From Jewschool (3 comments to original October 17, 2006 post "Egal Minyan Ken Sold Separately")
- rm, October 20, 2006 at 5:15 am
It just doesn't look right. Even with the tallis and the tefillin. As my mother would say: “She's too pretty to be Jewish!” So for a more authentically Jewish appearance, put some braces on her teeth, get her a pair of red Sally Jessy Raphael-type glasses and a 1950's style Hasidic skirt down to her ankles with matching long-sleeved jacket and pillbox hat. Shave off the long, blonde shiksa hair and top it all off with a dark brown sheitel, and voila! You're in business!
- Soferet, October 20, 2006 at 3:43 pm
I'm going to have to agree with Cole, Jabotinsky & RM.
I welcome any opportunity for discussion about women in non-trad roles.
Although this took a great deal of time & skill to make, I find it offensive. My concern is Jen's deliberate choice of Barbie iconography, given the associations. Most women of our generation (the over-30s) find Barbie to denote “trivial”. Barbie is a cultural shorthand for plastic, superficial, brainless, and demeaning. It's the ultimate non-feminist icon. This image says to me that basically feminist Jx women are bimbos just “playing” real Jews & that feminist Jx women who CHALLENGE tradition for the love of torah, are really playthings. Either the women or the traditions. So since I'm sure that Jen's intention here was NOT to trivialize feminist women in Judaism, perhaps it could have been better thought out.
- Becca, October 24, 2006 at 2:01 am
This over-30 woman doesn't find Barbie to universally denote “trivial,” and is anything but offended by the playful–even, to me, empowering–image of Davening Barbie (as my husband & I call her: she's got a tallis as well as tefillin
Not all feminists are anti-Barbie, nor is Barbie or her history necessarily anti-feminist. Barbie was created by a Jewish businesswoman, Ruth Handler, who named Barbie and Ken after her daughter and son; after undergoing a mastectomy for breast cancer, Handler developed a better type of breast prosthesis (along with post-mastectomy swimwear) as the “Nearly Me” line. (See her entry on the PBS “They Made America” site, where she's honored among the Innovators.)
Barbie need not be a bimbo, and the woman who created her certainly wasn't one. I'd definitely allow (even encourage!) any daughter (or son) of mine to play with Davening Barbie as well as the proposed Egal Minyan Ken.
Comments responding to the creation of Tefillin Barbie on the blog Jewschool.