Category Archives: children’s books

I Want to Be a Nurse, or, Let Sexism Get in the Way Of Your Dreams

A long time ago, in a kingdom far away, I read a book called Pink Think, by Lynn Peril. Basically, the author unveils a collection of ways in which women of the 1940s through the 1970s were made to “think pink,” that is to say, be ultra-feminine. The era where woman’s goal was catching a man, that sort of thing.

I raided that bibliography. Fun Fact: one of the sex ed books in that collection of works was the genesis for this very blog!

Anyway, one of the books in the list was called I Want to Be a Nurse, by Carla Greene. I finally tracked down a copy via WorldCat, and was giddy when my local library emailed me to let me know that it was in.

It’s a children’s book, and the only way to get the full feel for it is through images, so I’ve taken the liberty of taking photos of the pages. I have a scanner, but the book is so old that I didn’t want to do further damage to the spine. So, cropped pictures it is! (Please ignore any remnants of cat-tail that may appear; she wouldn’t get out of the way of my important business)! [Pictures will open into large versions when clicked].

Look, the baby doll is desperate to escape!

From this page, you can see that the copyright date is 1957.

What Jane means to say is, “I stabbed her with the scissors in my pocket. You’re next, Jack, with your stupid sailor hat and ugly trousers!”

And why can’t the little girl be a doctor? There were female doctors during this time . . . Ugh.
It almost seems like Jack is taunting her, with his “Do you know how to be a nurse?” Whatta douche!

Here comes Miss Baker, tripping along in her cape. For all nurses wear capes.

Miss Baker, instead of doing her real job, shows Jane how to give her doll a bath. Wait, she has an open wound; you can’t just immerse her into a tub of soapy water like that! Meanwhile, Jack learns how to watch. Stop ogling the naked doll, pervert.
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