Supporting Gender Equality Within Plain Site

Charles Schulz’s Peanuts Cartoon The Girls Always Played And Usually Won

Photo by Michael Competielle

Charles Schulz began drawing the Peanuts cartoons back in the 1950s when gender roles were being disenfranchised after the World War II “We Can Do It” women workforce was becoming discouraged in lieu of full time “homemaking.” While the country had been at war women stepped up to prove their ability to compete and even surpass their male counterparts in manufacturing and industrial trades.

In the post-war women were forced out of jobs and treated as though they were incapable and incompetent as they were encouraged to focus on finding a husband and prepare for motherhood. While it took over a decade for the female movement to gain speed one cartoonist helped plant the seed. 

Photo by Michael Competielle

With his cartoons published daily in over 2,500 newspapers, Charles Schulze’s Peanuts reached millions of readers globally. Based on the main character Charlie Brown and his pet dog Snoopy the cartoon touched on politics, sports, relationships, and gender equality.

While Charlie Brown was the main character he was often the butt of jokes and tormented by a dominant female character Peppermint Patty who was quite the athlete and would entice Charlie Brown and friends into playing male-dominated sports such as baseball, football, hockey, and basketball.

That never stopped Charlie Brown from having females on his team and it was commonplace in the cartoon to see equality in the splitting up of the sports teams. Ironic that during the tumultuous times of the past few decades a multibillion-dollar franchise helped plant the seed into the minds of generations of adults that equality should be accepted. 

It’s was through suppression that females were made to appear inferior to males in the workforce and sports and we should be thankful for Charles Schulz’ Peanuts for prioritizing the indifferences and helping to pave the way towards an equalized society. 

Author: mtcwriter

Michael Competielle is a Creative Designer specializing in Sound, Brand and Experiential Design.

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