Burka Barbie

A burka-clad Barbie will be sold in a charity auction for Save The Children.

Barbie can leave her box only if escorted by Mullah Ken, sold separately, writes Tim Blair.

Please note the company isn’t producing these Barbies. A designer is taking regular, old Barbies and putting them in burkas.

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Comments

  1. I have always had problems with Barbie as a role model–despite her prevalence. But many of the comments to the articles seem to focus in an a disturbing xenophobic bias that in the end seems less condemning of any limitations on the liberty of women in some countries and more on an almost blame the victim attitude that all women who wear burka do so because they accept a level of subservience or function as slaves under threat of death. I do not have to travel outside the US to observe women who wear the burka. Some may experience any level of coercion to do so–but I do not think that this is necessarily a given. We have always had in this country women who for various religious reasons have chose extreme modesty in dress.

    I think that we want to exercise caution about our own need to infantilize and seek to rescue women who may in fact have chosen their own paths.

  2. At first, I thought that the burqa Barbie was a political statement, a protest against the mistreatment of women in many Islamic countries. Seeing that it’s serious is deeply, deeply disturbing to me…

  3. Richard Aubrey says:

    Margo.
    It’s not a given, but it’s probably the way to bet.
    Considering that they live in a country where almost no other women dress that way. They must imagine….
    In addition, we sometimes think of cultural brainwashing as a Very Bad Thing. Look at the awfulness of teaching patriotism in elementary school, for example.
    So if these women are culturally brainwashed, does that count as a Very Bad Thing [of course not], and a kind of coercion?

  4. Are you out of your mind? Talk about colossal ignorance. Why don’t you watch the movie “Not Without My Daughter” if you just want to get a taste of the choices women in Iran have. I lived in the Middle East. Woman can be beaten and even murdered for not dressing in Burkhas or Chadri. The only place this is a choice, is in Western societies were idiots are trying to make a political statement by dressing in a contrarian manner. “Look at me! I want my drivers license picture in a burkha. Aren’t I special?”

  5. This is so disturbing…not only does it say to our young women that it is OK to be subserviant to men, but it is pushing the ever dangerous Muslim agenda. I am not generalizing, but the vast majority of these people would like to see our women in this garments and our country inslaved no matter what the hollywood types and liberal main stream media are trying to sell us. I am glad my daughters are old enough to know that this kind of life is nothing but enslavement to men and a false religion. I feel sorry for the little girls that will have this kind of “toy” given to them by misguided parents.

  6. Luis F. Prieto says:

    I just hope Mattel got it all right.
    Barbie in a Burka better be: illiterate, underage, pregnant, mother or several children already, with her clitoris removed before she was one year old and her husband is an older, inept, semi illiterate goat herder that believes in the sky dictator according to the Islamic ideology.

    Mattel has insulted the world with that stupid toy. While trying to be politically correct, they played the game those idiots in that death cult pursue.

    If someone uses that toy to call out islam and their oppression towards women, to educate the world that the burka is an expression of slavery and subservience, then go ahead…. Denounce those damn despots…

    I am not buying anything from Mattel these holidays for my nephews!!!

  7. Okay, once again people don’t read. At the end of Joane’s post, and I quote: “Please note the company isn’t producing these Barbies. A designer is taking regular, old Barbies and putting them in burkas.”

    Is Mattel creating a Burka Barbie? No, it is a piece (actually 3) that are part of a 500 piece exhibit in Florence Italy. How the other 497 dolls are attired? Well according to the promo:
    (translated from Italian at http://www.dettaglimodaitalia.com)

    “From 19 to November 22, 2009 Eliana Lorena, artist and designer, will exhibit at the Gallery “Il Seraglio” in Florence, the unique works.Five hundred Barbie, unique pieces, dressed according to the different types and cultures, women’s dresses designed by the artist and facts ad hoc.”

    it goes further to say:

    “Mattel Canada, a partner of the exhibition, on the same days celebrating fifty years of the most popular fashion doll from children with charity auction by Sotheby’s for Save the Children to be held on the evening of Friday, November 20th in the Sala dei Cinquecento in Palazzo Vecchio, Florence. ”

    Albeit the translation is not perfect, we have no inkling that Mattel is planning a Burka Barbie.

    OPINION:

    So what do we have here? Following the link from ‘burka-clad barbie’, I see an obscure designer (to me, as I am not knowledgeable in design) who’s previous works include
    (translated from Italian at http://www.navadesign.com):
    ” the color design of lamp shade Costanzina (Luceplan, 1992), exchangeable in five different shades of colors. ” I am sure she has done other work, but finding information on her was quite difficult. That was until now; she is becoming famous after dressing some Barbie dolls!
    We also have a quote from a company director stating: “Bring it on Burkha Barbie, I think this is a great idea. I think this is really important for girls, wherever they are from they should have the opportunity to play with a Barbie that they feel represents them.” This person is either a fool or just trying to be controversial. Barbie was banned in Saudi Arabia, they are trying to ban her in Iran, probably in all of the middle east. So no… they will not be playing with the fictional Burka Barbie.

    I, in no way, support , believe in, or condone a backwards society that treats their females as property. The atrocities committed on these women and girls are truly deplorable. It is one of the unfortunate facts of life that such cultures exist and thrive. That being said, I do feel that all of this uproar to a news story about a designer dressing a Barbie in a burka is a bit overreacting. Boycott Mattel?? Sure, but I’d wait until they actually announce that they will be making this nonexistent toy. To do otherwise is just plain irresponsible behavior, based on fiction instead of fact.

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  6. […] Burka Barbie « Joanne JacobsA burka-clad Barbie will be sold in a charity auction for Save The Children. (Go to the link to see the photo.) Barbie can leave her box only if escorted by Mullah Ken, sold separately, writes Tim Blair. …Read more […]