It’s been more than 100 years since the 19th Amendment was ratified on August 18, 1920, officially granting women the right to vote. To commemorate the auspicious moment in U.S. history, Mattel is releasing a Susan B. Anthony Barbie.
As WBIW.com reports, the doll was created in collaboration with the National Susan B. Anthony Museum and House in Rochester, New York. This year is especially good timing for an Anthony lookalike to hit the Barbie circuit; in addition to the 19th Amendment’s centennial, 2020 is also Anthony’s 200th birthday and the 75th anniversary of the museum’s opening. The doll, which is part of Mattel’s ongoing “Inspiring Women” series, features Anthony in her trademark eyeglasses and wearing a lace-trimmed black dress with an elegant cameo brooch.
“You can almost hear her speak, ‘Yes, your honor, I have many things to say,’” Ann Gordon, historian and biographer of Susan B. Anthony, said in a museum press release. “She is still telling us to get ‘a citizen’s right to vote.’”
Though Anthony died more than a decade before Congress passed the 19th Amendment, her lifelong advocacy for women’s suffrage was instrumental in elevating the issue to a national stage. And she did get the chance to vote—sort of. In 1872, Anthony and a few female cohorts voted in the general election in Rochester, New York, and landed in jail for doing so. She was convicted the following year, but her fiery speeches leading up to the trial garnered widespread support for the movement.
Anthony’s legacy is not without controversy. She and fellow suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton spoke out against the 15th Amendment—which gave Black men the right to vote—arguing that it shouldn’t be passed unless it granted suffrage to all U.S. citizens of a certain age. Her opposition ultimately failed to affect the passage of the amendment, but it serves as a reminder that progressive white abolitionists were often focused on their own non-intersectional goals. Furthermore, even when women did win the right to vote, it would still be decades before Black women were able to exercise it. Today, Susan B. Anthony is both a symbol of feminism and a reminder that the fight for universal suffrage—or any civil rights, for that matter—doesn’t end with the ratification of an amendment.
Mattel will release the Anthony-inspired Barbie on October 16, and you can pre-order it for $30 here, with delivery expected at the end of this week. Other women featured in Barbie's "Inspiring Women" line include Sally Ride, Florence Nightingale, Katherine Johnson, and Ella Fitzgerald.