Pollychromatic brings up some really good points about the Goldie Blox / Beastie Boys issue.
GoldieBlox and the Beastie Boys. What a freaking mess. Right in the heart of the intersectionality between feminism and parenting. Add in copyright legalities. Add in free speech. Add in artistic expression. Add in the free market.
Really, what a mess.
So where do I start?
I’ll start with who came first. The Beasties. Hey there Beasties. Oh how I love you.
I was 14 when Licensed to Ill came out. I loved it unashamedly. It was probably the very first hip hop that hit me in the suburbs of Northern California. I mean, there was the stray shot of rap that was White Lines, but really. It was all about the Beastie Boys when it comes to bringing hip hop to most of white America. That’s what started it.
I loved “Girls.” I don’t even cringe at it nowadays because that love is so strong. We shook our teenage asses to that song because it was freaking fun. Because. Because reasons. Because, listen.
It’s hard not to shake to that.
It does not even matter how horrible the lyrics are. Sometimes we just like horrible things. Let’s be real, though. When I was 14 I did not know how horrible it was. It was just catchy, and I was just dancing.
That love continued, too, even though the Beasties evolved so much over time. I loved their new stuff (hey, if you don’t think Paul’s Boutique is one of the most perfect albums to ever come out, you don’t know music), I loved their old stuff. On the run up to getting the scan done to find out the sexes of my twins, “Girls” was one of the ringtones that I had one my phone for a solid week.
It’s just a solid riff, and as much as I am a staunch feminist who completely rejects the message of “Girls,” I’m also the girl who shakes her ass to it.
So there’s that.
Then there’s GoldieBlox.
Dammit, GoldieBlox. I grew up in a family that completely supported STEM for girls (and boys). When the GoldieBlox Kickstarter happened, my whole family ate it up. My daughter has one of the original Kickstarter sets. You know, it’s a pretty good toy, too. Both my son and daughter like it.
The box is orange and yellow, with multi-colored dots and the blonde tool-belt sporting “Goldie” on top. The toy inside consists of pieces that are blue, purple, lavender, red, and yellow. With a long peachy-pink ribbon, and five character figures to manipulate. Each of the figures are internet-nerd friendly. A sloth, a hound dog, a grumpy looking cat, a tutu wearing dolphin and a koala in a business suit. A book that tells their story while giving you building instructions, and then alternate building instructions for ideas for free-play.
Pretty okay. Very tinker-toy with it’s spools and sticks and connector bits, but also kitschy in a way that has a lot of wink to the parent, and a lot of play for the kids who don’t get that it’s kitschy. Not quite enough toy, but a good starter set. For those of us who are raising boys and girls, and are kind of horrified by the gendered changes in marketing of toys in the last couple decades, we were willing to buy in and get the company off the ground.
Company founder and inventor Debbie Sterling is from the Bay Area, too, so that was an extra selling point for my family.
Then came this.