My Favourite Topics: Feminism and Children’s Comics

Recently I have been researching various Victorian heroines and proto-feminists for a magazine project (more on that later) and become more than a little obsessed with exploring and defining my own feminist ideology. Until now I have been regarding myself as a sex-positive feminist, but am interested to see if I will still feel the same way at the conclusion of this project.

Some time last year I was hanging out at Kitty’s flat and she introduced me to one of her male friends. I forget what it was that he said, but Kitty laughed and replied “Don’t worry, we’re not feminists!” I was mortified, and hopefully managed to choke out that yes, I was a feminist. I felt hurt to be honest, not only that one of my best friends couldn’t see my feminist alignment simply from the way that I conducted myself in everyday life; but also that she didn’t equate with  herself with the word.

Every time I meet a girl or young woman who doesn’t identify as a feminist I am shocked. I struggle to understand why any female would as good as say, “I do not believe that my rights should be equal to that of my male counterparts.” I mean- is that what they really think?  Or, at some point are the basic ideals that construct feminism lost when we use that word to communicate them? Have stereotypes of the character of the feminist woman damaged the credibility of the ideal? Or do modern women simply not realise what the women of history fought so hard to earn for us?

I knew I was a feminist when I was seven. Mrs White gave us a lesson on the suffragettes and Emmeline  Pankhurst. Until that point in my life I had had no idea that once women were not allowed education, careers and the vote. After all, at that age, most of the adults in my life were women doing everyday jobs; they were my teachers, dinner-ladies, brownie leaders, nurses and doctor. For them all to be at home instead, completely invisible, seemed impossible.

The magazine that our group is working on is aimed at girls aimed around 10-12 years old and is designed to be a fun and engaging educational publication exploring science, history, feminism and creativity.

In the mold of 1950s children’s papers “Girl” and “Eagle”, our magazine will be made up mainly of comics.  These will chart the expeditions of Professor Lilian Primrose and her adventures in history, meeting influential women of the past and learning about their lives and achievements. What we are aiming to create is a magazine which really stands apart from what is currently available for the preteen girls magazine market. These magazines are largely vehicles for promoting tv and film franchises (Hannah Montana Magazine) or general interest magazines encouraging crushes on pop stars and make-up tips.

Further ramblings on

This entry was published on April 5, 2011 at 11:58 am. It’s filed under Magazine, University and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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