Counterrevolutionary literature #1

A Squash and a Squeeze by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler

Theme: be happy with what you’ve got, or the patriarchy (here embodied by a bloke with a beard*) will make it worse.

Agents of the patriarchy: A hen, a goat, a pig and a cow, who come into the house, smash up the old woman’s posessions, and eat all her food. All (apart from the pig) evidently female. Collaborators!

Internalised oppression: the old woman keeps asking the beardy man for help. Will she never learn?

But seriously: she’s an elderly subsistence farmer living in a single room. I appreciate telling kids to be grateful for what they’ve got, but she really hasn’t got much.

* Suspicously like traditional representations of the Judeo-Christian God. Coincidence?

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