Dick and Jane Have Come A Long Way

| Opinion | March 7, 2019

by Dale Paule

I came across an old book the other day that I had when I was in fourth grade called, “Dick and Jane.”

It was used in elementary schools to teach young children both the basics of learning to read, and equally important, basic family values.

I’m sure some of you older folks remember it. The book featured a typical American family, starting with Father, the family’s breadwinner, followed by Mother, who baked the bread, and finally, their two average, wholesome pre-teen children, Dick, and his kid sister, Jane. They helped eat the bread.

Oh, yes, can’t forget old Spot, the family dog who seemed to always be running about with Dick and Jane, wagging his tail, and giving out with a happy “Woof” to show that he too was a part of their happy family.


As strange as it may seem to some these days, that’s how it was.

The family worked together, played together, and laughed together; but most important of all, they stayed together.

We’ve come an awful long way since that book and it’s depiction of what a then average family was about, and it got me to wondering what the picture of a typical American family of today might look like; or perhaps only as some would like to think it should.

Let’s take a shot at it.

Father would likely no longer be allowed to hold such a sexist role as, “Head of the Family.” The new society wouldn’t allow it! Instead, perhaps he might be a professor at one of the more “Open minded” universities, teaching “Groupthink-101.”

And Mother; well, once she found how she’d been taken advantage of all those years, she up and joined a group of like-minded and enlightened mothers who celebrated their new-found freedom by launching a “Protest du jour” on anything opposing their viewpoint. “You name it, we’ll blame it,” is their motto.

Poor Dick, on the other hand, is totally confused by the whole thing, and spends his day in pajamas in his “safe space,” sending out blogs from his computer, threatening boycotts against organizations which don’t conform to his idea of being “inclusive,” or some other grown-up word he’s heard recently and grown fond of using.

Then there’s Jane, the formally cute, freckle-faced kid sister, who has become a snip off the old Mother’s locks, and is in total rebellion against “genderization.” She spends her days attempting to shed herself of any resemblance to either gender.

And finally, what of old Spot? How has time and circumstance affected him? You’ll be happy to know that in spite of all the changes around him, he’s still pretty much the same running about, tail wagging old Spot.

Come to think of it, there is one thing different about him, though. He just doesn’t give a “Woof” anymore.

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