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Bondage Barbie revisited.

2004-01-29 - 10:35 a.m.

Way back in the day, like, in 1998, I had a piece published under the pseudonym of Treacle, on the now-defunct Hellfire.com. I say itís defunct because it hasnít been updated in a couple of years at this point (I believe they lost their funding), however, the site itself still there, as is my piece. It may be cheating to re-use it instead of writing a fresh entry, but hey, this is my space to do with as I will and I liked it and, more important to me, it was the first thing Iíd ever sent to a stranger which got the reply of yes, we like it and we want to use it. The day after it went up, my already swelled head practically burst the confines of my toque because I got a request to let someone reprint it in a Ďzine they were putting together on Barbie.

So here it is, in all its rough, six-year-old glory (drumroll please):

Bondage Barbie

Way back in the mists of time, when I was but a wee thing, I played with dolls. Even now my pants-wearing-except-on-special-occasions self cringes at admitting to it. But wait! I have an excuse! I was young. I didn't know any better. I was isolated out in the country with only my sister for company for miles around (well, except for the little bitch down the road but we weren't allowed to play with her). They weren't even mine. They were my sister's and she was into that girly crap at the time.

We didn't have much in the way of toys. We had a Barbie, a Barbie rip-off with dark hair that we never named, and, by an unbelievable coincidence, two Oscars (one of 'The Grouch' fame-- little green guy, lived in a trash can--and one 'Goldman', an action figure from the 6 Million Dollar Man TV show.) We also had 2 imaginary characters which were not embodied in the flesh (or plastic or whatever) called Carrot Derek and Spinach Derek (before you ask, I have no idea where these came from; we were weird kids). What could we do with this eclectic cast of characters? Two words. Bondage. Barbie.

I kid you not. We stripped Barbie and her unfortunate nameless friend down to their anatomically-incorrect skin, tied them up and suspended them from trees or barn rafters. We then made up adventures the real (read: 'male') characters had to undertake in rescuing the hapless duo. If the Oscars didn't get there fast enough we'd swing the women around and make tiny screams. When they did get there the guys'd take their time with the untying and never gave them back their clothes. And Barbie was so grateful she'd press herself against Oscar Goldman--blue painted-on underwear and all--to reward him with kisses.

Does this show a disdain for the fluffy, feminine stereotypes and exaggerated anatomical proportions that doll makers try to inculcate in the impressionable minds of the nation's young females? Or were we midget misogynists (if young girls can be misogynistic), succumbing to a 'Raiders of Gor' mentality? Only Carrot Derek and Spinach Derek know for sure. And they're not talking.

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