Fine time to tackle gender roles
“From an early age”, says Fine, “I was incapable of reading Enid Blyton books (which I adored) without offering up a scathing feminist critique to anyone within earshot: “Oh, yes. Of course the boys go first! In case it’s dangerous.”
“I vividly remember coming across a sentence that so outraged me – a boy telling his companion that she couldn’t take part in some adventure because she was a girl – that I stopped reading and spat on the offending lines.
“Even today when reading to my own children it’s hard not to want to edit Blyton. When I do, my eldest, even with his eyes closed, knows it immediately: “Mum, are you swapping the characters around again?” he’ll ask the instant I put a girl behind the controls of the toy plane that will fly everyone to safety.
“But how is it that even before he went to school my son was already so well versed in the different ways girls and boys are expected to behave? And how do I, as someone who once proudly spat on an Enid Blyton book, feel about how well these easy cliches thrive?”
Read the full story in the Guardian.