Friday, April 3, 2015

Where Would They Be Today? Part Three: Molly and Emily

Molly and Emily
So I am now on the last of the original girls: Molly, the patriotic and spunky girl wearing glasses from WWII. Of course, I'm covering Emily, the brave little soldier from Britain who epitomizes the phrase, "Keep calm and carry on."


Love that recital dress! Maybe I should do a review of that next :)
I've taken a while to write this post. Mostly it was because I had some personal stuff happening-I got a job and I had to adjust (it's about to be TWO jobs), I'm considering having a baby (but then I may have to share my dolls! Wah!), and I just have a lot on my plate.
That said, I just don't really like Molly. She's a beautiful doll, I love that she wears glasses, I love her clothes, I have her...but she's kind of obnoxious. Her treatment of Emily sets my teeth on edge. She doesn't treat Allison much better. She's just not my favorite. I adore Emily however and I love that doll for other reasons-my grandmother gave her to me before she died. So the Emily part was easier to write I guess.
But here's my forecast for the future of these two girls.
Molly was nine in 1944, and the life expectancy for ten year old female white girls in America was 60. So she conceivably lived until 1944 which means she experienced many, many changes-McCarthyism, the Civil Rights Movement, the Cold War, the feminist movement, etc. How would she have reacted to these special changes?
The Cold War affected Molly strongly-she practiced ducking and covering so she could be prepared for a nuclear bomb. Molly was convinced that the Soviet Union would eventually drop a bomb and she carried a grudge against Russia until her dying day, like many people alive during that time period.
Molly was a smart girl and after she graduated from high school she took  year off to be a camp counselor. After that year, she went to Vanderbilt University-she planned to study medicine just like her father. Athletics were really important to her, and she played various sports despite the complete lack of respect she received as a female athlete. Molly was often encouraged to become a nurse instead of a doctor-even her father encouraged her to be a nurse. But Molly ignored them all and graduated with her medical degree. Even so, she went into pediatrics, since she believed no one would take her seriously as a surgeon. It was difficult to be taken seriously in her field for a while but eventually she established her own practice.
Of course she was there when Vanderbilt was a hotbed for Civil Rights ideology. James Lawson was expelled while Molly was attending. Molly strongly supported the Civil Rights Movement.
In the 1960s she participated in the march on Washington with Dr. King.
Molly never married or had any children. Later on, she supported the feminist cause, especially the movement to allow girls more access to sports in school. Molly spent some of her free time coaching a girl's swimming class-she especially liked helping girls who didn't like swimming underwater. Camping was always a passion of hers.
Molly never married or had any children and that never bothered her-she was an independent person who enjoyed making her own comfortable living and doing whatever she wanted, when she wanted. She always remained best friends with Linda and Susan. Linda went on to become a nurse; Susan went on to become a painter. They both married and Molly loved being an auntie to their children-she taught their daughters how to swim.
Emily never looked back when she returned home to England-she and Molly eventually lost contact. Remember that they weren't best friends-Emily was Molly's English friend.
England and London were very different from what Emily remembered. Many of the places she had loved were gone. Many of the people she had known were dead.
Emily also went to college (Oxford), but she went into politics when she graduated. She was inspired by the strength of Britain during WWII and she wanted to continue to emulate that strength. As a member of Commons, she supported the economic policies of Margaret Thatcher-she admired her for being a woman in the top political position. Once again, I don't write what I would have liked to happen-I write what I think might have happened. Emily believed that Thatcherism would solve the economic problems Britain was facing. Privatization was something she strongly supported. If you're unfamiliar with Thatcher, her policies are comparable to those of Reagan. Many supported her, just as many supported Reagan. However, Emily's support of Thatcher waned during the 1980s because of continuing high unemployment. However, the fight for the Falkland Islands with Argentina renewed Emily's support for the Prime Minister, and she supported her in her reelection fight in 1983. The dispute over the Falkland Islands is still ongoing. It seems that the people on the island want to be ruled by the UK, and the UK says they have a right to that under the UN Charter. Argentina disagrees.
Not saying I agreed with her politics but that is one hell of a quote!
Emily ended up marrying William, a boy who had also been sent away during WWII. They had two daughters, who they named Margaret and Elizabeth after the princesses.
Anyways, how did you feel about Molly? Emily?
Felicity and Elizabeth are next!


  1. She would have been the very rare female doctor at those times. Less than 5% of the MDs in the US were females at that time. And why Vanderbilt instead of Uof Illinois? Or Northwestern? Or WashU in SL? Not as much going far from home those days at all. If going with the chances, she would have stayed local.

    She;d have started at V in 1954 and missed the Lawson expulson as an undergrad, but if she went on to med school there (small odds going as a V ug to V med school student), she'd have been around when it happened. Not much political involvement with med students in my experience. The workload doesn't leave the time and a woman trying to do this would particularly challenged. I went to a school where those women pioneers finally breaking the single digit figures for female MDs were in the making, and it was a rough row. But I'm glad to see that you see Molly doing this, and she'd have better odds than most with a father as a MD. Never knew an MD swim coach and instructor without kids involved either in my time with US swimming, but as a single woman, no children, she would have the time. I go with you in Emily's time line. Love your stories!

  2. I just wanted to say Vanderbilt because I like the way the word sounds to be honest. Also because I wanted her there for the Lawson expulsion, and yes I did see that going on during her med school years.

    I realize that it was pretty unrealistic and that is possibly because my grasp of history is hazier as time goes on. It was much easier for me to write Samantha's story or Kirsten's story than it was for me to write Molly's. I knew that I wanted Molly to have a serious career and I knew that I wanted it to be in the medical field. I thought about going with nurse, but I wanted her to do a non-stereotypically female job since Molly was not, IMO, stereotypically female. Not that there is anything wrong with nurses, just that I wanted Molly to be more groundbreaking to keep up with the theme of girl empowerment that American Girl professes to support.

    My future depictions might not always be all roses and rainbows, but all of the girls end up doing something where they are active agents in their own lives. It would have been easy (and more realistic) for me to write Samantha as a house wife, for example, but I just couldn't. I wanted Sam involved in politics.

    I appreciate your input though-you seem to have a really firm grasp of the events in question, and it definitely will make me rethink some of my predictions!