Where Has My Little Girl Gone?
Charlene Moore // 9 June 2011
Alexandra Roumbas Goldstein questions a book which places the responsibility of counteracting the dangers of sexual imagery firmly on the shoulders of young girls and women
“Padded bras for seven-year-olds, dolls dressed in high heels and pole dancing kits for kids” runs the blurb across the back. Enough to unsettle most feminists, especially a parent. And certainly we can’t possibly have anything to challenge from a book that’s all about teaching girls to question commercially-driven models of sexuality and helps them to become independent, confident women – can we?
Alas, it’s not that simple. Tanith Carey’s Where Has My Little Girl Gone? is a sadly conflicting publication, which tumbles together panicky accounts of tabloid-fodder ‘sexualisation’ stories with actually rather sound practical guides for raising healthy children with good self-esteem. The result is something that strays uncomfortably into both labelling girls as victims and victim-blaming territory.
Ultimately the existence of such a book seems to reinforce the system rather than shatter it.