Tuesday, August 09, 2005

First Comes Loves, But Does Barbie Really Need to Get Married?

As I write this, my daughter is in the next room playing Barbie with her friend. From my motherly eavesdropping I can hear that Barbie had just gotten married (to a male no less) and that they are going on their honeymoon. Then they will have a baby.

Since when did my daughter get so traditional on me, especially since well marriage actually isn't that traditional, at least not the way the mainstream and its media represents traditional? That's the argument of this book and well has pretty much been my life story.

When I used to play with barbie dolls as a child, my barbie dolls were always caught up in telenovela like dramas, dramas that also happened to be a reflection of what I saw the adults around me doing. So my barbies stole the husbans of the other barbies.

If we were to follow the logic that children play what they see and live, then why aren't my daughter's barbies single mothers?

Maybe it is because of my on conflicts with the idea of marriage. Most people including members of my family have a hard time picturing me married. Not because I am undesirable (although many of them would say that my being a mom lowers my stock value) but because they view marriage in a Latina Donna Reed sort of way. At my grandmother's house, for example, the men get served their food before everyone else (unless I am there, I just get up and feed myself and my child).

Domesticity is linked to subservience which is linked to wifeyhood. Don't get me wrong. Ask any of my serious boyfriends. I will happily wash clothes, iron, clean, cook and yes even serve my man a plate of food and I don't mind doing so as long as it's not expected of me. I wanna do it because I wanna do it and because I know that my partner will do the same and has done the same (partners that don't cook for me or clean or do laundry don't last very long, no matter how good the sex is).

Regarding the M word, I admit there's a part of me that is in love with the romantic ideal of a man getting down on one knee with a lovely ring and saying he wants to spend forever with me. I like planning things so the idea of planning a wedding and registering for gifts and having a big ass party after some sort of commitment ceremony (no churches for me under any circumstances) seems fun. But do I really need it? Do I need to celebrate monogamy and tax codes and something that other people can't have? Do I rejoice in something that was and is sexist and patriarchal?

Then there's the fear that no one will ever ask me to marry them or be with them forever and have babies and that maybe everything that my family says is right.

Nah

But back to Barbie. So Barbie got married today and was going on her honeymoon and planning on having a baby. I have to find out how the story ends because in real life there never really is a "fairy tale ending". That's why those are stories. Maybe I need to remind my daughter of that and all the options I have and she does too.

3 Comments:

Blogger Trula said...

Great post!

8/11/2005 03:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

some people are normal and some people find their best friends and some people have happy endings--if you "prepare" too much for the fucked up ending, you're more likely to have that fucked up ending; the fact that she plays with the dolls and they're marrying and having babies and driving a mercedes and stuff is that maybe it's something inherent in her that wants that, and there's nothing wrong w/ that; you should research parents who're so overbearing w/ their kids... like a set of real-life Tenenbaum parents... if you want your life to be one way, you envision it that way and make sure it becomes that--you don't introduce doubt and the like... and you made your daughter hang around naked "power" Latinas? damn...

8/11/2005 09:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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8/11/2005 02:27:00 PM  

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