26 Feb 2006, Comments Off on SuperBarbieMom!

SuperBarbieMom!

Author: Helen

Picture from http://www.management-issues.com/display_page.asp?section=blog&id=3028

Sometimes, I get the feeling that a lot of people don’t really get the whole women working, work-life-balance thing.

Poking around the other day, I discovered Management Issues (at the heart of the changing workplace). The linked article is describing the new action figures made by an adult toy company, Happy Worker.

These 6-inch plastic action figures are the brainchild of Happy Worker, a Toronto-based company making “toys for big kids”. Each comes equipped with fun accessories, superpowers, and vulnerabilities – just like the real thing.

BossMan: “Leading a crusade to reach objectives he empowers, implements change and captures mindshare…”

GeekMan: “With oodles of brain power he authors code, battles tech holy wars and moves nerdom to new heights…”

MoneyMan: “Focused on ROI and the bottom line he fights for free enterprise and keeps working capital at work…”

Now, says Happy Worker’s Shirley Yee, “we created SuperMom for everyone who’s trying for that near-impossible balance of managing kids and work while standing on their head.”

Got that, ladies?

BossMan, GeekMan, and MoneyMan are all doing Real Stuff, while anything SuperMom may be doing isn’t mentioned, since the mere fact that she is able to get to work (hampered as she is with doing all the Mom work) is considered enough to constitute her whole identity. She is defined by being a Mom, and nothing else, even though she’s got the suit.

No tech holy war or change implementation for her. No wonder there are plenty of other articles like this on Management Issues.

I respectfully suggest that BossMan, GeekMan and MoneyMan may turn their huge abilities to share the load with SuperMom. Then we might find out what she actually does for a living.

…Update: Oh, and the 9th Carnival of Feminists is on now.

Comments (0)

  • JahTeh says:

    No bells and whistles for the SuperMom who brought up BossMan, GeekMan and MoneyMan.

  • John says:

    While I am no happier about these toys than you Helen, I think your critical focus is a little to narrow. It’s no surprise, or even crime that “SuperMom” lacks a career brief in her description – after all, she’s Super*Mom*, not SuperArbitragerMom. You’ll notice that the descriptions of BossMan, GeekMan and MoneyMan are similarly confined by the titles – their domestic roles are as inconsequential to their identities as SuperMom’s day job.

    These are caricatures of stereotypes and so it is to be expected that they are less than whole people. The real crime here is that after how many years of feminism a company could conceive of a range of career action figures that doesn’t include BossWoman, MoneyWoman or GeekGrrl. Grave insult is added to injury when in deciding to give an afterthought to the sisterhood, the only laudable role for women that they could come up with was motherhood.

  • Helen says:

    The real crime here is that after how many years of feminism a company could conceive of a range of career action figures that doesn’t include BossWoman, MoneyWoman or GeekGrrl. Grave insult is added to injury when in deciding to give an afterthought to the sisterhood, the only laudable role for women that they could come up with was motherhood.

    But John, that is exactly what I was saying. Maybe I wasn’t being lucid. Had I just downed a Coopers pale ale? Probably.

  • John says:

    Haha. Or maybe it was me hopping into the liquid amber. Either way, it’s not the way I read it. To me you seemed to be saying that the problem is that SuperMom is portrayed as a Mom and nothing else of consequence. I say that’s fine… sort of. The problem for me is twofold: that there is a SuperMom career action figure at all, and that it is the *only* female career action figure on offer.

    In any case, I think we can both agree that the Happy Worker company is misnamed, but this can easily be remedied by replacing the “or” in the name with “an”.

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