Skip to main content

Cinderella Ate My Daughter by Peggy Orenstein

I picked up this book because I have a daughter.  My son also goes to school with daughters - some of whom are totally going through the princess phase. Some women think it's "just a phase" by Orenstein wholeheartedly disagrees and this book is her argument as to why it isn't just a phase and why it can hurt more than help. Orenstein does this by looking at things like the little girl beauty pagents to sexting and other online communiques by girls.  She also looks at the Disney Princesses and fairy tales and what that means to our daughters as well.

I think that this is an important book, albeit a flawed and limited one. it would work wonders, perhaps, for the white mother of privilege that has a white daughter at home but it wouldn't translate well to multiracial or children of color or to people that aren't so well off. Aside from a very brief discussion of Disney's recent The Princess and the Frog, there isn't any other discussion about race and gender and how they intersect (and we all know that they do - just think about how Asian or Black women may be more eroticized because they are seen as "exotic" or how the push to be more "white" impacts them). I also don't like how Orenstein tried to hide the Disney stuff from her daughter (who I think is Asian - she's adopted - which is interesting considering how limited the discussion about race and gender are).  I mean, why not just take it head on with your child? The one thing that I have learned from being a parent is that children are smarter than we give them credit for and they don't live in a void. They are constantly watching everything and everyone around them and it's the very rare instance where a toddler, pre-schooler or kindergartner, let a lone an elementary scool kid misses something. This stuff is ripe fodder for discussion!  Take the bull by the horns and deal with it!

An important book but take it with a grain of salt - I was so much more hopeful and was disappointed in the results.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

In Memoriam

One of my most favorite bookish podcasts, Books on the Nightstand, has ended its tremendously successful run.  It has been around seemingly forever and was one of my staples in book recommendations. It will be sorely missed and leaves a space in my podcast listening zone that I'm striving to fill.  While I understand that the podcast em-cees, Michael and Anne, have their own lives that they probably want to continue with (and podcasting takes a lot of time, particularly when you're as popular as they are and, for example, as popular as the Manic Mommies are/were), they will be sorely missed.  However you can find them on both Goodreads and on Twitter.

In anticipation of their ultimate decision to end the podcast, I found a number of other really awesome podcasts to fill the void, some of which are bookish and some of which aren't.  For your listening pleasure:


BookRiot - more of a news in the publishing industry podcast but still pretty awesome;All the Books - a weekly po…

Missoula by Jon Krakauer

You may recognize the author's name - Krakauer is perhaps most famous for the book Into the Wild about a young man that goes to Alaska (and which was made into a movie).  I enjoyed that book and when I heard on a podcast that I listen to that Krakuer had written a new book, I decided to get it and read it.  In this book, which is non fiction - he focuses on the University of Montana, the local police department and at the local prosecutor's office and analyzes their job performances through the eyes of five young women who were sexually assaulted. During this same period, the Department of Justice investigated how those same parties handled 80 rape cases and that investigation yielded dismaying results. In one instance, a detective re assured a male suspect during an interrogation that she didn't believe he committed a rape (despite evidence to the contrary) because they got a lot of false accusations. Similarly, the Chief of Police (!!!) sent an article to a victim citin…

City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin

I was hesitant to pick up Justin Cronin's trilogy, which began with The Passage, because I was vampired out.  But it's different. It combines science fiction and westerns and spans about 1500 pages and 1000 years and generations, upon generations of people.  It's dystopian and hopeful all at the same time! The vampires don't sparkle, thankfully, and the story isn't just told in prose - it's told via letters, journals, scientific journals, flashback, the whole nine yards.
As the book opens, we find our beloved characters in a time of peace and relative prosperity.  There have been no viral attacks for twenty years. The main characters are all struggling with something that has broken them and they each struggle. And there was also Zero, the ultimate bad guy, that wants his say and his ultimate revenge. This book is wonderful in the sense that it is Cronin at his absolute best - he is a storyteller on par with perhaps the best of the fantasy writers - of any w…