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Kansas City MO 64131





Cindy Maddera

Well, I did it. I was in Target several weeks ago, roaming the toy isle because that's a habit I never broke and that's when I came across the best Barbie set I've ever seen. Mattel has released a Barbie President and Vice President doll set. I stood there holding the box in my hands while wheels turned in my head. I don't know if any of you have noticed, but the people at Barbie have really been stepping up their game. Barbie has a normal body shape and there are dolls of all shapes and colors these days. Barbie is also doing more things than galavanting around in a pink car and shopping. She's a pilot. She's a firefighter. She's a doctor. And now, she's a president. I have to admit, my inner Lisa Simpson was jumping up and down with joy over these Barbies. I could totally envision setting up a Presidential State of the Union in front of an all female Barbie Congress. 

Then practical Cindy stepped in and said that we didn't need those Barbies. There was no place to put these Barbies. They would just end up in the basement with my Harley Quinn Barbie, Roller Girl Barbie and my Astronaut Barbie. I set the Barbies down. I picked them up again. I set them back down. The Cabbage had asked for Barbies for her birthday. The few Barbies she had at my place had disappeared. I suspect they got left over at the neighbor's place, but didn't feel like pressing it. The little girl over there is older than the Cabbage and doesn't really like playing with her. She always has some excuse when the Cabbage goes to ask if she can play. Any way, the Barbies she'd taken over there were the kind of Barbies that make me roll my eyes. Goodbye and good riddance Princess Ballerina Barbie. I picked up the President and Vice President Barbies again and thought that these Barbies would be way better than Princess Ballerina Barbie. 

I put the Barbies in my cart even while making my skeptical face. The Cabbage was turning six, is now six actually. I'm sure the first thing she would have planned for her Barbies would be to switch outfits, not attend a special UN meeting. Because she's six and doesn't even know what any of that means. I told myself that I was going to give these Barbies as a gift with the full knowledge that the Cabbage was probably going to wreck them. I just couldn't not buy them. When the Cabbage opened them at her birthday party on Saturday, her mother looked at me with big excited eyes and said "you got them?!?!" She'd seen my Instagram post about my indecision to buy them. She then held the Barbies up so that all the other mothers and women in the room could see them. We all cheered and fist pumped the air. The Cabbage and her friends just sort of shrugged their shoulders and then shouted "Yay! Barbies!"

Because this is a nonissue for them.

It doesn't even dawn on those six year olds that an all female presidential ticket is not possible or even unique. "Well of course the President and Vice President are women. Duh!" Can you even imagine it? All of the mothers in that room are of an age that grew up being told that woman can do almost anything. We could be doctors and lawyers, maybe even be a nurse in the military. We also grew up seeing that women who wanted to do those things had to do EVERYTHING. It was like your sacrifice for wanting to do a "man's job". You worked your ass off, then you came home and was a homemaker for your family. A woman had to do it all. And just as a side note rant, I'd like to add that my Mom did all of those things even when she had the flu so bad, it gave her a heart murmur. When I was a little girl, I was under the impression that Mom had a job because she needed a hobby and something to do with herself now that all her kids were in school. Once I got to college, I noticed that the language started to change. It was no longer "we can do almost anything." Now it was "we can do anything!" 

I think a lot of us took ahold of the whole we can do anything without actually believing it. We'd preach it and shout it, but deep down we would be hesitant to really truly believe that women are equal. Now we are raising a new generation of girls who actually believe that girls can do anything. These six year olds are going to think nothing of an all female ticket because it seems totally normal to them. This makes me sit back and say "WOW!" There's going to be a day when kids are going to not believe you when you tell them stories about phones with cords attached to a wall. Even better, there's going to be a day when you tell kids stories about how only men were ever Presidents of the United States and they're all going to be like "No way!"

And I will be all "Yes way! Crazy, right?"