Mr Men and Little Miss books

(38 Posts)
Wombat44 Sat 13-Aug-16 18:24:43

There are some new Mr Men and Little Miss books, and how exciting they sound. There's Mr Marvellous, Mr Adventure, and Little Miss Fabulous - who has fabulous long hair hmm

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/aug/12/fabulous-news-mr-men-and-little-misses-get-fresh-set-of-companions

Oh, for fucks' sake.

I've never liked the Mr Men books. They're not just sexist, but they also promote the concept that people are just "made a certain way", i.e. inherent and with no agency to learn and progress.

But I always at least took comfort that these books were written decades ago. New ones bring just as bad. For fucks' sake.

drinkingvodkasingingkalinka Mon 15-Aug-16 00:43:21

This makes me angry. I got read Mr Men to me as a child and a few little miss. I do remember being a bit confused that there were far more mr men (at least that I had read to me - maybe there were the same number but all the little miss were just all dull and about hair and makeup?). It didn't make sense. In this day and age it's crazy that the girls have the lovely hair and the guys have the lovely lives. I just don't understand how anyone can see how this is ok. sad

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Mon 15-Aug-16 00:53:13

When I was wee there weren't any Little Miss books and we honestly didn't think of the Mr Men as, well, men. I know that sounds impossible, but honestly they were just a collection of characteristics. Then the Little miss books came along and the whole thing got so gendered... Just like with the pink Lego, know I come to think of it. Really grinds my gears.

daverave Tue 16-Aug-16 01:12:16

Omg really a kids book? How can really turn a feminist argument about a book made for a 3 yr old? I get the less pay thing but after that its called life women choose to do anything they want when they want, boy or girl they are equal.

Mamagin Tue 16-Aug-16 01:20:46

Dave, you would like to think so. Yes, they are books written for three year olds, and they are telling those children how their lives should be according to their gender. Bit like subliminal advertising.

ButteredToastAndStrawberryJam Tue 16-Aug-16 02:07:50

If you look at the full list of all the characters, there's idiotic names for the Miss and Mr. My favourite was Mr Nosey, they didn't have Miss when I was little. I think they certainly could do with thinking harder about better names for the Miss.

daverave Tue 16-Aug-16 02:34:09

Messages like Mr bumpy because we should all fall down and hurt our self's and spend our life wrapped in bandages? Its a book for a kid... I think they could come up with a better miss , but am sure someone would take it wrong or turn it in to something its not. Could do a miss nosey but then kids would grow up thinking they must have a big subliminal nose ...

pinkyredrose Tue 16-Aug-16 10:18:13

dave you don't understand sexism do you?

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Tue 16-Aug-16 10:20:56

What's wrong with wanting to sparkle and be fabulous?

TheDowagerCuntess Tue 16-Aug-16 10:25:22

Nothing.

So why isn't it Mr Sparkle and Mr Fabulous?

Knittedfrog Tue 16-Aug-16 10:29:03

Really, just really!
Mr. Men and Little Miss books!
You people need to get a grip and let it go.

JacquettaWoodville Tue 16-Aug-16 10:31:22

No, you're right, knittedfrog, it doesn't matter a jot what sexist messages kids get from an early age, does it? Whether that's pram and kitchen toys in pink and cars and diggers in blue, George from the Famous Five wantiong to be a boy because boys get to be more active or people getting worried about boys playing with dolls as it's not "manly"? Fuck that, who cares, hey?

daverave Tue 16-Aug-16 10:35:15

Having 4 daughters an 3 older sisters, yes I get sexism an tell my kids they can do anything they want in life... What is backwards to me is when people or a group are turning any small no matter how petty it is, in to a topic of arguments for there cause. That sort of behavior is taking a backwards step.

Floggingmolly Tue 16-Aug-16 10:38:42

They're shite. We all know they're shite. So just stop buying the bloody things, rather than getting aerated about their very existence.
They won't be on the curriculum when your toddler gets to school.

Knittedfrog Tue 16-Aug-16 10:40:27

I'm still not getting the big deal being made about these books.
I know loads of people that have read these books and walked away from them unscathed!
Same with pink stuff and blue stuff and dolls and action men, I can't see the problem and have never meant anyone who has been damaged by this stuff.
Why be so deep about it, I'd rather use my energy on something less trivial.

Floggingmolly Tue 16-Aug-16 10:40:37

Again; the Famous Five series was first published in 1942..

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Tue 16-Aug-16 10:44:07

Dowager - Mr Marvellous and Miss Fabulous look pretty much as marvellous and fabulous as each other. Not a much of a difference between 'marvellous' and 'fabulous' really, so yeah - there is a 'Mr Fabulous'.

Would there have been less whinging if they'd been named the other way round? I doubt it.

deydododatdodontdeydo Tue 16-Aug-16 10:55:41

Would there have been less whinging if they'd been named the other way round? I doubt it.

I do think if it was Mrs Nosey instead of Mr Nosey people would complain that a woman was being portrayed as nosey which is stereotyping.
They're pretty crap - basically they're "Mr Defining Characteristic" and "Mrs Defining Characters" but I think you can read too much into them.

GinIsForWinners Tue 16-Aug-16 18:49:07

Seriously? They're children's books.
There's a Mr. Mean, does that suggest that were teaching our three year olds that all men are horrid?
There is a Little Miss Wise and a Little Miss Brainy, so boys can't be clever?
Oh but there's a Mr Clever too.
I think people are reading far too much into this, it's only a feminist issue if you make it one.

What is the root cause of sexism, do you think?

JacquettaWoodville Tue 16-Aug-16 19:15:23

The oppression of the childbearing class by the non childbearing class in an attempt to secure certainty of paternity, raising of offspring and caring duties for the family group?

<oh, you weren't asking me wink>

LassWiTheDelicateAir Wed 17-Aug-16 16:02:42

The books looked as dull as ditch water. I don't recall having any, but what exactly is the difference between "marvellous" and "fabulous" that is causing so much ire?

They are both nonspecific, non-sexed superlatives neither of which are now used literally.

Wombat44 Wed 17-Aug-16 17:03:52

The article says:

"Mr Marvellous is “simply a marvel”, able to cook better than Mr Greedy, outrun Mr Rush and even out-tickle Mr Tickle...

Clad in high heels, meanwhile, Little Miss Fabulous has “fabulous hair … long and luxurious and silky, and it shone in the sun like gold”, "

In other words, Mr Marvellous is marvellous because of his skills, while Miss Fabulous is fabulous because of her looks. Totally different emphasis.

BungoWomble Wed 17-Aug-16 17:37:07

Echoing Jacquetta, Ursula Le Guin talks of womb-envy and high status positions as compensation for non childbearing in one of her short stories. The one about churtening. I love Ursula le Guin!

It may just be a series of kids books, but it is one of the symptoms of sexism in our culture. Sexism seems to be increasing at the moment and it is certainly targeting the young. We did not have this level of gender differentiation for youngsters in the 70s and 80s. In a context of disappearing jobs and resources women are right to be concerned that our daughters are being crowded out and being forced back into dependence.

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