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When We Were Free to BeLooking Back at a Children's Classic and the Difference It Made$
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Lori Rotskoff and Laura L. Lovett

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780807837238

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807837559_rotskoff

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Child's Play Boys' Toys, Women's Work, and “Free Children”

Child's Play Boys' Toys, Women's Work, and “Free Children”

Chapter:
(p.111) Child's Play Boys' Toys, Women's Work, and “Free Children”
Source:
When We Were Free to Be
Author(s):

Laura L. Lovett

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807837559_rotskoff.17

This chapter describes how a parent—the author—decided to be a feminist mother. Her daughter would wear only primary colors; read books about smart, strong girls; and never play with a Barbie doll. That lasted until she went to preschool and demanded to wear a frilly dress like her friends and until her grandmother created a Barbie World refuge at her house. What's worse is that they were once the author's Barbies, which her mother had kept tucked away waiting for her future granddaughters. It seemed obvious to the author that these disproportionate plastic dolls were a legitimate focus of feminist ire. Why did the author consider these bits of leggy, lumpy plastic so significant? Could they really influence her daughter's thoughts and opinions? After all, they had not stopped the author from becoming a feminist or a women's history professor.

Keywords:   feminist mother, Barbie doll, strong girls

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