Reading About Raising Girls

I just read some commentary about a book called “Girl Land”.  The author worries about how our current culture subjects young women to sex and exhibitionism. She seems to want to protect young women by curtailing their use of the internet and it’s social media outlets.  It’s an interesting idea but I’m afraid it’s too late to close the lid on the internet.  Our Pandora’s have already opened the box!

I listened to an interview with the author Caitlin Flanagan over at WBUR.  Now I haven’t read her book, but I did listen to a 45 minute program about her talking about her book and I’m afraid I didn’t hear anything new.  She’s worried about young women.  She’s worried about their knowledge about sex. She’s worried about their “hookups”.  She’s worried that they are sharing their bodies and not keeping them private when  she feels that what boys want most is what girls revere the most…and if we don’t teach young women to revere themselves then they are bound to give themselves away too cheaply.  She’s saying a lot that I’ve heard already.

But what makes books like hers, or interviews like hers catchy is that there are people like me who are searching for talismans to keep our daughters safe.  I mean who would even buy a book that suggests we keep boys away from the internet because it’s teaching them to expect results in seconds.   Or who is worried about boys when it comes to how they’ll handle displaying their photos on social media sites  because we don’t want their future workplaces to see them holding a beer in a bar?

It’s not the same is it?

We have to first come to terms with the sad fact that we don’t have neat packages for what it is to be a girl anymore!  If you look up girls and Pottstown online you’ll find a lot about sports!  You’ll also find a lot about hot dating.  Isn’t that sad?  If girls google what it is to be a girl they’ll find the most popular girls are either amazons or whores.

But you know what?  Maybe I’ll take a bigger view.  Maybe my results are just skewed by my own personal google algorithm.

I want to help my children be healthy and strong and I want them to shine!  Back to the story of Pandora…remember she let out all the vices and virtues before she closed the lid on one…that one was Hope. Maybe someday the internet will reflect the healthy young women that we see in the world!  I’ll hang onto that Hope!




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