Thursday, March 27, 2008

All I Needed To Know I Learned From Whorses and Miss Bimbo, Not From Women's Studies Programs.

As if whorses aren't bad enough, there is now a new game for girls called Miss Bimbo:

CNN reports, "Users are given missions, including securing plastic surgery at the game's clinic to give their dolls bigger breasts, and they have to keep her at her target weight with diet pills, which cost 100 bimbo dollars…Breast implants sell at 11,500 bimbo dollars and net the buyer 2,000 bimbo attitudes, making her more popular on the site…And bagging a billionaire boyfriend is the most desirable way to earn the all important "mula."

I'm getting suspicious here. What is it with all these new toys and games aimed at creating shallow, materialistic and body-obsessed girls?

Wait! I know the answer! We live in a post-feminist paradise of complete equality, so it's really quite all right to train little girls to think that what matters is how thin they are, how big their boobs are and how many clothes they own.

Linked to that (though not at all well but I have so much material for today and I want to get my Important Opinions down on all of it), the blog at the U.K Guardian reports that Women's Studies are dead as a doornail over there*. The most likely reason is low enrollment rates for Women's Studies as an undergraduate major, but it's always much more interesting to speculate about the reasons for the Death of Feminism: Is it that feminism won or is it that feminism lost and are the two really at all different?

Gah. Actually, what has happened is not the death of Women's Studies Programmes. They are now called Gender Studies. If you Google for "gender studies, U.K.", you will find that there are plenty of universities which offer courses that once were called Women's Studies courses.

Clearly, such studies are very much needed even in the future. For example, one day they might do research on the harmful effects of an old computer game called Miss Bimbo and on a toy whorse.
*I never liked the idea of sex-segregated higher education: A system where the core curriculum was about men and where women's concerns were stuffed into that little annex called Women's Studies. I know why that particular approach was adopted: it was the most pragmatic one at the time. But the problem in setting up a separate (albeit tiny and understaffed) place for anything that had to do with the role of women in the society meant that there was ultimately less pressure to build those courses into the core curricula. It also meant (and still means) that it's easy to get rid of all that pesky female stuff should one wish to do so. Obviously, the core curriculum today includes more material on women than it did forty years ago. But if I have learned anything these last ten years it is that one should never take an eye off those anti-feminists and their educational plans. They might introduce whorses into the curricula.