5 Things I Learned About Women from Chick Tracts

Never heard of Chick tracts? When I was growing up in the South, these little single-comic-strip-sized flipbooks, written by a gentleman named Jack Chick, were often left in public places like libraries, bathrooms, and restaurants. The tracts are all stories about people whose lives suck in some way but are magically rescued by becoming a very particular sort of evangelical Christian. You can view some of the tracts here, or just let me summarize for you:

  • You must die as a martyr – preferably while swooning. Even though trick-or-treating is evil and pagan, if a little girl who is dying of an unnamed illness goes trick-or-treating, she will stumble upon the house of someone who will witness to her and “save” her. Then she will “save” her family members just before dying in the only way a woman should die – as a martyr.
  • Any woman – or man – who is addicted to drugs just needs a helpful fairy godmother who will pray for them to get off said drugs. Rehab is for people who just don’t believe in God hard enough. Also, the addict only became a drug addict in the first place because her mother died (and, as the narrator helpfully notes, in hell) and her father is – gasp! – an executive.
  • The only good woman is an old woman. If you are a young woman, particularly the evil kind who likes to go to parties, Satan will personally arrange for you to go to Mardi Gras and get raped or die just to get back at your grandmother for being a Christian. I mean, I kind of want to commend this guy for not hating on the older ladies, but they shouldn’t all have to become pearl-clutching old bags just for Jack Chick to approve of them.
  • Jesus will solve your daddy issues for you. By being your daddy! And your grandpa’s daddy! And everybody’s daddy! Woooooooo Jesusdaddy!
  • It’s OK to be black. In fact, Jack Chick has some tracts that are labeled “Adapted for black audiences.” In case you were wondering, the strip is exactly the same as the other ones, just with black people in it.
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    • Jen Dziura

      I must discuss this. When I was in college, someone mailed Chick Tracts to campus leaders, including the head of Hillel and the head of the LGBT organization. The anti-Jewish one was about a young Jewish boy who realizes that his kindly old grandfather-rabbi is going to hell. The anti-gay one was about two gay men at a rally discussing how they’re going to deliberately infect the nation’s blood supply with HIV. Then a Christian starts talking to them, and the pamphlet flashbacks to the Bible. There is then featured an illustration of Sodom (a desert town with huts everywhere) that features modern-day S&M biker-types (studded collars, assless chaps) looking menacingly at a wide-eyed toddler.

      So, it gets so much worse than the old-lady preference above. So much worse.


    • Jen Dziura

      Oh, and my college responded by calling this a hate crime, and there was a rally! (We could have one too!)

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