Friday, April 22, 2011

Is Cinderella really eating my daughter?

The short answer, for me, is "not yet." Although, earlier this week Daugther brought me two of the finger puppets we got both kids for Christmas (pirates/unicorns/fairies/princesses. Thank you, World Market) and wanted to play. She had the princess and gave me the fairy. She told me the princess was named "Princess." But she told me that the fairy was really named "Rapunzel" because she had long hair. Then she said, " I will say 'Rapunzel, Rapunzel let down your hair. And then we'll go play at the park." Super Why! (sigh) that's how my Daughter knows about fairy tales. I try to steer Daughter away from stories about helpless princesses being rescued by handsome princes. I'd rather she build towers out of blocks, even if she is wearing all pink to do it!

Anyway, back to the book. I heard about it on npr, and in her interview Peggy Orenstein, the author, sounded a lot like Ayelet Waldman, who I REALLY like so I decided to read the book. (It turns out Ayelet actually wrote a blurb for the back cover)

Husband checked it out from the library and that was the only thing I didn't like about it. I wanted my own copy so I could underline and highlight and write in the margins.

This is a quote from the book that sums up almost perfectly my feelings on the matter: "Mothers want so desperately to guide their daughters to an authentic, unconflicted balance of feminism and femininity, on that will sustain rather than constrain them."

I could go on and on about my ideas on the subject and yada yada yada, but I'll spare you. Maybe we'll talk over coffee soon. I recommend the book. I don't know how much a non-parent will enjoy/get out of the book, but I have a friend who doesn't have children but is a teacher and she really enjoyed it. It's definitely a lot of food for thought and at the very least will spark a conversation.

Raising a daughter is hard. But, really, so is raising a son.


Mandy Mc said...

As you know, I love, love, love this book. My copy has those little sticky flags marking passages all the way through it. I plan to use SOMETHING from this book in my dissertation. It was so rich (and yet so readable!).

laurensmommy said...

I will have to see if my library has a copy of this. I have heard a lot of buzz about it. Lauren is all about the princesses these days and currently, I'm ok with it. At first, I was a little upset, but then I realized that if she likes princesses (as well as cars and blocks...) who am I to tell her that she can't? :)

Christy Ross said...

I agree, Sarah. I was a little bothered when she started the pink pink pink thing. But I've just let it go because I don't want her to think there's something wrong with her just for choosing a very gender identifying color.

The book discusses that too. How there's always the possibility that all the princess downplay will make your daughter think "girl toys" and likes are bad or inferior to "boy toys" It really is an interesting read.