Friday, February 26, 2016

The Important Thing About Being a Girl

This may be the most conversation that we have about girls and sex. It has been a rough go reading this book only because I lived through so many of the scenarios depicted in this book. I can stand with conviction and tell you that i will definitely have different conversations not only with my daughter, but also with my son as a result of this book. The prolific use of technology and devices as a means to humiliate and pigeon-hole girls into categories that rank them based on their beauty and worth is not only disturbing but tragic. This book "offers a clear-eyed picture of the new sexual landscape girls face in the post-princess stage—high school through college—and reveals how they are negotiating it. A generation gap has emerged between parents and their girls. Even in this age of helicopter parenting, the mothers and fathers of tomorrow’s women have little idea what their daughters are up to sexually or how they feel about it." This is the part where we, as parents, come in to the picture. Ignoring or turning our backs tot he needs of our children does not mean they are not engaging in sexual acts, and (gasp!) posting about it, but that they are more than likely doing it behind your back. So much has changed in the landscape of parenting, and I am struggling to keep up. But I'll be damned if my children grow up not understanding the implications that the choices they make have on them, their peers, and their futures. "Drawing on in-depth interviews with over seventy young women and a wide range of psychologists, academics, and experts, renowned journalist Peggy Orenstein goes where most others fear to tread, pulling back the curtain on the hidden truths, hard lessons, and important possibilities of girls’ sex lives in the modern world." The frustrations I felt while reading this book were reminiscent of those that I felt while reading Missoula by Jon Kraukauer. It is just maddening to me how little progress we have made with regard to equality of treatment of boys and girls with regard to sexuality and objective treatment of girls.  
"While the media has focused—often to sensational effect—on the rise of casual sex and the prevalence of rape on campus, in Girls and Sex Peggy Orenstein brings much more to the table. She examines the ways in which porn and all its sexual myths have seeped into young people’s lives; what it means to be the “the perfect slut” and why many girls scorn virginity; the complicated terrain of hookup culture and the unfortunate realities surrounding assault. In Orenstein’s hands these issues are never reduced to simplistic “truths;” rather, her powerful reporting opens up a dialogue on a potent, often silent, subtext of American life today—giving readers comprehensive and in-depth information with which to understand, and navigate, this complicated new world. " A worthy, important and worthwhile read.

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