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Rowena's Reviews

My true loves: Wilkie Collins, Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Anais Nin, George Eliot, James Joyce, James Baldwin, George Orwell, Oscar Wilde, bell hooks, Chinua Achebe, Langston Hughes, William Shakespeare... I'm falling for : Italo Calvino, Toni Morrison, Frantz Fanon, Wole Soyinka, Ralph Ellison, Zora Neale Hurston, Albert Camus, Margaret Atwood, Somerset Maugham, Junot Diaz, A.S. Byatt... And the lists continue to grow! I will read almost anything, as long as it's well-written. I always love to expand my reading horizons.

Currently reading

Edward W. Said
Infinite Jest
David Foster Wallace
Finnegans Wake (Trade Paperback)
James Joyce
Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture - Peggy Orenstein "We simply gave girls what they wanted." – Andy Mooney (Former Chairman of Disney Consumer Products)

This was a very insightful and interesting read, it was a very disturbing one as well. This book came about due to the fact that Orenstein gave birth to a baby girl and, as a result, a lot of things were on her mind about how she was going to raise a well-rounded girl, one who wasn’t obsessed with the (terrifying) princess culture and had a healthy self-esteem.

I don’t have any children but I do have a 3 year old niece and younger female cousins. Looking for toys to buy them has always been a chore. First of all, I have to be sensitive about finding dolls that resemble them (self-esteem reasons) secondly I have to find dolls that aren’t hypersexualized- it’s harder than it sounds.

Some interesting questions raised in the book are:

- Why do girls feel the need to be pretty all the time?

- Do sex-specific toys serve to heighten the differences between boys and girls, what are the repercussions of this?

- Why are young girls and adult women wearing the same clothes (fashion-wise)?

- “Women. Beauty. Power. Body. The ideas and images remain so muddled, so contradictory; how to disentangle them for our girls?”

I was disturbed by several things in this book. Firstly, the baby beauty pageants turned my stomach. Secondly, the selection of hypersexualized dolls that are out there is just frightening. Thirdly, cyberbullying.

The main message I got from this book: kids have a LOT to deal with in this day and age, girls in particular. This is a very stressful time to be a kid.

I feel that everyone with young daughters should read this one.