Welcome to the conversation!

Welcome to the conversation!

Harriet Beecher Stowe's (1811-1896) best-selling anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), made her the most famous American woman of the 19th century and galvanized the abolition movement before the Civil War.

The Stowe Center is a 21st-century museum and program center using Stowe's story to inspire social justice and positive change.

The Salons at Stowe programs are a forum to connect the challenging issues (race, gender and class) that impelled Stowe to write and act with the contemporary face of those same issues. The Salon format is based on a robust level of audience participation, with the explicit goal of promoting civic engagement. Recent topics included: Teaching Acceptance; Is Prison the New Slavery; Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North; Creativity and Change; Race, Gender and Politics Today; How to be an Advocate

This blog will expand the reach of these community conversations to the online audience. Add your posts and comments to keep the conversation going! Commit to action by clicking HERE to stay up to date on Salon and social justice news.

For updates on Stowe Center programs and events, sign up for our enews at http://harrietbeecherstowe.org/email.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

What message do #Barbie dolls send to young girls?

Toy manufacturing company Mattel reported that sales of the iconic Barbie doll plummeted 15% worldwide in the last quarter, reflecting the trend of dropping sales in 8 of the last 10 quarters. Mattel has tried to use various publicity campaigns to increase sales, including creating a LinkedIn account for "Entrepreneur Barbie," listing her career as “Dream Incubator...[helping girls] play out their imagination, try on different careers, and explore the world around them."

Earlier this year, Oregon State University announced that research showed "that girls who play with Barbie dolls see fewer career options for themselves than for boys." The research echoed a 2006 report by the University of Sussex which found girls exposed to Barbie from a young age had a desire for a thinner body and a lower self-esteem. Rebbecca Burn-Callander of The Telegraph recently proposed in "Note to Barbie: Sorry doll, it's a feminist world and not even Ken can save you" that these findings undermine Mattel's effort to change the image of the decades-old toy.

What message do you think Barbie sends to young girls today? Do you think Barbie's ideal body causes lower self-esteem in young girls? Share your reactions and thoughts in the comments section below!

Note to Barbie: Sorry doll, it's a feminist world and not even Ken can save you

No comments: