Like any politician, there was a certain 'spin' about the book and it's examples. I was first cautious when the book mentions that little girls can't do all the things they need to do in dresses. God forbid we allow our girls to enjoy clothing or fashion--a theme that starts early and goes throughout the book. My girls all love dresses, and I often find myself trying to get them to wear something else. But, it never keeps them from doing the things they want to do.
And while the book talks about the terrible choices of clothing available in retail for teens and girls, it never once encourages girls to get into the fashion industry and make a change for the better. Nope, better to steer all girls into math and science, and sports--although not cheerleading! Anything but watch a girl be in a supportive or nurturing role.
I also found the section on "What Girls Read" to be a bit sad. There was a lot of space
The final blow for me was their ridicule of Home Economics. Why learn to sew when we buy our clothes and cook dinner from a box?? Take that, consumerism! There was a lot of talk in the book about encouraging girls in sports, but while I played two division I sports in college (while majoring in Behavioral Neuroscience), I haven't played competitively in over 10 years (and I hated working in a lab). I've had to feed and clothe myself and my growing family every single day. As I've gotten older I found it to be so very, very sad that there wasn't a better Home Ec. program in my high school.
(Here's me sewing together one of the very, very special dolls I had made for my girls from an Etsy site...a doll which was found--and played with--by the dog. Oh, sad, sad day. I certainly wish I could have mended it better.)
Learning to sew & cook are just smart skills to have--as are woodworking & automotive care. Whether you are man or woman, at home or with a career, you can only benefit from these skills. You can benefit from a sense of fashion or design or decorating as well as sports and math and science. We ought to be proud, as women, to be nurtures, to raise babies into contributing members of society, as well as being doctors and lawyers. The fact that we allow some of our skills to be thrown into those stereotypes of being a female, and allow our society to make those skills negative or weak, is absurd to me. Feminism is not about making certain choices, it is about women being free to chose from it all.
Be proud to be a woman. I am. Hear me roar!
Embrace the camera today!