Stupid Girls

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Saving Our Daughters From An Army Of Princesses

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 nope: girls only go through a "princess phase" if encouraged into it. Boys like bright colors, sparkles and fluffy things, too, at that age, but are given guns and fooballs

Saving Our Daughters From An Army Of Princesses

Excerpt: 'Cinderella Ate My Daughter'

Cinderella Ate My Daughter
Cinderella Ate My Daughter
By Peggy Orenstein
Hardcover, 256 pages
List Price: $25.99
Why I Hoped for a Boy

Here is my dirty little secret: as a journalist, I have spent nearly two decades writing about girls, thinking about girls, talking about how girls should be raised. Yet, when I finally got pregnant myself, I was terrified at the thought of having a daughter. While my friends, especially those who'd already had sons, braced themselves against disappointment should the delivery room doc announce, "It's a boy," I felt like the perpetual backseat driver who freezes when handed the wheel. I was supposed to be an expert on girls' behavior. I had spouted off about it everywhere from The New York Times to the Los Angeles Times, from the Today show to FOX TV. I had been on NPR repeatedly. And that was the problem: What if, after all that, I was not up to the challenge myself? What if I couldn't raise the ideal daughter? With a boy, I figured, I would be off the hook.
And truly, I thought having a son was a done deal. A few years before my daughter was born, I had read about some British guy who'd discovered that two-thirds of couples in which the husband was five or more years older than the wife had a boy as their first child. Bingo. My husband, Steven, is nearly a decade older than I am. So clearly I was covered.
Then I saw the incontrovertible proof on the sonogram (or what they said was incontrovertible proof; to me, it looked indistinguishable from, say, a nose) and I suddenly realized I had wanted a girl — desperately, passionately — all along. I had just been afraid to admit it. But I still fretted over how I would raise her, what kind of role model I would be, whether I would take my own smugly written advice on the complexities surrounding girls' beauty, body image, education, achievement. Would I embrace frilly dresses or ban Barbies? Push soccer cleats or tutus? Shopping for her layette, I grumbled over the relentless color coding of babies. Who cared whether the crib sheets were pink or glen plaid? During those months, I must have started a million sentences with "My daughter will never…"