Feministing Calvin


When I was a kid I was a huge Calvin and Hobbes fan and I adored Susie. I always thought she was clearly the one we were supposed to be sympathizing with in her exchanges with Calvin.

Your Thoughts?

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • machintelligence

    Susie did manage to get her licks in, though: http://www.gocomics.com/calvinandhobbes/1986/01/05 .

  • http://criticallyskeptic-dckitty.blogspot.com Katherine Lorraine, Chaton de la Mort

    Calvin was merely acting out in a kind of confused manner – young boys will be young boys. He teased poor Susie cause he didn’t understand the strange feelings he had towards her, not because he felt like she was inferior to him.

    Besides, girls have cooties, and those are really dangerous!

  • Greg

    Calvin & Hobbes was/is hands down the best strip ever (IMHO), but man are you making me feel old with the ‘when I was a kid’ part. While I like the strip above, I don’t see any particular reason/need to ‘feminize’ C&H. I never saw it as being anti-feminists at all. It’s a look at the world through the eyes of a 6 year old boy. If you take it in context through that lense, it seems quite obvious that ‘slimy gurlz’ are the enemy and need to be avoided or harassed at all cost (except for moms, because they’re NOT gurlz and besides, they make you PB&Js!)

    • http://freethoughtblogs.com/camelswithhammers Camels With Hammers

      Not feminizing him at all, feministing him.

    • Greg

      Ah, gothca…

  • Duke York

    Certainly! Part of Calvin’s charm is what a jerk he could be! It made him seem real because he was flawed.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com WMDKitty

    I want to see where that’s going.

  • Rieux

    Watterson wrote in a few places that Susie was based on Watterson’s own wife. It’s not a surprise that she outsmarted and out-sensibled Calvin on a regular basis.