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Children's Classics with Rapid-Onset Gender Dysphoria: Pippi Longstocking
It soon became known throughout the little town that a nine-year-old girl was living all by herself in Villa Villekulla, and all the ladies and gentlemen in the town thought this would never do. Living by herself might lead to lesbianism, which prevented children from learning the multiplication tables. There were no lesbians in the entire town, and all the children knew their sums by heart as a result. So the ladies and gentlemen decided that the little girl in Villa Villekulla must immediately transition, so she could learn her multiplication tables.
One lovely afternoon Pippi had invited Tommy and Annika over for afternoon coffee and pepparkakor. She had spread the party out on the front steps. It was so sunny and beautiful there, and the air was filled with the fragrance of the flowers in Pippi's garden. Mr. Nilsson climbed around on the porch railing, and every now and then the horse stuck out his head so that he'd be invited to have a cookie.
"Oh, isn't it glorious to be alive?" said Pippi, stretching out her legs as far as she could reach – which was as far as she wanted them to, because girls can do anything. Just because you want to stretch out your legs doesn’t mean you have to be a boy! Unless you live in Villa Villekulla, where it does mean precisely that. Isn’t that sad? Now in Narnia it is always winter, and never tomboys.
Just at that moment two police officers in full uniform came in through the gate. They were there to enforce state-mandated maleness.
“Is this the girl who has moved into Villa Villekulla, and climbs trees, and lifts horses over her head?” asked one of the policemen. “We have heard reports of a free-spirited and independent little tomboy, and as you know it is the policy of this town to re-route such impulses through immediate hormone-replacement therapy and expensive and implausible surgeries.”
“Quite the contrary,” said Pippi. “This is a tiny little auntie who lives on the third floor at the other end of town, who’s sensibly gender-non-conforming but knows where to draw the line.”
She said that only because she wanted to have a little fun with the policemen, but they didn’t think it was funny at all. They said she shouldn’t be such a smarty, and that little girls who didn’t know what was good for them would get their uteruses taken away.
“I won’t be a smarty, then, if that offends you,” Pippi cried in real concern, “only don’t send me to school or take away my uterus. I only wanted to be a strong-minded young girl!”
But it was too late. She was John Cheever now, and there is no Pippi Longstocking anymore. Really makes you think.