Today, I submitted this cartoon to a site I work for. They are a wonderful site, reporting on women’s issues around the globe, and I am proud to have a weekly cartoon there. But after I emailed this cartoon to her, my editor wrote me and said, “No gender angle.” I have a couple of thoughts on that–although I did send her another cartoon to run in the meantime.
First, there is a subtle gender angle here. The people in the cartoon are both women. This is more unusual than you might think. “Everyman” in a cartoon still is usually a man, and I try to buck that by drawing women whenever I can.
Secondly, Christmas Tree Issues are fraught with gender role considerations. This woman is not following her prescribed gender role by grabbing the tree and presumably carrying it to her apartment. How many of us have gender roles when it comes to Christmas Things? Men usually carry the tree into the house, set it up and put on the lights. The women are the decorators. In our house, my husband does indeed carry the tree, but I am the one who puts on the lights, and all of us–three women and my husband–decorate it.
I know, this may be pretty far fetched. The details in life sometimes tell us a lot. In the division of duties as a couple, my husband is still the one who takes the tree down. Is that a gender defined role? Who knows? I don’t care. I don’t want to do it.