Why are the police, a mob, and even bulldogs chasing a guy just for wearing a woman's hat? This is part of one of Winsor McCay's Dream of the Rarebit Fiend cartoons, which ran in William Randolph Hearst's chain of newspapers starting in 1905. McCay's Rarebit cartoons always had the same premise--somebody eats too much "rarebit," a rich, cheesy dish, and then has nightmares. Often these nightmares were about body transformation. People grow or shrink, they change gender, they fall apart or forget to wear pants or become irresitable or repellant to others. Like the documents in the short paper assignment, this cartoon shows a remarkable degree of anxiety, hostility and fascination with whether or not the difference between men and women was stable.

From Winsor McCay, Dream of the Rarebit Fiend(NY 1973) p. 60