Where Has My Little Girl Gone?

// 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

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“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.

Click here to read the rest of the review and comment

Comments From You

India // Posted 12 June 2011 at 7:53 pm

You criticise the author for writing a book called: “Where Has My Little Girl Gone?” because it deals with girls.

So why don’t you criticise Feminism for containing the word feminine and mainly addressing the needs of females?

Feminism exists because it’s women who need it most of all.

This book would have been written because, at the moment, it’s girls who need it most of all.

I really would have expected a more balanced review from the F-word – especially as a large part of the book asks parents to look at their own values and those they are passing on to their daughters.

Yes, it does asks parents to look at their responsibilities – that’s not the same as blame.

You also seem to have omitted the fact that the book looks at how parents can teach their children to question values they see around them – and make their own minds up.

On that basis, I would say this review is selective in the extreme – mainly in the interests of supporting the reviewer’s theories that sexualisation doesn’t exist.

A sadly missed opportunity…

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