Thursday, September 11, 2008

Outside Poll- Quick Observation


I am so grateful to you for your comments on my outside poll. It really made my day and helped validate the time I spent compiling answers. It has been quite a journey, running around asking strangers their opinions.

What fascinated me was how many women felt comfortable reading Nancy Drew mysteries. I loved them growing up. I have the complete set in my basement and I go downstairs and page through them from time to time.

My question is this: how is the privileged life of Nancy Drew so much safer for young girls then super hero books? While I loved that Nancy thought for herself, and was spunky and independent, I embraced her in much the same manner I did Wonder Woman. Maybe something is wrong with me? The self reliance and power of will thrilled me then and continues to captivate to this day.

Did you read about non-powered females growing up? Was it embraced by your parents and friends? What is an example of this? I am curious.

6 comments:

Johnny B said...

I know you're looking for female responses, but I can't help but chime in- when I was a little kid, 5-7 or so, I LOVED Nancy Drew books. I wrote a bit about it a few years ago...

Sea_of_Green said...

I really, really apologize for this, but I HATE Nancy Drew. I've ALWAYS hated Nancy Drew. I had every single Nancy Drew book growing up, because my mom kept buying them for me in the hopes I would read them (because SHE liked Nancy Drew as a kid). I thought she was boring as dirt. After all, she couldn't FLY or play bullets'n'bracelets, or do any of the other cool things I'd seen women in comic books do. :-) All of the Nancy Drew books collected dust in my room until I went off to college -- then they ended up in a garage sale.

So, even though my mom thought the comics were a waste of money, she probably spent MORE on a bunch of books that I never read!

I DID read a lot of novels, though. Favorites were the original, classic novels Phantom of the Opera, Gulliver's Travels, Peter Pan (The Story of Peter and Wendy), the Wizard of Oz books, and anything by H.G.Wells, C.S.Lewis, Isaac Asimov, Anne McCaffrey, and Alexander Dumas. I also loved Greek mythology.

And now I'm a book editor. Have been for eighteen years. :-)

Lisa said...

Like Sea of Green I also enjoyed Peter Pan, the Oz books (original and the many spin-offs) and CS Lewis. I read the Laura Ingals Wilder House on the Prairie books, when I was pretty young I read as many Heidi books as I could get my hands on. When I was in middle school I went on a huge V.C. Andrews kick. My parents were just happy that I read. They never seemed to police my reading at all - super heroes and non super heroes, fantasy horror mystery adventure... all were fine as long as I was reading.

Now 99% of what I read was either a gift or checked out from the library, and at that time (dating myself here) we didn't have graphic novels and manga in libraries, so it wasn't that my parents didn't want me reading them, it was more that they didn't want to buy them and they weren't available at the library. They let me watch the old Batman series and the Justice League and Spider-man cartoons, my dad and I loved Greatest American Hero. And I read just about every comic strip in the Sunday newspaper.

Carl said...

I read both The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew and The Three Investigators before I found comics, SF and fantasy and such. I liked Nancy 'cause she could drive, had a car and her dad gave her a gun for protection, just like The Hardy Boys's pop did. Of course, later on, they edited the crap out of them or rewrote them completely. I read them to my daughter too and she read them for a bit. She was cool under fire and while she might have not been a superhero, she was more like Sherlock Holmes and ahead of her time. Nancy Drew is the archtype of the young American woman that has grit and enduring and unwavering smarts and courage. She's still around in some form or another, silly kids movie and even anime versions. That says a lot...

Swinebread said...

I hear that the All American Girl series is pretty cool.

Swinebread said...

Hey I just remembered that I read a few judy Blume books and Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary