Growing up, there weren’t too many female cartoon icons. The evil witch was always evil, so was the evil stepmother, and Cinderella, frankly, was just too much of a Goody Two-Shoe. Everyone, from Snow White to Rapunzel to Red Riding Hood was a damsel in distress, and who could blame them, considering the patriarchal set-up they were born into. Then, there was Penelope, who drove a chic pink car and sported a sexy pink blouse with leggings, a scarf around her head that hugged her neck and was kept in place by a pair of glasses that always hung on her forehead. “Hayalp” she would say in a thick Southern accent each time “The Hooded Claw,” kidnapped her, which was at least three or four times each episode. Only the audience knew that The Hooded Claw was actually her legal guardian who was attempting to murder Penelope in order to get her inheritance.
Penelope had style. She was suave, she was rarely ever frazzled, even if she was tied to a railway track, silent-movie style, or to a torpedo headed for China. Her ‘seven-dwarfves’ like protectors would come to her rescue, more often than not, she’d end up rescuing them.
Was Penelope Pitsop a ‘Damsel Undistressed?’
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