Religion Magazine

Barbie at the Wheel

By Richardl @richardlittleda

The stupidity of sexism

This morning as I drove to work listening to the radio I had one of those ‘serendipitous juxtapositions’ which bring things into sharp relief.  First of all, a young mom texted  in to say that life was a little tough this morning:

My pre-schooler is sick, my well four-year old needs to be got ready for nursery, I have just slipped over in the shower and have a swelling the size of a large egg on my shin and my husband has just left for a four-day business trip to London.

A few minutes later the sports report came on, and I heard the plummy voice of veteran racing driver Stirling Moss saying :

‘We’ve got some very strong and robust ladies, but, when your life is at risk, I think the strain of that in a competitive situation will tell when you’re trying to win.‘The mental stress, I think, would be pretty difficult for a lady to deal with in a practical fashion. ’

To say that ‘the ladies cannot deal with stress’ must surely be the voice of a man who has never attended a birth, nor been there mopping up the mess when several children are ill at once? I’m all for reasoned debates about the role of the sexes and our respective suitability for different roles, but this kind of idiotic stereotype diminishes us all.

Still fuming about what I had heard, I left the car and turned on my computer.  There on my Twitter feed was a link to the brilliant photo below, by photographer Danielle Lora Wheat.  As she points out, if real women were built like Barbie, they would be unable to hold their head up, the weight of their breasts would tip them forward onto their toes and they would have no room for an intestine of any kind. Barbie, it would seem, is not cut out to be a Formula racing driver – but maybe that’s the woman Mr Moss is thinking of?

Photo :Danielle Lora Wheat

Photo: Danielle Lora Wheat

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