Opinion: A West Virginia legislator plays with a ban on Barbie dolls


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Finally, an American politician with the courage to take on a Barbie doll.

Jeff Eldridge, a Democratic state legislator, has just proposed House Bill 2918 which makes West Virginia the planet’s only second-known political entity to ponder banning the Barbie doll -- Iran being the other place, but they’re getting nukes, so we won’t make so much fun of them.

Eldridge says he feels that Barbie and other dolls like her ‘promote or influence girls to place an undue importance on physical beauty to the detriment of their intellectual and emotional development.’


No word on how Eldridge (see photo left below, he’s without hair ribbons) feels about Blaine, who hooked up with the 49-year-old Barbie after Ken dumped her, although there’s a family dispute about who was the Dumper and who was the Dumpee.

But, frankly, the legislator looks like a G.I. Joe kind of guy. (Check out those fists!) Maybe if we made a 2nd Amendment Barbie in camo gear baring her arms.

All kinds of other doll possibilities in the new Washington: A Rush Limbaugh doll that flatly says, ‘I rule!’ A Michael Steele doll that says, ‘No, I do!’ A banker Barbie that doesn’t loan money. A Rahm Emanuel doll that curses and pulls a &%$#*+\ switchblade. And a Nancy Pelosi doll that stands up and applauds whenever anyone says anything.

‘If we had that other image of Barbie being smart, and beautiful as well,’ West Virginia’s Eldridge adds, ‘I think that would be a great image to send to our young kids.’

How exactly do you suppose a toy maker would design a doll to look smart? Eyeglasses, of course, always convey a keen intellect.

But because beauty is only skin deep and few dolls discuss Keynes, constructing an intelligent-looking doll would seem to be as difficult as making, say, a Cabinet doll behind in his taxes, complete with congressional hearing furniture and other dolls that say, ‘He’s already apologized’ and ‘It was an honest mistake.’

If the Eldridge bill passes and West Virginians cross over to Ohio to purchase a Barbie doll, would they be violating this man’s act to bring her back across state lines?


In the likely event that Delegate Eldridge is laughed out of Charleston on a toy surfboard, he feels his courageous bill introduction will still have sent an important message to retailers, which message will now more likely be: ‘Quick! Order more Barbies!’ (Note to editor: Check Eldridge campaign donations from Mattel promotion people.)

West Virginia’s Gov. Joe Manchin, who’s got to deal with these guys, kept a straight face and said it’s not state government’s role to ban toys. ‘Parents have to be involved in parenting,’ he revealed to the Charleston Daily Mail’s Michelle Saxton. ‘Let them make that decision.’

We think the governor should also take Delegate Eldridge’s toy cars away for a day so he can have Quiet Time and think about what he’s been up to.

-- Andrew Malcolm

And a Hat Tip to Don Surber, our favorite very, very old West Virginian, for pointing out this refreshing piece of legislation that would help reduce the number of employed Americans.

No matter how you feel about Barbie -- or Blaine -- you’ll want to register here for alerts on each new Ticket item. RSS feeds are also available here. And we’re now on Amazon’s Kindle as well.

Photo credits: and the Daily Mail via Associated Press.