These Hilarious Comics Are Breaking Down Gender Norms

April 12th 2017

Anna Albaryan

Feminist Baby is here to smash the patriarchy.

Loryn Brantz, an Emmy-winning writer and illustrator at Buzzfeed, was shopping for a children's book to gift at her friend's baby shower. But she couldn't find anything related to feminism, and so the idea for Feminist Baby hit her — and she "literally ran home to write it." 

"Feminist Baby felt like it had been a long time coming," Brantz told ATTN:. "From as far back as I can remember, I’ve been trying think of a children’s story I could tell that would positively impact the world."

An image from Loryn Brantz's latest book, Feminist Baby

As Brantz waited for her children's book to get published, she started to create comics that featured Feminist Baby "in a different, more 'adult' format," she said — smashing the patriarchy and breaking gender stereotypes in scenarios that grown-ups could learn from, too.

Feminist Baby's parents are included in one comic that addresses gender fluidity and transgender rights.

Feminist Baby Comics by Loryn Brantz

More and more research shows gender is non-binary and that, while there are biological determinations of sex, there is something called "gender expression" that doesn't adhere to the stereotypical gender norms set forth by society.

In this "woke" gender reveal party, the purple balloon (a mix of blue and pink) leaves it up to the child to determine which gender they'll identify with in the future. 

ATTN: spoke to Brantz about her work and how Feminist Baby has changed.

ATTN: How did this branch out into comics for adults?

Loryn Brantz: I made the comics during the slow, agonizing process of waiting for the book to come out. I missed drawing her, and I also felt as though there was another more radical side to her that I wanted to express in a different, more “adult” format. I actually do a regular comic series for adults and it was a natural fit.

Feminist Baby Comics by Loryn Brantz

Feminist Baby Comics by Loryn Brantz

ATTN: Do you model this character under anyone in particular?

LB: I don't! She kind of came to me as she is. She does remind me of my niece, though.

Feminist Baby Comics by Loryn Brantz

Feminist Baby Comics by Loryn Brantz

ATTN: Is it more important to send this message to young minds or the adults who mold them?

LB: For the adults, I think, rather than them gaining anything from the book — it's very basic — it at least sends the message that you can introduce these concepts and words to children early on and have it be a part of their lives from day one. As for the babies, I think of it as a way to expose them to the word and familiarize them to it. I'd like to think that if a child loves Feminist Baby, it will help them have a positive association with feminism later on in life.

Feminist Baby Comics by Loryn Brantz

ATTN: We love Feminist Baby, but will we see other feminist babies in the future? Maybe some babies of color?

LB: Thank you! And yes, I hope so — to all of that! Whether it gets published or it's just me handing out pamphlets in the park is yet to be determined, but hopefully it will be published.

Feminist Baby Comics by Loryn Brantz

ATTN: How often do you think about Feminist Baby? Do you ever watch the news and think of how she would react to something being broadcasted?

LB: I think about her pretty much all day, every day. I think she's very tough, and smart, and would handle the news really well — probably better than me. She would just continue to resist and organize. Nothing scares Feminist Baby. I aspire to be more like her.

Feminist Baby Comics by Loryn Brantz

Feminist Baby Comics by Loryn Brantz

Loryn Brantz's book, Feminist Baby, is available for purchase at Amazon, and you can find more of her illustrations and comics at her webiste.