All-pink aisles in toy stores, popular dolls that resemble pole dancers, ultrasexy Halloween costumes in tween sizes. Many parents are increasingly startled and unnerved at how today’s media, marketers, and manufacturers are sexualizing and stereotyping ever-younger girls, but feel powerless to do much about it. Mother of two Melissa Wardy channeled her feelings of isolation and frustration into activism—creating a website to sell T-shirts with girl-positive messages; blogging and swapping parenting strategies with families around the world; writing letters to corporate offenders; organizing petitions; and raising awareness through parent workshops and social media. Wardy has spearheaded campaigns against national brands and retailers that resulted in the removal of sexist, offensive ads and products. Now, in Redefining Girly, she shares her parenting and activism strategies with other families concerned about raising a confident and healthy girl in today’s climate. Wardy provides specific advice and sample conversations for getting family, friends, educators, and health care providers on your side; getting kids to think critically about sexed-up toys and clothes; talking to girls about body image; and much more. She provides tips for creating a home full of diverse, inspiring toys and media free of gender stereotypes; using your voice and consumer power to fight the companies making major missteps; and taking the reins to limit, challenge, and change harmful media and products.
Melissa Wardy is the founder of Pigtail Pals & Ballcap Buddies, a website selling empowering and inspirational children’s apparel and products, and Redefine Girly, a blog surrounding the issue of the sexualization of girls. Wardy and her work have been featured
The advances of the women’s movement allow women to grow up with a sense of expanded possibilities. Yet traditional expectations have hardly changed. To discover how they are navigating this double burden personally and professionally, Orenstein interviewed hundreds of women and has blended their voices into a compelling narrative that gets deep inside their lives and choices. With unusual sensitivity, Orenstein offers insight and inspiration for every woman who is making important decisions of her own.
When Peggy Orenstein's now-classic examination of young girls and self-esteem was first published, it set off a groundswell that continues to this day. Inspired by an American Association of University Women survey that showed a steep decline in confidence as girls reach adolescence, Orenstein set out to explore the obstacles girls face--in school, in the hoime, and in our culture.
For this intimate, girls' eye view of the world, Orenstein spent months observing and interviewing eighth-graders from two ethnically disparate communities, seeking to discover what was causing girls to fall into traditional patterns of self-censorship and self-doubt. By taking us into the lives of real young women who are struggling with eating disorders, sexual harrassment, and declining academic achievement, Orenstein brings the disturbing statistics to life with the skill and flair of an experienced journalist. Uncovering the adolescent roots of issues that remain important to American women throughout their lives, this groundbreaking book challenges us to change the way we raise and educate girls.
Named one of the “40 women who changed the media business in the last 40 years” by Columbia Journalism Review, Peggy Orenstein is one of the most prominent, unflinching feminist voices of our time. Her writing has broken ground and broken silences on topics as wide-ranging as miscarriage, motherhood, breast cancer, princess culture and the importance of girls’ sexual pleasure. Her unique blend of investigative reporting, personal revelation and unexpected humor has made her books bestselling classics.
In Don’t Call Me Princess, Orenstein’s most resonant and important essays are available for the first time in collected form, updated with both an original introduction and personal reflections on each piece. Her takes on reproductive justice, the infertility industry, tensions between working and stay-at-home moms, pink ribbon fear-mongering and the complications of girl culture are not merely timeless—they have, like Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, become more urgent in our contemporary political climate.
Don’t Call Me Princess offers a crucial evaluation of where we stand today as women—in our work lives, sex lives, as mothers, as partners—illuminating both how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go.