[ExI] Wizard of Oz and Capable Women in Power

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Fri Sep 26 18:02:03 UTC 2008

PJ writes

> Lee wrote:
>> Ever notice how Baum played with gender/sex differences
>> in WoZ?
>> It's a fairly common observation, I think. First, there was
>> General Ginger and her army made up entirely of women.
>> (Baum was actually satirizing the women suffragettes or
>> some aspect of incipient feminism, and their overly strident
>> attitudes (to him), but that was way over the head of this
>> eight-year-old.)
> Damn you, Lee.  It's like a freshly caught salmon placed at the mouth
> of a hibernating grizzly's cave.  And it's spring.

Guten essen!

> Baum was a strong and active supporter of women's suffrage and his
> wife was the daughter of one of the country's most famous
> suffragettes.  He walked the talk.

Thanks for the info. As I recall, Martin Gardiner was saying
that Baum was satirizing some part of the women's movement.
Perhaps it is as you say below

> Baum was secretary of Aberdeen's Woman's Suffrage Club. When Susan B. Anthony
> visited Aberdeen, she stayed with the Baums.
> "Some of Baum's contacts with suffragists of his day seem to have
> inspired much of his second Oz story, The Marvelous Land of Oz. In
> this story, General Jinjur leads the girls and women of Oz in a revolt
> by knitting needles, take over, and make the men do the household
> chores. Jinjur proves to be an incompetent ruler, but a female
> advocating gender equality is ultimately placed on the throne.

Well, I have to say that an army of women taking over with
knitting needles does sound like satire to me.

> I think the metaphor he was going for with Jinjur was those who
> inspire and lead the revolution are the least competent to run the
> nation when peace is achieved.

Could be, I suppose, but even I recall that the "General" was pretty
abrasive and overly bossy; are you sure that Baum wasn't criticizing
the "General Ginger" type from the outset, because that's what it
looks like to me.


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