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Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from…

Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New… (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Peggy Orenstein

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5253319,248 (3.73)26
Title:Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture
Authors:Peggy Orenstein
Info:Harper (2011), Hardcover, 256 pages
Collections:Read - Women and Womanhood
Tags:non-fiction, women, girls, gender roles, parenting

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Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture by Peggy Orenstein (2011)


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Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
This book on the "pink" wars and the trend toward princess culture in childhood, as well as gender based expectations is not a sermon or a lecture; it is a conversation. The author has an easy style, interlaced with a lot of humor, and the personal anecdotes, while not presented as evidence, help add a personal touch. In fact, it is usually the events with her own daughter (the anecdotes) that act as the stimulus to research more completely. The author does not dismiss the reality of gender differences, but she tries to demonstrate the affect that emphasizing the differences creates in young women, and the pervasiveness of messages that girls are supposed to be "hot" or "sexy". The most horrifying chapter was probably the one on beauty pageants for little girls, though the author goes out of her way not to condemn the parents (perhaps bending over a bit too far at times). A must-read for anyone who interacts with females of any age. ( )
  quantum_flapdoodle | Aug 29, 2014 |
I found this book really depressing, which is not to say it is not good nor that it is not worth reading. It's just hard to be reminded that so much effort put into social change by so many people for so many years can be undone in a flash by clever marketers.

This book is a bit of an upper-middle-class feminist book, as the time and effort to worry about these issues is a consequence of privilege. Unfortunately that makes it even more depressing - if a sincere, honest , upper-middle-class mom can't manage to derail the marketing forces that treat girls as objects and encourage them to think of themselves as having value only in how men perceive them, how is someone who has to work two jobs to keep the kids fed going to manage?

The author has some suggestions, but truthfully, unrestrained capitalism and massive marketing to children of stereotyped gender roles simply to make more money are factors that are really difficult to combat on an individual level.

If there is one lesson I came away with from this book, it is that we have farther to go than I had hoped and that we cannot step back from the struggle to ensure women are perceived as human beings just as men are.

Worth reading. ( )
  Helcura | Jun 17, 2014 |
This is an important book. It makes feminism (a term which the author, cleverly, uses as little as possible) accessible to mainstream moms and attempts to instill the importance that feminism still has, even to our children today.

You don't have to agree with all of her assertions, at time she gets pretty preachy. But I think that regardless, this is an accessible book for all parents of female children and the ultimate moral of the story is the great evil is not pink, princesses, or high-heel shoes, the underlying evil is rampant, voracious mainstream consumerism turning our daughter's innocence and sexuality into a commodity.

Worth the read.

Note: Last 30% of the book is bibliography, so it's an even quicker read than it looks. ( )
1 vote steadfastreader | Mar 18, 2014 |
I'm sorry, Peggy, but this book is too drenched in your own fears, worries, and prejudices (Did you have to link Britney Spears's possible diagnosis as bipolar to her media statements about her sexuality? Do you have ANY compassion for the mentally ill? Thought not.)

I have to close with my standard advice. Raise your daughter to adulthood, then write a book about the struggle. If you've only made it to elementary school, you're still in the minor leagues. ( )
  marti.booker | Dec 2, 2013 |
I regret that I can't really give a coherent review of this book, because I read it in fits and starts over a period of about two years. But I don't remember having many real issues with it, and I do have a general sense of gaining some insight through Orenstein's quest for her own understanding. So I'm going to say it was good and, with some regret about the vagueness, leave it at that. ( )
  spoko | Nov 14, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
Orenstein skillfully integrates extensive research that demonstrates the pitfalls of "the girlie-girl culture's emphasis on beauty and play-sexiness," which can increase girls' vulnerability to depression, distorted body images and eating disorders, and sexual risks. It's the personal anecdotes, though, which are delivered with wry, self-deprecating, highly quotable humor, that offer the greatest invitation to parents to consider their daughters' worlds and how they can help to shape a healthier, soul-nurturing environment
added by sduff222 | editBooklist, Gillian Engberg (Jan 1, 2011)
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Here is my dirty little secret: as a journalist, I have spent nearly two decades writing about girls, thinking about girls, talking about how girls should be raised.
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The author explores her own conflicting feelings as a mother as she protects her offspring and probes the roots and tendrils of the girlie-girl movement and concludes that parents who think through their values early on and set reasonable limits, encourage dialogue and skepticism, and are canny about the consumer culture can combat the 24/7 "media machine" aimed at girls and hold off the focus on beauty, materialism, and the color pink somewhat.… (more)

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