[Ms. Feminist]7:30 AM
No doubt about it: American women are unique. They’re strong, they’re intelligent, they’re active. They are the momentum behind the pendulum. Every American woman ought to be proud of the distinct American femininity passed down from the founding foremothers. It was our energy and passion that helped create America as we know it.
In literature, we find heavy emphasis on the female movers and shakers of modern reform—social, familial, cultural. And the way it appears now, feminists have cornered the market on modern literary heroines in children’s fiction.
There’s a stock character feminist-in-training that never ceases to delight the intelligentsia of literature. Watch for her: she’s easy to spot. Spunk is a word often associated with her. Pride is another. She hates sewing—she hates cooking—she hates housekeeping. Her passions and pursuits lie always in the male domain: and she’s up front about that—that’s her glory. Did I mention she more often than not hates dresses and looking nice? That she quarrels with her mother on feminine issues? That said mother’s usual reaction is a sigh and her daughter’s an exasperated eye roll? The plot of her life, by the way, centers on her breaking glass ceilings, normally portrayed by exaggerated authority figures and adults. Only when Ms. Feminist disobeys her parents and thrusts herself in the spotlight does the story fully come round.
Don’t confuse her with the New Child or the Precocious Child or even the Unconventional one. No, Ms. Feminist is distinct in her rebellion against traditional womanhood. Even more subtle are those Ms. Feminists who attempt to “have it all” and promote girlhood as superior to boyhood in that girls can like dolls and dump trucks, dirt and dishwashing: an androgynous empowerment easily passed along to younger girls. Ever heard the elementary school chant “girls rule and boys drool”? It’s the elevation of girls over boys, the downplaying of complementary male and female roles, that provide easy foothold for feminism.
Historical fiction is the feminist’s best friend in this regard, for she can repaint history to fit her slant. She accomplishes this by emphasizing the louder, stronger, more unconventional qualities in her character and by setting our heroine at odds with prudish, puritannical personas of tradition. Ladies and gentlemen, this young lady has infiltrated everywhere—she’s a staple in modern girls’ reading diets. She is America to these girls, but more importantly, she is womanhood to our daughters. There are precious few heroines who are strong, smart and ground-shaking through their embracing of Biblical femininity—many who are through their rejection of it.
Besides being a rather fizzled out stock character, Ms. Feminist is at odds with Biblical womanhood. I propose she vanish from Christian writers’ and readers’ inspirations or at least express herself in a way that doesn’t involve disgust of sewing. Authors must strive to recreate their feministic characters in more nonstereotypical ways if they wish to avoid being called propaganda; and Miss Womanhood? Step front and center, please.
Some books containing Ms. Feminist and/or her attitude:
• Catherine, Called Birdy
• American Girl series
• Caddie Woodlawn
• Ella Enchanted
Note: Caddie Woodlawn? you may cry. She’s a classic! I love her. And I too. There’s no reason she can’t be read; it will not harm you daughter to make note of some feministic strains, however.
Some books containing Miss Womanhood:
• Stepping Heavenward
• Almost anything Victorian Era
• The Chronicles of Narnia
• The Princess Adelina
• Books by Isabella Alden
• Elsie Dinsmore series