A sincere thank-you to the campus community

To the Daily:
I just wanted to say that it’s great to be a part of the University community. I am a single mother of four working hard to keep things afloat. The other day I was hurrying from Central Campus back to North Campus to get home, to start my second shift. Shortly after I got home I received a call from my own cell phone, which I thought was very odd. When I answered, a young gentleman told me he had found my phone on the commuter bus. I hadn’t even realized it was gone. To have someone call to say they found it was such a wonderful relief.

I just wanted to say thank-you to the young man who found it. I also appreciate that he came out of his way to meet me and return it. It gives me faith that there are still good people around.

Anna Middleton
University employee

Arts writer insults the feminist movement and Barbie herself

To the Daily:
As I sat eating sushi with a friend last week reading the Daily, I began to lose my appetite while reading a few lines of Caroline Hartmann’s column (What happened to my Barbie? (01/09/2007). Beside the many factual errors, I couldn’t believe her gross misrepresentation and insulting language about feminism was allowed into print.

First off, the Barbie Liberation Organization did not replace the voice boxes in Teen Talk Barbie dolls with their “feminist agenda.” They replaced the voice boxes in Talking GI Joe dolls – you know, the ones that said things like “Dead men tell no lies” and “Vengeance is mine.” These dolls’ language was extreme and should have been taken up with Hasbro, GI Joe’s creator. The wrong response is to bash creative feminists for trying to make a point about the gender segregation of children’s toys.

Secondly, Hartmann claims “Barbie serves as a measure of comparison, and whether it’s a realistic one or not is irrelevant in the minds of children.” Judging from her headshot, Hartmann is much closer to the white, blonde-haired Barbie doll than many girls who played with her. The friend I was having lunch with is both Jewish and black. She commented that when she was a girl she constantly compared herself to Barbie and was devastated she would never be as beautiful. For her, the way Barbie looked was extremely relevant.

Lastly, I find Hartmann’s language offensive, both to me personally and to the feminist movement as a whole. She writes that Barbie has been subject to “feminist harassment” and is the target of the “progressively minded” who have a “desperate need to pinpoint an object of blame.” Hartmann’s tone demonstrates a lack of tact and respect for the research and theories of feminists and the real social message that Barbie sends to girls about femininity and womanhood. Hartmann is correct about one thing – it isn’t Mattel’s responsibility to depict the ideal woman. And it is also not Hartmann’s right to defend it.

Ann Luke
LSA junior

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