William Collins: In Praise of Richmal Crompton

An excellent piece by William Collins, inspired by two characters invented by the authoress Richmal Crompton – William Brown and Violet Elizabeth Bott. William writes:

The affection in which Richmal Crompton holds her little hero shines forth on every page. There is no trace of toxic masculinity here – though, heaven knows, William’s exploits might provide adequate ammunition for such a thesis. Moreover, the contrast between the former suffragist and a modern feminist could hardly be more stark when Crompton exposes some specifically female character flaws.

We need to pinch ourselves on occasion as a reminder that what we are reading was penned by the adult female Richmal Crompton, and must therefore reflect her own understanding – and, we suspect, her own opinion too. Crompton’s understanding of small boys is all the more remarkable in view of her having had no children of her own, remaining unmarried all her life. There’s no trace here of any desire to redefine masculinity: only to record its juvenile foibles.

The contrast between the warmth which Richmal Crompton displays towards William, an attitude towards boys which was once normal, and the vilification poured upon boys today makes my heart bleed.

About Mike Buchanan

I'm a men's human rights advocate, writer, and publisher. My primary focus is leading the political party I launched in 2013, Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them). I still work actively on two campaigns I launched in early 2012, Campaign for Merit in Business and the Anti-Feminism League. In 2014 I launched The Alternative Sexism Project, aiming to raise public understanding that the sexism faced by men and boys has far more grievous consequences than the sexism faced by women and girls.
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  • Whereas Violet Elizabeth Bott has all the most unpleasant characteristics of women and girls.