My Daughter Michelle:
I think it’s funny that you once so objected to your daughters being interested in playing with Barbie dolls but now that you have a grandson, Barbies represent being liberated. What a double standard! I can’t believe you are perpetuating unrealistic images of women from such an early age!
Mary Joan, being absurdly defensive: Of course, I was joking about giving him a barbie doll for his birthday. Now that I have a record of his behavior, I will make sure he doesn’t get his hands on another one! He would probably prefer a Sasha doll; they have much better hair. I would welcome a substitute hair-pulling object. Someone had put the Barbie with the dinosaurs. I wouldn’t buy my daughters Barbie dolls. But I didn’t snatch them out of their eager hands at someone else’s house.
I realize it is a losing battle. Emma used the first real money she got–her first communion money–to buy 6 Barbies. Very shortly they were beheaded, scalped, or drowned.
Mary Joan, still protesting too much, lists the nonsexist toys she has given Michael:
First Mother Goose
a wooden squish toy with movable beads
a world beach ball
Peter Seeger CD
Woody Guthrie CD