Anne smashes the patriarchy

Who knew that all along Canadian girls have been exposed to   subversive material every time they’ve curled up with one of the country’s most beloved children’s books.

As reported by the CBC this week, Anne of Green Gables is being “lauded for her patriarchy-smashing ways”. In Elle’s India edition, Anne Shirley, P.E.I.’s historic literary heroine topped the list of feminist book characters with a bent for smashing the patriarchy.

Elle’s culture columnist Moshita Prajapati felt it was time to recognize a younger character for their feminist sensibilities. Who better than Anne who discovered when adopted by Mathew and Marilla Cuthbert hat she had deeply disappointed them by not being a boy?

“She is an 11-year-old girl fighting for her place, embracing herself unabashedly, not really seeing gender and just going after what she wants, “ Prajapati notes.

Anne’s passion for justice, fiery temper, and refusal to be one-upped has inspired young female readers for generations. Some, though, have been disappointed that the rest of the books in author Lucy Montgomery’s series don’t uphold Anne’s early reputation as a trailblazer.

By the final book, Anne’s House of Dreams, our heroine is happily married to Gilbert Blyth with children and has given up both teaching and writing. Perhaps Montgomery was of the mind that you can’t have it all. Many Ontario women today might well feel the same, given Premier Doug Ford’s feet dragging as the last Canadian province to sign on to the federal government’s $10-a-day-child-care plan.


photo courtesy of Creative Commons Wikipedia