Wednesday, September 22, 2010

April 16, 1953: Playing Guns with Girls


The gender norms of Peanuts are worthy of examination. They're rather complex.

For decades, all the female characters wore dresses nearly all the time. Late in the strip's run Lucy's default outfit changed to what looks like a jogging suit.

Considering that the strip is still in the early 50s this isn't surprising. The girls, however, don't appear to be so traditional regarding to their choices of games to play. They play dolls and house (or Mud Pie Chef) sometimes, but they've been just as apt to play Cowboys and Indians, or Space Hero.

This is really progressive if you think about it: even as late as Calvin and Hobbes, Susie, when playing, is nearly always seen at some girl-oriented activity like playing Tea Party or House. (This is probably because it's so entertaining to watch Calvin react to stereotypically feminine things.)

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