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.