The Banal, Insidious Sexism of Smurfette

The Smurfs, originating as they did in mid-century Europe, exhibit the quaint sexism in which boys or men are generic people—with their unique qualities and abilities—while girls and women are primarily identified by their femininity. The sequel doesn’t upend the premise of Smurfette.

In the original graphic novels, Smurfette (or La Schtroumpfette in French) was the creation of the evil Gargamel, who made her to sow chaos among the all-male Smurf society. His recipe for femininity included coquetry, crocodile tears, lies, gluttony, pride, envy, sentimentality, and cunning. [cont.]

Philip N. Cohen (U. of Maryland), Pacific Standard