Lucy Van Pelt is a character in the Peanuts comic strip and TV specials. Here is a clip of her in action,
At age eleven, I wondered how she got away with that. If a boy had done something comparable to a girl, there would be severe repercussions, But not in this case. Just laughs.
I watched the TV specials (i.e. Halloween, Christmas, etc.) as a child and I did not like the Lucy character. Nobody else was much willing to listen to my criticism. When preparing for this post I went to wiikipedia. There I found this statement.
Lucy is characterized as very loud-mouthed, violent, aggressive and temperamental.
She is also characterized as vain, as she believes she is beautiful despite frequently being described as ugly, and thinks she is perfect (though she once admitted complaining is the only thing she can do) when she has definitely no skills at all, as she is the worst and weakest baseball player, gives lousy and mindless advice, and, fittingly, cannot kick a football herself.
Christopher Caldwell has said about the character: “Lucy is no “fussbudget.” She’s an American nightmare, a combination of zero brains, infinite appetites and infinite self-esteem, who is (for that reason) able to run roughshod over all her playmates. At her best, she is the most terrifying character in the history of comics [strips].”
This is the first time in my life I have ever seen or heard criticism of Lucy. My entire generation watch the shows, and though they probably did not have a huge effect, the Lucy Van Pelt character probably was a role model for girls. She always somehow came out on top with her dealings with Charlie Brown. And he had no recourse because she was a girl.
And come to think of it, Charlie Brown (from the 60s) might have been the prototype for the modern Doofus Dad (80s and beyond).