A graphic novel for girls about girls dressed as boys

Posted at 12:00 PM May 26, 2009

By Andrea Grimes


Between The Double-Daring Book For Girls and the new graphic novel No Girls Allowed, it looks like there are some pockets of pop culture not dedicated to frou-frou-sexualizing our daughters. BoingBoing.net has the dish on No Girls Allowed, written by children's writer Susan Hughes and illustrated by Willow Dawson, which features real-life women who dressed as men to get ahead in their misogynistic societies:

"It's a great and inspiring read intended for young adults, and it runs from 1470BCE (the Egyptian Pharoah Hatshepsut) to the mid-1800s, and the stories will appeal to anyone who revels in tales of people who overcome the unfair limits others place on them. No Girls Allowed ties the quest for gender equality in with stories of racial and economic injustice, as with the amazing story of James Barry, a woman who lived her whole life as a man, becoming a young army surgeon who went on to lead controversial reform movements in South Africa and Canada, standing up for what was right in the face of punishment and even though she had so much to lose."
There are some familiar faces in the book--perhaps you've heard of Mulan?--and some relative unknowns come from the past to teach us about kicking ass. (Viking princess? Yes please!) Open Book Toronto has a 5-minute video about the book, and I just kind of like watching the intro over and over again. Dramatic music! Playground! Go!


Ash said:

While it is true that some women in history have dressed and lived as men to overcome the many societal / economic boundaries placed on them, this book seems to totally ignore and discount the lives of transgender people who live their lives the way they do, not to escape oppression by denying who they are, but in an attempt to live their lives as truly as they can as the persons they feel themselves to be.


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