Commonplace Book #95

It might have been easy for boys like ten-year-old George Stafford, armed with a souvenir musket firing corks, to entertain himself at a shrine celebrating male vigor.  The gender socialization of girls, however, dictated that the space did not welcome girls’ play.  When Judith Green and her two younger sisters, five and three, were introduced to Gettysburg in 1958, their shepherding grandparents ushered them to the commercial area of town without entering the battlefield at all.  And in the days before the 1990s Gettysburg Barbie doll, virtually none of the available souvenirs, including pincushions or ceramic plates, could be turned into girls’ playthings.  Adults thought the lessons of Gettysburg of greatest importance for future warriors, and besides, the trip might provide an opportunity for father-son or mother-daughter bonding. 

Jim Weeks, Gettysburg: Memory, Market, and an American Shrine, 160.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s