An attempted yet unsuccessful defense of Thumbkin

Stephen and I were discussing “Where is Thumbkin?” the other day.  I had shared with him my concern about the lack of female members of the finger/hand family.  We’re first time parents here, so we’re very intentional about what goes into little Abby’s impressionable mind, and this non-traditional family paradigm in our daughter’s favorite song was giving us some trouble.

Stephen asserted that Thumbkin should be understood to be the mother.  He equated asking her “How are you today, sir?” to calling a woman Mrs.– and then using her husband’s first and last name.

I said no dice.  First of all, “Mrs.” is still a feminine title even if it is followed by a man’s name.  Under no circumstances is it socially appropriate to call a woman “sir.”

Besides, I took issue with the gender stereotyping.  Why is it that the short, fat finger has to be the mom?  And if poor Thumbkin is the mother of the rest of the finger brood, why is she the one who has to make the first move in socializing with the other hand?  What kind of leadership is this from the husband (the Tall Man, I presume, admittedly engaging in a little stereotyping of my own…)?

We could not untangle this complicated web; so, the conundrum remains.


6 responses to “An attempted yet unsuccessful defense of Thumbkin

  1. You’ve got to be kidding!!!Hahahaha

  2. I’m so thankful that someone finally had the guts to confront this controversial topic. You are a true investigative journalist, you are.

  3. I think we could interview Mr./Mrs. Thumkin him/herself to find out what’s up with the Thumpkin family, if he/she did not keep disappearing!

  4. haha, Mom

  5. Very interesting post! Do Thumbkin and the other fellows “run away” in your version of the lyrics? This concerns me as well. Are we teaching our children that men run away??

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