Thursday, June 23, 2016

What Shall I Be?

Eric and I recently found this terrible mid-century game. Well, terrible by modern standards. The game is called What Shall I Be. Geared toward girls 8-13. The general premise is that you try to score a professional career. Sounds awesome right? Guiding young women to enter the workforce and be their own person...until you see the career choices: nurse, teacher (fine so far), ballerina, actress, flight attendant, and model. Yep. Now don't get me wrong, those are all valid career choices, but when you juxtapose them with the boy version of this game I think you will see where I am going with this. The boy career choices are: football player, doctor, lawyer, engineer and astronaut.
In all fairness the game was updated in the 70s to be a smidge more equal, but not really.

Obviously we dropped the 50 cents or whatever to buy this relic from our cultural history. Cordelia wanted to play the game, but we refused to grant her wish as we did a little research into the game and knew that there were things about this game we did not want in her young mind. Things like the overweight card.

While we want Cordelia and Elise to be healthy and fit we also don't want them judging themselves or others by their weight. So we generally talked to her about the stereotypes and how we didn't want her to play a game that was so limiting to girls. Cordelia told Eric that she was going to be an astronaut and that nothing could stop her. Such a strong little sense of justice that girl has.

So, when the girls had gone to sleep Eric and I played the game. Woof, that is a nutty game. You get shame cards that will say things like "Your make-up is sloppy: bad for airline hostess and model." Or "You don't speak clearly: bad for teacher and actress." Eric won the game with the highest honor of model and that meant he got to go to Charm School. Huh? Anyway, the take-away from this game is that I am happy we live in a day and age where we can laugh at how crazy such a game is? I am also sad that this came from an era that is not too far in our past and that at one point that game was probably considered pretty progressive. So I suppose we just keep moving forward, but let's not forget that we are still on a journey.

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