The brand's recent choice to commemorate the voting pioneer comes just as the 2020 elections fast approach
In case you didn't know this fact about our constitution, it was the 19th Amendment which granted American women the right to vote. Furthermore, this year actually marks 100 years since they managed to achieve this, after a long and arduous fight for suffrage. Among the many brave souls who fought against oppression was Susan B. Anthony, who was an important leader in the movement. Anthony fought for women's rights and several other important causes throughout her life. Though she passed away before women could officially receive the vote, her work had not gone in vain.
Anthony was even once arrested for casting a vote in protest of her gender's disenfranchisement. Now, to celebrate women who vote, Mattel has added a Susan B. Anthony Barbie doll to their Barbie Inspiring Women series. Mattel has dedicated this series to inspire young girls by introducing them to all the brave women who have defied the odds and beaten the dogma of their times. Susan B. Anthony joins a line of Barbie Inspiring Women dolls—Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Jean King, and Rosa Parks to name just a few of the icons currently available to purchase—in an effort to pay homage to real women. Previously, Mattel had released Bindi Irwin, Frida Kahlo, snowboarder Chloe Kim among many others for the next generation to play with and learn from.
The timing couldn't be better as Mattel's latest choice to commemorate the voting pioneer arrives just as the upcoming Presidential elections are rounding up. Going into Anthony's background, she was born into a Quaker family of abolitionists and temperance warriors. From her early days, Anthony's stance on women's rights was pretty evident and it first emerged through her close friendship with the prominent suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Anthony was first arrested in 1872 for illegal voting which went on to cause a stir in public perception. By the 1880s, she was well known as a powerful political figure within the women and labor rights movements. Even to this day, many women place their "I Voted" stickers on Anthony's grave in homage to her struggle.
"On November 5, 1872 while protesting and leading the charge for women’s voting rights, Susan B. Anthony made a defiant move. She voted in the presidential election and was arrested at her home in Rochester, NY. This bold act, coupled with Susan’s determined spirit, helped pave the way for passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920, which prevents a woman from being denied the right to vote on the basis of sex." Mattel wrote on their website.
Compared to several other notable historical figures, even Anthony's legacy remains a troubled affair. Even though she was an abolitionist, she and many other suffragists refused to accept that Black men could acquire the vote after the Civil War while women remained disenfranchised. Anthony and the struggle for women's liberation too often centered the rights of white, bourgeois women. That was pretty evident as only these white women gained the right to vote in 1920. Mattel's release of Susan B. Anthony's doll will not motivate parents and teachers to infuse her ideals to young people.
You can purchase the Susan B. Anthony Barbie® Inspiring Women™ Doll from Mattel's store for $29.99.