Tag Archives: Expectations

Logical Gal and Barbie’s hidden agenda

10 Mar


I don’t know what you think, but when I read about the Girl Scouts of America teaming up with Mattel Inc to produce the Barbie Merit Badge, I nearly gagged.  But not for the reason you might think (such as  – her disproportionate body shape).

The slogan on the badge angered me.  What untold damage will be done to girls who swallow this philosophy? And how will that affect our society?

But I’m jumping ahead of myself.  Any logical Joe or Jane must start first with the presuppositions that underpin the assertions.  Hence, I’ve chosen to raise some questions, and think about what might cause someone to actually believe that girls could BE anything and DO everything.  And in looking at presuppositions, along the way we will clarify our terms, ‘anything’ and ‘everything’.

Right off the bat, “anything” and “everything” both are universals, they mean – No limits. I guess the truth wasn’t catchy enough, to wit:  Some girls can be more than they think they can be and do more activities than they might have thought possible.

Addressing ‘Be anything’, does the creator of this slogan envision something extreme like girls choosing to be boys; that is encouraging them to change their gender? Or is this exhortation limited to career openings and breaking through glass ceilings?   Just what is considered ‘anything’?

As far as ‘doing everything’, are girls meant to absorb the message that being a concert pianist or pro football linebacker are also possible for the girl who simply DESIRES to pursue these goals?

Our society is confused enough without the influence of brainwashed girls understandably balking at ANY limits they encounter later as future adults.

Wouldn’t it be better to help young women realistically assess their limits, study their inclinations and giftings and offer them a picture of what they reasonably might be able to balance?

To paraphrase a philosopher named Dirty Harry,  “A gal has got to know her limitations”

Dirty Harry

Even the Bible teaches that wise leaders count the cost before they go to war or build a fortification.  No-limit thinking ignores the cost.

Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? Luke 14:28

The world likes to spout uplifting rhetoric like, “Life has no limitations, except the ones you make.” (Les Brown)

That sounds good, but again, is it true?

What I’m arguing for is helping girls be realistic.  There ARE circumstances that prevent one from BEING anything and DOING everything.  I believe we would do more good in encouraging girls to discover what is possible for each one in particular.  Genetics, family circumstances, geography, current economics and political factors all place limits on our lives.  Let’s help these future followers and leaders to deal with reality in healthy ways.

Life is painful enough without the added disappointment from unmet expectations.

Link to Barbie Girl Scout Patch

Logical Gal – Holiday Expectations and the Mob Appeal Fallacy

23 Dec

Here’s a common fallacy for you!

  • Everybody celebrates Christmas by ____________(you fill in the blank)
  • Therefore, I must celebrate the same way

This is a pressure-producing example of Mob Appeal

The only way to rescue oneself from misery is to ask some questions:

  • Why must you be like everyone else?
  • How do you know ‘they’ are doing Christmas the ‘correct way’?
  • What would happen if your celebration were different?
  • Is it an absolute truth that the majority always knows what is right?

I almost succumbed to the Ad Populum Fallacy at various times this month of December:

  • In my new school, I noticed that teachers started to gift their colleagues with little goodies – Should I do as well?
  • In our new house in the woods, I considered whether I should put the traditional electric candles in the windows (no neighbors to see them) – Must I keep up this tradition?
  • Our Frasier Fir was glorious just as it sat in our living room– naked in it’s tree stand  – Must we decorate it?
  • So many musical offerings are listed in our local paper this time of year –  Should we not attend at least one to be truly in the Christmas spirit?
  • And what about clothes and jewelry with Christmas themes?  Every gal seems to be sporting those holiday earrings or sweaters or pins or …… I don’t like schmaltzy stuff.  Do I have to get with the program?

So as a Christmas present to you and to me: I grant us all the right to think for ourselves and to make decisions based on values grounded in Truth.  And for those matters that are mere convention and often inconsequential, it really doesn’t matter what you do.  If you DO find yourself going along with convention because you want to blend in, then at least admit it to yourself, laugh and lighten up!

Question:  what burdensome practice can you drop since you no longer have to toe the line and do what you think everyone else is doing?

If everyone is doing it, it must be right.