General

Left-Leaning Barbies

I didn't mean literally leaning left, but close enough.

I didn’t mean literally leaning left, but close enough.

My fiance visited me this past weekend for my birthday, and a discussion of politics came up.  So, we wound up talking about how I turned up as the family leftist.  And really there’s no logical explanation for that.  I honestly think I was born that way.

Here’s my proof.

Like many young girls, I played with Barbie dolls, but as my mother noted, they didn’t just get new clothes and marry Ken.  They lived under a complex political system and went on adventures.  I called the country in which they lived Hazel (lame, I know), and were ruled by a queen (usually Rapunzel Barbie). However, they also had a legislative body and a President.  The queen was unmarried and had no children, so there was talk of dissolving the monarchy after her death, but the Barbies could go either way on that.

The queen had political power.  For instance, she decided that too many of the Barbies under her rule lived in poverty (all the dolls I couldn’t fit into the dollhouse my mother made, for instance), so she decreed that they would all be given small sums of money with which to start businesses and better their lives.  This game turned out to be very involved, so I only played it out with two families of dolls.  One started a crayon-making business, and the other one operated a flower-stall in the market.  I was six or seven.  It wasn’t until later, when I was nearly finished with high-school that I realized this practice had a name– micro-credit.  For more information look at Kiva.org.

It doesn’t make sense.  My parents are a liberal Republican and a conservative Democrat.  I ignored NPR reports because they were boring, and at school we hadn’t even covered the three branches of government yet.  Maybe politics are like handedness… or maybe I just never had a chance to be a normal kid.  That may be more possible than the former option.  Either way, I had fond memories and healthier games than people tend to associate with Barbie dolls.  All the better not to dismiss them out of hand!

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