Is Doctor Seuss a chauvinist? Petty? I think not. It is not that The Cat In The Hat is narrated by The Boy, and Sally takes a silent and somewhat bewildered backseat to her older and more powerfull brother. Nor is it her bow, which bears a striking similarity to The Cats bow--call that a coincidence, I won't debate. Or that the wet blanket fish has more clout than mute Sally. Can she speak? Does she dare?
No, the indictment is in One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish. The text does not contain the word 'she'. Now, I expect to be flamed here, but I think the Yink is female, yet is referred to as a 'he' four times.
You are probably thinking I am some sort of male dunce that is drawing this conclusion because a licentious, winking Yink, decked out in pink, is drinking a pink cocktail WITH a straw.
So you think I think,
oh wow a Yink in Pink,
or that he must be gay.
A boy? No way!
No, that is not why, don't even try.
Read ahead, you will see why.
The book was published in 1960, and it is the mores of that time that I rest my case. I know, I was there with my GI Joe. And even then I thought Yink was a fem.
You will point out that Dr. Seuss referred to all the creatures as 'funny things' and 'pets' and that stereotypes should not apply here. But the text is riddled with gendered characters--and one gender-bending Yink.
Take Nook, a male at one look.
Guess what? He can't cook!
What about Mike,
the goon on the bike?
You know he's a guy!
And the Gox who likes to box,
Do you think he'd like nylons,
or a pair of gym socks?
If Yink is a Drag-Queen, I do not care.
To each their own, moral watchdogs beware.
But my daughter wants to know if he's a boy or a girl.
So I said as I do and I ducked under the cover.
I said I do not know, go ask your Mother.
Why didn't the good Doctor just say 'she'?
Is that little word so much lesser than 'he'?
I only have the two books mentioned, and I hear D.S. took 220 words to create his best sellers. I plan to get Go Dog Go (my favorite) next.
One word of caution. After your child falls asleep, do not immediately pick up that great piece of work you were reading or writing. After reading any Dr. Seuss book 1200 times in one sitting before bedtime, it will saturate your consciousness and spill into the cadence of whatever you are doding. It will turn your literature (classical, horror, mystery, your thesis ) into pretty much sing-a-long prose and leave you pining for a lobotomy.