Lucy Van Pelt — Role Model?


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).

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Posted in FarmBoy, Feminism, Fun
50 comments on “Lucy Van Pelt — Role Model?
  1. Do we all have a girl from childhood who was a Local Lucy?

    BTW definitely think this should cause a discussion
    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/05/17/study-birth-control-pills-associated-with-thinning-of-brain-structures-important-in-regulating-emotions/

    “Some women experience negative emotional side effects from taking oral contraceptive pills, although the scientific findings investigating that have been mixed,” author Petersen, a neuroscientist at UCLA, recently told The Huffington Post. “So it’s possible that this change in the lateral orbitofrontal cortex may be related to the emotional changes that some women experience when using birth control pills.”

    “We need to do more studies to find out what behaviors might be changed, but this study gives us some targets to start with, and I think the first place to look is at the effect of birth control pills on regulating emotions,” she added.

    Like

  2. Yoda says:

    Lucy too young for birth control pills she was.
    Or was she?

    Like

  3. Yoda says:

    Good role models for girls there are?

    Like

  4. Farm Boy says:

    Do we all have a girl from childhood who was a Local Lucy?

    I had several. In my Junior year of High School, this girl, Ms. Smith (real name), gets assigned to sit behind me in British Literature class. I was rally into the sciences, e.g. physics and chemistry; and word must have worked her way to her that I really liked those classes. Let me also point out that I tried to operate “below radar”, that is, not be noticed by anybody.

    Anyway, out of the blue, she starts pestering me from behind about, “You are not as smart as you think you are”, etc. in a very condescending tone. Since I was trying not to be noticed, it is odd how anybody would truly think that. And she went on about how she was going to go to the University of Missouri. Which had a great Journalism school. And she was going to change the world as a journalist. And so on.

    And she was fat. In High School. At a time when almost nobody in high school was fat.

    Probably she changed the world for the worse.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. FuzzieWuzzie says:

    Farm Boy,
    Lucy was always seen as a stinker by both men and women. That she kept getting away with this is part of her persona. All the Peanuts characters had very different personalities.
    I liked Snoopy the best!

    I don’t think that Charles Shultz intended any of them to be role models.

    TAra Palmatier went after Lucy in a podcast a couple of years ago. That is the only other criticism that I have seen.

    Like

  6. Farm Boy says:

    That she kept getting away with this is part of her persona.

    Personally I never heard anybody say anything bad about her. Normally, in American TV and Movies, the “bad guy” gets his/her just desserts in the end. It never happened with her.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. FuzzieWuzzie says:

    Farm Boy,
    The point you raise is profound. Lucy predtes feminism and, no douby, her personality profile does too. She may be one to a classoom.

    Like

  8. Farm Boy says:

    I know that I never could have gotten away with acting like Lucy.

    Like

  9. blurkel says:

    Do we all have a girl from childhood who was a Local Lucy?

    AND HOW!

    This particular girl I’m remembering actually organized a Peanuts play with her school chums, casting herself as Lucy. She didn’t like anyone who she saw as stealing her thunder as the center of attention. As one such, she sat through one of my earliest musical performances glaring at me the entire time.

    She actually had the audacity to search me out and contact me back in 1992 for a primary school reunion she organized. I’d already ridden out the Landers and Big Bear earthquakes, and the street rioting in LA after the Rodney King cops were found not guilty, and her letter shows up inviting me to relate how my life had gone, and to interrupt my life to “return to the nest” as it was to socialize with people who had little room for me in theirs when we were younger. I didn’t cuss her out in my reply, but my message got through to her to never contact me again. Each time another reunion was organized, someone else was tasked with writing me.

    She wasn’t the first mean girl I ever encountered, and she wasn’t the last, but she was certainly the most memorable in a nightmarish way.

    Like

  10. Spawny Get says:

    Reunions of school kid cadres thirty to forty years on? hmm…nope

    Mind you ‘Grosse Point Blank’ was a hellishly good film. I mean, I fight with Benny ‘The Jet’ Urquidez!!! (The guy built like a fireplug, in the hall).

    Here’s Benny vs Jackie Chan in ‘Wheels on meals’. Sammo Hung is the guy who legs it at the beginning.

    Like

  11. Spawny Get says:

    Grosse Point Blank (mostly a great comedy)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I never liked Lucy, she was self centered and mean. I think she was included as an example of what NOT to be like!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. SFC Ton says:

    Lucy was mean and selfcentered?
    Sounds like a pretty good representation of woman hood, though I don’t recall any such behavior from the girls of my childhood….. couple of teachers, one of who I threw a desk at which shut all their mouths for the next couple of years of middle school

    The only other girl like that from my childhood would be the bitch who whelped me.

    Like

  14. Ton you threw a desk at a teacher? Why?

    Baby Ton news?

    Like

  15. SFC Ton says:

    Failure to bring sandwiches

    At the hospital as I type

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Liz says:

    So exciting, Ton!
    Hope everything goes well…your family is in my thoughts and prayers!

    Per the topic, I don’t think Lucy was veiwed affectionately by the masses. I thought of her as the equivalent of Nelly Olsen on Little House on the Prarie. A total bitch. But cartoons (and shows) need their nemeses or they get boring. Couldn’t just be all Snoopy battling the phantom Red Baron.

    Like

  17. Liz says:

    My childhood “Lucy” was Nancy Joe. She was just mean, and ate her buggers.
    Don’t want to spark outrage saying this, but…I’m not sure it’s true boys couldn’t get away with this stuff. My school bus was like a penitentary on wheels, and I was dragged down the aisle by my ponytail by a boy. And every day I was covered in spitballs. When I was eight, a fifth grader named Lyle picked me up and threw me onto an ant pile that was larger than I was.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. theasdgamer says:

    There was this girl named Anita in 6th grade who kept pinching me. A real pain in the @$$.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Spawny Get says:

    Good luck to all involved, Ton.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Somehow I had a feeling Ton! Keep us posted 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  21. theasdgamer says:

    Why Anita had a crush on me is unfathomable. I was 10 yo in 6th grade, puny, wore glasses, was nerdy, was autistic, sucked at sports, etc. Younger than anyone else by a year or more. (I skipped a grade (1st) when I went to The German School in Beirut.) No obvious athletic/violent tendencies. There was this big, slow seemingly tough kid who used to try to bully me and a nerdy friend until we started pelting him with rocks. Maybe stories about that got out.

    I was elected school patrol captain in 6th grade. Never figured I was popular. I’ve always been surprised by stuff like that.

    Like

  22. Liz says:

    Gamer, maybe you had that “mysterious world traveler” vibe. 🙂

    Like

  23. theasdgamer says:

    I had been to a lot of countries by the time I was 7. Lived in Beirut for two years. Visited Israel & Egypt. Lived in Morocco for two years. We drove all through Europe. Gibraltar, Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Austria, Germany, France, England. Crossed the Atlantic in a passenger ship. The Cold War was on back then. We didn’t travel in Communist countries.

    So I had a lot of experience–that’s true. Mom made couscous for the class and I wore a Bedouin cover as part of show and tell once. Most Interesting Sixth Grader In the World, lol.

    I’d have chucked it all for being average at sports. Being very young and having developmental issues is a big challenge for a boy–social problems.

    How did you end up getting picked on? Were you shy and quiet?

    Like

  24. Liz says:

    “How did you end up getting picked on? Were you shy and quiet?”

    Yes, very very shy and quiet.
    So quiet my parents used to say it was like not having a child in the house.
    You’d think the mean kids would have ignored me.
    They called me “Holly Hobbie”.
    Interestingly enough, the only friend I’ve kept in touch with from back then (my fellow Holly Hobbie person) just sent me a message this morning. It’s been over a years since I’ve heard from her.

    Like

  25. Liz says:

    Here is my childhood photo. I wasn’t much of a looker back then. 😛


    Liked by 1 person

  26. Yoda says:

    Here is my childhood photo. I wasn’t much of a looker back then.

    But green you were.
    A good start this is.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Yoda says:

    And hair long it was.
    Good this would be.

    Like

  28. Yoda says:

    The first woman to be raped in space has probably already been born.

    Like

  29. theasdgamer says:

    Here is my childhood photo. I wasn’t much of a looker back then.

    You have a cute black nose. How did you manage to keep your puppy teeth?

    Like

  30. I can’t think of a childhood bully exactly, but there was a girl who turned out to be a frenimie of sorts. She claimed to be my best friend but then would tell people I said things I hadn’t or what not. She was also very good at coming up w some scheme then somehow leave me holding the bag. It took me awhile to figure it out she was a back stabber. She contacted me about 10 years after high school but I blew her off. No good ever came from associating with her back in the day, I figured that hadn’t changed!

    Like

  31. Sumo says:

    I don’t recall any girls acting like Lucy when I was a little Sumo, at least not towards me. I would have been a pretty good target back then, too. Completely afraid of being in any way confrontational, thanks to the brainwashing from my mother and teachers.

    As a teenager, I developed a different outlook on that sort of thing, which was the start on the path to being the functioning sociopath that I am today. Don’t recall any Lucys during my teen years, either. Of course, by that point I would have kicked someone in the face if the ball was taken out of play like that.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. FuzzieWuzzie says:

    Liz,
    That was almost as good as a great bear video!

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Yoda says:

    That was almost as good as a great bear video!

    A green bear we do need.

    Like

  34. Democratic Republic of Congo builds rocket with a target of reaching 36km altitude!

    At 2:15 you can see the result.

    The Congolese research team say that next time they don’t rule out putting a satellite into orbit.

    Back in the UK the space program goes from strength to strength

    Like

  35. Yoda says:

    What happens when a Lucy grows up she does?

    Like

  36. Yes, that’s a real orbiter car. Same as this one

    Like

  37. Yoda says:

    UK space program,

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Major Tom! It’s coming back to me why I didn’t listen to music much as a kid.

    Like

  39. At least we have our electric car industry to fall back off on

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Liz says:

    I kept the teeth AND claws!
    You can’t see them in the photo…
    Amazing what a full-body shearing will do. 😛

    Liked by 2 people

  41. theasdgamer says:

    Funny how things start! My connection with the bachelorette party started when the husband of a woman I dance with (he doesn’t dance) asked me if I had any condoms. I wondered, “What a strange question for him to ask! He’s no player.” Later, after dancing with his wife and we were walking off the dance floor, the wife tells me that someone is looking for me and points her out. I have no idea who she is. The unknown woman asks me if I’m “Gamer” and I say “yes” and she says, “You’re not married are you?” I say that I am married. She then invites me over to the bachelorette party table. I had danced with a couple of women there earlier. I played some of their party games (lap dancing and dirty dancing) and agreed to be in a booty contest for a woman of interest (I suspect that she instigated my invitation), but I flaked on the booty contest, heh.

    Like

  42. theasdgamer says:

    @ Liz

    I bet you do the leg-humping trick and call it “dirty dancing.”

    Like

  43. FuzzieWuzzie says:

    Liz,
    There are also the glowing red eyes and the barbed tail.

    Yoda,
    When Lucy grows up, she never gets married and has a public sector job. At this job, she makes as many people as miserable as she can.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Fuzzie, I’ve thought about it. You need to start watching Top Gear. The UK one particularly. It’s great, wholesome, blokey fun. If necessary I’ll even snailmail you some data discs. I have many, many fine episodes. Around twenty series of it. In the meantime you should consult youtube. Spawny hath spokeneth.

    Like

  45. Where’s Cill? Not been sighted for a while…

    Liked by 2 people

  46. Yoda says:

    When Lucy grows up, she never gets married and has a public sector job.

    Hands out driver’s licenses she does?

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Yoda says:

    New post there is.

    Like

  48. FuzzieWuzzie says:

    Cill,
    You are missed. Is it that M is keeping you too busy barbequing steaks?

    Liked by 1 person

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