This girl needs something

But on Monday Mr Men found itself at the centre of a sexism storm when a feminist academic condemned a gag as an example of “mansplaining”.

The claims centre on a conversation between Mr Clever and Little Miss Curious, and a pun about the Forth Bridge in Scotland.

An exasperated Mr Clever explains the Unesco site is so-called because of the Forth River, after Little Miss Curious asks “what happened to the First, the Second and the Third Bridges”

It resulted in a backlash from PhD student Shelby Judge. She accused Roger Hargreaves’ long-running series of perpetuating “antiquated gender roles” and branded its illustrated characters part of a “sexist iconography”.

The 24-year-old academic said Mr Clever’s clarifying comment in the book, Mr Men in Scotland, is an example “mansplaining”, and said the book was telling girls they “need to be stupid”.

Not sure what tho’. A clue? A good shag? Something to occupy her at least.

The underlying tho’ has a point. If you’re doing a PhD you’ve got to come up with something new. That’s what the PhD is, an addition to the knowledge base of the species. Thus the finding of sexism in Mr. Men books – hey, this is a new finding, it’s an addition, right?

Plus, given the intellectual capacity on show here, the source texts are suitably short.

24 comments on “This girl needs something

  1. Why is this rubbish considered news? Loony feminist grad studenbts have been saying sh*t like this for decades and ignored. Now it’s apparently the news.

    I had lots of controverisal opinions as a grad student, as I do now, but the media doesn’t see fit to give me publicity.

  2. “Middle of a sexism row”, “sexism storm”.

    One fucking perpetual adolescent moaned about it. ONE.

    Fuck off media. And her, obvs.

    Sad to see a paper which was once respected reduced to desperate Twitter hysteria click bait. Shut the fucking thing down.

  3. PhD quality is in decline. Time was they’d criticise War & Peace; then they moved down to Enid Blyton; now they’re attacking Mr Men. Coming soon: Is the Gruffalo culturally appropriating bears? What about those Baby Mozart CDs that you can play to your unborn fœtus – are they promoting cisgender heteronormative patriarchal classical racist music by an Austrian (i.e. Hitler-adjacent) composer?

  4. Actually I think the gender of the two protagonists is irrelevant. Mr Clever shouldn’t have been exasperated, nobody knows everything and Miss Curious was eager to learn. Why could he not told her the real reason for the bridge’s name without being such a dick about it? It was Carl Sagan who railed against parents who answered kid’s questions in an impatient or condescending way so that asking questions became perceived by the kid as a social faux pas.

  5. Ok but surely the important difference between MR and Little Miss is that of adult and child. Adults can be exasperated by curious little creatures, in an endearing way usually. That Mr Clever couldn’t go into the etymology of “Forth” gives us reason to doubt nominative determinism even in a children’s books series.

  6. Who on earth would name a child “Shelby”? Surely a family called Judge should name the children “Mutton-headed”, “Claret-loving” and so forth?

  7. A PhD in Mr Men. insert random emoji.
    I hope the age profile of the readers of her dissertation is suitably relevant.

  8. I’m proud we’ve reached a level of advancement where candidates for the ‘B’ ark can pursue a full and happy life.

  9. Mr Clever was just being polite and keepi ng a distance, desiring to end the conversation as fast as possible. He didn’t want to have risk being accused of something untoward. #MeToo

  10. This is just her, drumming up business.

    When I was young, it was Branson flying the Atlantic in a yacht. Or something.

    Now it’s this.

    She has a bright future.

  11. “Why is a 24 year old reading Mr Men. Doubt she has kids if doing a PhD.”

    Indoctrination… If you can get *your* propaganda, sorry… “properly inclusively balanced information”, preferred over the cis-heteronormative-etc. propaganda of the Patriarchy into the heads of the Lil’ Ones under the guise of Education during their formative period, you’ve Won the Race.

    Never forget the bulk of people are not critical thinkers, and never question, or even get rid of, this early conditioning. As most priests and politicians are perfectly aware of… After all, [whatever] can’t be a load of crock and must be true, else it would never be allowed to be taught in schools/church, be in the newspapers/news/pub talk, etc… right?

    The conditioning itself is an important bit of our How-To-Be-A-Human kit, but it *can* be hijacked, and regularly has been.
    What this …fruit of modern academic effort… is doing is part of a greater effort by the the Anti-Male crowd to get their viewpoints seen as Gospel.

  12. “Why is this rubbish considered news? Loony feminist grad studenbts have been saying sh*t like this for decades and ignored. Now it’s apparently the news.”

    The problem is that there isn’t actually much real news out there, or at least, not stuff that journalists can grasp.

    From the 1960s-1980s, can you remember how many world leaders were assassinated, how many coups there were, how many wars there were? Famines, natural disasters that killed thousands, strikes, even just football fans kicking off after a game.

    That’s easy meat for journalists. The real news today is more complicated and boring. It’s things like putting a better undersea telecoms cable into West Africa. That means work. Having to learn about what’s good about that and explaining it to people. So, they don’t do that. They just go after crappy clickbait that they can get by grabbing something off twitter and sending an email.

  13. If they went to Scotland by train, how come they passed the Forth Bridge? They must have got off somewhere, and got on a branch line to get the view they had. Normally you go over the Forth Bridge.

    Bloody good job they didn’t go over the Severn Bridge, or we’d have twice as many bloody stupid questions, numbers 1 to 6, and why FFS are there two Severn Bridges (or three Forth Bridges for that matter – although there were only 2 when Roger Hargreaves was alive).

    Little Miss Curious could well have asked about the Angel of the North about Anthony Gormley: Is that the opposite of Gorm-less? But then that would have made the book too long for She’ll Be Judge (and Jury, no doubt).

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