Sunday, February 21, 2010

As heard in the Target yesterday...

Thank you all for your lovely well wishes on my last post! Medieval Manatee continues to grow and stretch its surroundings (sometimes with painful twinges) - still no morning sickness - we will go in to hear the heartbeat on March 5. Manatee emerges in early October. Craziness will ensue.

TD and I were in Target yesterday (seeking a new bathmat) and we walked by the toy aisles. We decided to walk through (after all, we need to get up to date on this crap, eh?). I was horrified by the gender coding and all the creepy dolls that exhort the little girl to "be like mommy" and grocery shop, cook, vacuum, oh, and have babies! As soon as they have a "be like mommy" neurosurgeon set I'll buy it.

So, we wander into the Star Wars figures and I start to breathe a little easier - I was raised on Star Wars figures and I had a shitload of them (which my mom GOT RID OF!!! THE HORROR!!! THE BETRAYAL!!!!). We were talking about what the cool ones were, how they looked more cartoony than they used to, whether they were making AT-AT Walkers anymore, etc. You know, the usual stuff.

I lose interest and wander off to the games (Clue! Stratego!), but apparently there was a 40-year-old man who had also been looking at Star Wars figures. After seeing that I'd walked away, he leans conspiratorially toward TD and asks, "heh, heh, which one are you looking for?" TD explains that we were just getting the lay of the land for an impending manatee arrival. The dude continues, "well, I'm looking for the Princess Leia slave figure. I've got all of the Princess Leias but that one. That's the coooooooolest one..." TD wishes him luck and goes to find me.

After he tells me this story, I realize that he'd just had an encounter with one of those skeevy, acne-ridden, geek boys of my childhood (and I don't malign all of them - some of them were my friends for better or worse) - you know, the ones who positively fetishized that image of Princess Leia in a gold band-aid and a cocktail napkin chained to the giant grub Jabba the Hutt:


Out of all the costumes she has in these movies (anyone remember the two giant danish strapped to her head?), that's the costume these guys always remember. I won't dissect the gender politics of this - I don't need to. But I realized that some of those guys never changed when they grew up - at age 40, they're still trying to get their hands on the Princess Leia slave figure!!! Gag me with a smurf.

That's why this one was always my favorite:

3 comments:

Contemporary Troubadour said...

The horrors of the toy aisle! My husband sent me this not too long ago: http://gizmodo.com/5470587/computer-engineer-barbie-has-a-phd-in-fun-and-breaking-down-stereotypes

Right idea, wrong execution. Let's hope the brain surgeon Barbie gets better prototyping.

Good Enough Woman said...

Not long ago, I heard an interview with Carrie Fisher (probably on Fresh Air) in which she talked about that Jabba costume. She said that pretty much anyone around her could see all of her lady parts any time she shifted position. She did not have fond memories of that costume. She seemed to have felt fairly objectified during the filming of that scene.

the rebel lettriste said...

Be grateful that you don't have members of TD's family hissing urgently at you that your baby will be CONFUSED if s/he plays with toys designed for the other gender.

As I am sure you know, gender is really fragile, so unless your mother makes sure you play with the RIGHT toys, your identity falls into the shitter and you become a big weirdo queer.

And really, good luck on the next sonogram.