Iran blames Barbie for undermining traditional values

The top prosecutor for the Iranian Republic says that Barbie, Batman, Spiderman and Harry Potter are all conspiring to subvert the youth of today.

Ghorban Ali Dori Najafabad said Iran was the world’s third biggest importer of toys and suggested this posed a threat to the “personality and identity” of the new generation. “The unrestrained entry of this sort of imported toys … will bring destructive cultural and social consequences in their wake,” he wrote. He added many toys were smuggled into Iran and accused importers of concentrating on profits at the expense of cultural values.

Man, this puts me in a bind. While I am certainly down with Bats, Spidey and Mr. Potter, I have always been troubled by Barbie. While the original (right) was a human shape and had a fairly sassy look in her eyes, later models became the absurd and subservient creature we all know today. However compared to more recent hyper-sexualized dolls like Bratz, she is positively demure and the personification of feminism. (Feminism (noun), a set of beliefs predicated on the notion that women are people too.)

Given that I guess I’m cool with Barbie doing a little subverting of one gender stereotype by displaying another one. It kind of reminds me of Slavenka Draculic’s wonderful book How We Survived Communism And Even Laughed. In it she writes about her feminist friends in the West would be shocked when Draculic, a Yugoslavian back when that meant something, would visit them and wear lipstick and frou-frou clothes. They saw this as acquiescing to a stereotype. For Draculic it was just the opposite. These things allowed her to assert her individuality while living in a nation that was trying to eliminate the individual. I suspect Ms. Draculic would (or does) approve of Barbie as revolutionary.

And, can I just say that if your belief system can be subverted by Barbie et al., then it really doesn’t have much of grasp on its audience.

I love the fact that this came from the Iran’s top prosecutor. How absurd is that? I mean can you imagine the US attorney general doing something similar? Like covering the breasts of a statue of blind justice because of its threat to the nations morals? Oh wait, never mind …

Sex toys and food — are these really products you want to share with your dog?

Someone must thinks so.

Cases in point:

  1. “Is your dog in heat and humping anything it can wrap its horny little legs around? Are you constantly having to pry your promiscuous pooch off the legs of guests, parents and members of your church? Protect your leg from a hump attack by getting Scruffy a Hotdoll.” Yes, there’s a picture of the thankfully-still-theoretical product.
  2. Worried about all that tainted pet food out there? How’s about being your dog’s food tester? Yes, thanks to celebrity oddity Dick van Patten (nice hat) you can open one can for both of you. His new Eatables line of pet foods comes in Irish Stew, Chinese Take-out with Sauce, Hobo Chili, Southern Style Dumplin’s with Gravy. Coming soon: Spaghetti with Beef in Meat Sauce. And if you don’t like it, you can give it to a poor person! (FYI, I love dogs. When we got our last dog, Bear, I was so happy I cried. BUT PLEASE do not treat your pets better than your fellow human. And don’t treat your fellow humans as badly as many people treat animals.)