Betsy Was a Junior and Betsy & Joe



by Maud Hart Lovelace

Published 1947, 1948

In these two books, Betsy finishes her high school career.  In these stories, Betsy continues to learn lessons about life and boys.

While I have been loving these books and really enjoying the realistic and delightful characters, I must say that the introductions to these editions have not really been my cup of tea.  Each one has gotten progressively more obsessed with making Lovelace into a rabid feminist, reiterating repeatedly how Betsy’s family encouraged her to be a writer, as though that automatically makes you someone who wants to always be a strong, independent, single woman with a career and no children.

I disagree.  While I do gather from Lovelace’s writings that she believed that women were just as capable of forging a life outside the home as men (as they are), she never acts as though being a homemaker is a shameful or unworthy choice.  Instead, she writes of an incredibly loving and supportive family, which includes a stay-at-home housewife.  And while Betsy herself yearns to be a famous writer and to see the world, she also desires to find love, marriage, and her own family.

It just frustrates me that no one can write about women any more without being forced into one of two categories–a feminist who proves that women are more valuable than/don’t need men, or a someone who says that all women are good for is housework and cooking.

How about someone who writes about people as people?  Where men and women alike have hopes and dreams for the future, where women can appreciate the opportunities outside the home yet still desire to follow the traditional roles of wife and mother?

That is where I believe Lovelace falls, and while I am greatly enjoying her books, I am tired of feminists putting words in her mouth over fifty years after she wrote.