A blast from the 1950’s! 1951, in fact – and a historic narrative demonstrating another world when it comes to gender narrative.
In Five on a hike together, Enid Blyton shows how far we’ve travelled. I only pause, ever so slightly, before chuckling over this stuff, because, as I read through her collected works to the six-year-old, they absolutely abound with girls who dress as and/or show a marked preference for being boys.
Though I suspect that is another much more serious question that more than a few PhD’s have pored over.
Anyway, here’s gender queer, 1951-style:
Its stupid being a girl!” said George, for about the millionth time in her life. “Always having to be careful when boys can do as they like! I’m going to sleep in the barn, anyway. I don’t care what you say, Ju!”
“Oh yes you do”, said Julian. “You know quite well that if ever you go against the orders of the chief – that’s me, my girl, in case you didn’t know it – you won’t come out with us again. You may look like a boy, but you’re a girl all the same. And like it or not, girls have got to be taken care of”.
“I should have thought that boys hated having to take care of girls”, said George sulkily. “Especially girls like me who don’t like it”.
“Well, decent boys like looking after their girl cousins or sisters”, said Julian. “And oddly enough decent girls like it. But I won’t count you as a girl, George, decent or otherwise. I’ll merely count you as a boy who’s to have an eye on him – my eye, see? So take that look off your face and don’t make yourself any more difficult than you already are”.
Hmmm. Julian is believed to have gone on to have had a successful career as a gender psych somewhere in middle England.