Monday, July 18, 2011

Cinderella Ate My Daughter - Peggy Orenstein

After reading Orenstein's riveting views on women in the workplace, I wondered after Waiting for Daisy, how she would go about raising her own daughter. This book sort-of answers the question. In Cinderella Ate My Daughter, Orenstein explores the "princess" phenomenon - the concept that no matter how hard a parent may fight against it, their 3-year old child simply must have the latest Disney princess doll - and all the pink costumes it comes with. Orenstein challenges herself to overcome her own sterotypes about what it must mean to allow her daughter to dress in a tutu and play with Barbies. She looks at the marketing, and she explores nature vs. nuture arguments. In the end, she doesn't come up with many answers, just more questions about whether we, as parents, are doing more harm than good when we try to get girls to play with trucks and boys to bottle-feed their stuffed animals. But, since this is a subject area that I am fascinated with, I found the book quite enjoyable, and found myself repeating anecdotes to my husband and mother. Where our gendered identity comes from - and how we learn to feel comfortable in our own skin - is a question that is answered differently for each one of us. My hope is that by reading books like this one, and discussing them with our friends and partners, that we will raise children who feel unconstrained by streotype, and free to express themselves in the way they find best - and in a world that doesn't judge or ridicule them for doing so.

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