RCMP Barbie doll an insult, says former Mountie
VANCOUVER -- A new Barbie doll donning the RCMP uniform is a “slap in the face,” according to a female former constable involved in a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment against the force.
Auburn hair cascades onto Barbie’s shoulders from underneath the iconic, flat-brimmed hat, capping off the officer’s voluptuous figure and tight-fitting uniform.
The limited-edition doll is part of the Barbie "Dolls of the World" collection and is selling “like hotcakes,” according to the RCMP Heritage Centre.
Some might say the RCMP Barbie is a looker, but one of the women suing the force for sexual harassment during her 20-year career isn’t going ga-ga over the doll.
Krista Carle said that even though the force had such dolls years ago, it isn’t appropriate now.
“In some ways, it’s a slap in the face,” Carle said. “This is a new doll for kids, but this is what the RCMP is really doing to its female members.”
Carle is one of nearly 300 former female members who allege they were subject to sexual comments, unwanted advances, jokes and bullying.
The women are trying to have their legal action certified as a class-action lawsuit in B.C. Supreme Court.
In addition, the women allege they were dismissed or vilified for complaining about the treatment.
“If they’re doing this with female dolls then why don’t they do a male doll as well?” Carle said.
A spokeswoman for the Mounties said it’s the RCMP Foundation, not the force, that is responsible for such merchandise, but the RCMP would have had to give its OK.
“I do believe that they check with us to make sure our image is well represented,” Sgt. Julie Gagnon said.
The RCMP Foundation did not return a call requesting an interview by press time Wednesday.
In the meantime, Carle said she believes the force is behind the doll because it’s a money-making endeavour, adding that it shows poor judgment on behalf of the RCMP.
Carle also thinks the doll is inaccurate.
“Her hair’s not even regulation,” she said of the flowing ginger locks.