's pursuing science and is "doll-beautiful," but because she seems like a fake; the lab coat and microscope are merely store-bought style accessories for her and we doubt she knows which end of the microscope to look into.
http://i68.tinypic.com/svpi6p.png
Hedy Lamarr on the other hand was the real thing, and while perhaps the most "doll-beautiful" of scientists in recent memory, her story only adds to her beauty and mystery. Exposing and dispelling the false stereotypes can potentially help women future scientists to take more control of their own careers AND how they are perceived.
Banana Breath
 
  2  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2016 10:39 am
@chai2,
Quote:
I don't know, what is your image of a male scientist?

These are equally problematic and subject to social stereotypes, but perhaps this would best be treated in another thread.
http://i63.tinypic.com/29omxw7.png
http://i66.tinypic.com/dlmgjp.jpg
0 Replies
 
Glennn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2016 10:48 am
@maxdancona,
Quote:
This is a serious topic Glennn.

The OP's second post made it clear that the stereotyping concerning the Barbie doll is as ridiculous as it is obvious. I was simply making light of that obviousness.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2016 11:06 am
@Banana Breath,
Banana Breath wrote:

The "scientist Barbie" is problematic NOT because she's pursuing science and is "doll-beautiful," but because she seems like a fake; the lab coat and microscope are merely store-bought style accessories for her and we doubt she knows which end of the microscope to look into.



Ok, you do realize that Barbie itself is just a piece of plastic, right? It can't have a real microscope or lab coat because it is only about 8 inches tall.

Ok, getting into the imaginary life of Barbie, what specifically would lead anyone to believe that she wouldn't know what end of a microscope to look through, or that the microscope or lab coat are style accessories? Well, she can't know what end to look into because it's a plastic doll, and children really do understand that. They know which end to look through, and they make the doll do that. Saying the doll wouldn't know what to do with it is just saying you don't believe the child would know what to do with it. That's where the opportunity for adults comes in to teach them how a microscope works, and why lab coats are worn.

Dolls are used by children to enact out play fantasies, like mothering, being a scientist, how to socialize with other people through the dolls interacting with each other, and yes, playing with how clothes fit together in appealing ways. None of those things are bad. They aren't just for comforting children, but for providing learning opportunities in a fun way. This doll embodies the idea that the person playing with it can become that profession.

I still don't see what the problem with this doll is. It's a toy with toy accessories that is used by children to have fun, and also do things like figure out what end of a microscope to look through.

This is a childs toy, and any items/accessories that are used with it are store bought. If the doll had accessory knitting needles, or frying pan would you say "that's crazy, she probably doesn't even know how to perl or saute"

Dolls given any profession commonly have accessories, not real items, that are sold with them, but a picked out separately.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2016 11:18 am
@TomTomBinks,
TomTomBinks wrote:

Probably not. Just trying to lighten the mood.
I think the stereotypes you're talking about ARE gone, or nearly so. The reason Barbie gets grief isn't because she "dares" to have a career, but because she perpetuates the stereotype.


What stereotype?

That someone would "do" her because she happens to be attractive? Or is it that men have the freedom to come right out and say, under the guise of joking, that they would "do" a particular female, as if that's supposed to be some kind of compliment?

Oh wow, I feel so good about myself. That totally random person who may or may not be attractive to me, in fact may repulse me, says he would "do" me. My very being is validated.

What prompted you to think there was any mood that needed to be lightened? I don't believe that personally. You just wanted to be able to judge which of those women pictured was "worthy" of your "doing" them. The others? Poor women who just don't make the mark. If someone put me on the "I wouldn't do them" side of the list, my reaction would be "Thank God." Ain't nobody got time for that.



Seriously, what stereotype are you talking about?
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2016 11:33 am
@Banana Breath,
Banana Breath wrote:

the lab coat and microscope are merely store-bought style accessories for her and we doubt she knows which end of the microscope to look into.



What about GI Joe and his accessories? Store bought and fake, every one.

If you gave Joe a real grenade, he probably wouldn't even know which end the pin was on, let alone how to throw it.

What about Bob the Builder dolls? No way can he use a real jackhammer, it would be a mess.
Banana Breath
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2016 11:52 am
@chai2,
Unlike Barbie, GI Joe has exhibited consistent dedication to his military career for the past 52 years. He has never dabbled in other careers, he has been a fighting military man consistently. Barbie on the other hand has mysteriously been able to pursue many dozens of careers without ever having to study, without ever having to work at any one of them for more than fifteen minutes. How odd that we have a scientist Barbie with a microscope, yet never preceded by a student Barbie who sits in classes and takes notes. Among Barbie's many careers are:

Education
Aerobics instructor (1984, 2009)
Art teacher (2002)
Dance teacher
Elementary teacher (1985, 1992, 1995, 1996, 2006, 2010)
Football Coach
Gymnastics Coach
Sign language teacher (1999)
Spanish language teacher (2001)
Special Education Teacher
Student teacher (1965)
Swim teacher (2005, I can be... Swim Teacher 2008)
Yoga Teacher

Medicine
Dentist
Eye Doctor
Doctor (1988, Pediatrician 1994, I can be... Baby Doctor 2008)
Nurse (1961)
Surgeon (1973)
Veterinarian (I can be... Zoo Doctor 2008, I can be... Pet Vet 2009)

Military
Paratrooper (2000)
United States Army officer (1989, Desert Storm 1992)
United States Air Force jet pilot (1990)
United States Air Force Thunderbirds (1993)
United States Marine Corps officer (1991)
United States Navy petty office QM1 (1991)

Political
Ambassador for world peace (1986)
Chancellor (I can be... Chancellor 2013), (available only in Germany)
United States President (2000)
Presidential candidate (Barbie for President 1992, 2004, 2008 & 2012)
UNICEF Summit diplomat (1990)

Public service
Firefighter (1995)
Life guard (Baywatch 1994)
Police officer (1993)
Pre-eclosal pupa-stage Norman Krumholz (1964)
Canadian Mountie (2005) (available only in Canada)

Science and engineering
Architect (2011)
Astronaut (1965, 1985, 25th Apollo 1994)
Computer Engineer (Computer Engineer Barbie, 2010), (accompanying book pulled by Mattel in 2014[1])
Paleontologist (1997)
SeaWorld trainer (I can be... SeaWorld Trainer 2009)

Transportation
Pilot (1990)
Flight Attendant (American Airlines 1973-75, Flight Time 1989)
NASCAR driver (1998, I can be... Race Car Driver 2009)
Stewardess (American Airlines 1961-64, Pan Am 1966)
Tour guides (Toy Story 2 Tour Guide Special Edition 1999)

Arts
Artist
Ballerina (1961–present)
Chef (1996, I can be... Bakery Chef 2008)
Designer (2008)
Fashion Model (1959–present)
Guest editor of international fashion magazine
Hair Dresser (2008)
Make-up artist (Barbie loves Mac 2007)
Movie actress ("Barbie A Fashion Fairytale", 2010 and "Barbie A Fairy secret", 2011)
Olympic Gymnast
Pet stylist (I can be... Pet Stylist 2008)
Photographer
Pop singer (Barbie and the Rockers 1986, I can be... Rock Star, 2009)
TV chef (I can be... TV chef, 2008)
Wedding stylist (I can be... Wedding Stylist, 2009)

Business
Business executive (1960, 1978, Day to Night 1985, 1999)
Owner of Willow's Cafe (Barbie Princess Charm School 2011)
Secretary (2007)
See's Candy cashier (2002)
Waitress (Barbie Princess Charm School, 2011)

Miscellaneous
American Beauty pageant girl (1973, 1978, 1991)
Cat burglar (Barbie by Christian Louboutin)[2]
Movie Star (1977, 1985, 1997, 2001, 2011)
Ocean Treasure Explorer (2013)
Soda fountain waitress (Coca Cola Series 1998)
Street Rapper (1992)
Babysitter (Barbie Babysits 1963)
Cheerleader (1973, Pom Pom Divas 2006, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Barbie 2008)
Cowgirl (1981)
DC Comics superheroines and villainesses, (including Wonder Woman, Catwoman, Batgirl, Supergirl, Black Canary, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Lois Lane, and Carol Ferris)
Marvel Comics superheroines
McDonald's cashier (1983)
News anchor (I can be... News Anchor 2010)
Princess (1990s-present)
SCUBA diver (1994)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbie's_careers

Now while you believe that Barbie is a scientist, a princess or a scuba diver simply because she says so and has the right accessories, my bet is with GI Joe for his dogged determination, consistency and single-minded determination.

Banana Breath
 
  2  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2016 12:10 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
Thanks by the way for pointing out Mayim Bialik's (Amy Farrah Fowler) academic background. I had no idea. I wrote off that show many years ago and now I wonder if perhaps I should take a second look.
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2016 12:54 pm
@Banana Breath,
I don't know what the problem is with Barbie. As you point out, she isn't real. She is a doll... a toy... a plaything for make believe.

The fact that she has taken on both such a wide range of professions, from stewardess to pilot to engineer seems like a good thing. If you only had traditionally female occupations on this list, then that would be a bad message for girls.

The more we discuss this, the more I am sure that I don't see anything wrong with this doll. Scientists are allowed to wear skirts.
 

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