Classic Cartoons

Martin Plimmer on George du Maurier
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The Independent Culture

"Hullo Gerty! You've got Fred's hat on, and his cover coat?" "Yes. Don't you like it?" "Well - it makes you look like a young man, you know, and that's so effeminate!"

THOUGH STILL far from suffrage in 1891, a few bravely emancipated women shed their corset straitjackets and dressed in plainer, more practical attire, in order better to tackle the jobs, sports and mountain peaks previously reserved for men. Instantly signalling themselves as Different, they ran a gauntlet of mockery. Punch, which had long since liberated itself from its inconvenient early radicalism, welcomed the New Women as heaven-sent targets: "They dress... like men. They talk... like men. They live... like men. They don't... like men." Rather funny - as is this astutely convoluted take on the subtleties of gender uniforms, by Punch's social cartoonist George du Maurier.