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"Intimate" Violence against Women3 NBS of Julian DrewA Little PregnantA Natural History of RapeA Parent's Guide to Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning AutismA Stir of BonesAbout a BoyAdult Children of Emotionally Immature ParentsAlmost a PsychopathAlone TogetherAnatomy of LoveAngelsAnother CountryAnxious ParentsApples and OrangesBe Honest--You're Not That Into Him EitherBeing the Other OneBetrayed as BoysBeyond AddictionBipolar DisorderBoys Will Put You on a Pedestal (So They Can Look Up Your Skirt)Breaking ApartBrief Adolescent Therapy Homework PlannerBringing Up ParentsBut I Love HimCaring for a Child with AutismCaring in Remembered WaysCherishmentChildren of the Aging Self-AbsorbedChildren of the Self-AbsorbedChildren, Families, and Health Care Decision MakingClawsCloserCold HitCoping With Difficult PeopleCouple SkillsCruddyDancing in My NuddypantsDivorce PoisonDoing ItDone With The CryingEcstasyEmotional ClaustrophobiaEmotional Fitness for IntimacyEmotional Intelligence at WorkEntwined LivesErotic PassionsEssentials of Premarital CounselingEvery Pot Has a CoverFacts About ADHD ChildrenFamilies Like MineFamilyFamily BoundFamily FirstFear of IntimacyFinal JeopardyFind MeFlashpointFor Lesbian ParentsForgive Your Parents, Heal YourselfGandhi's WayGeorgia Under WaterGetting over Getting MadGetting the Love You WantGetting the Love You Want Audio CompanionGirl in the MirrorGirl StuffGoing Home without Going CrazyHandbook of AttachmentHandbook of Counseling and Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual ClientsHappiness Sold SeparatelyHard to GetHe's Just Not That Into YouHealing ConversationsHollow KidsHot ButtonsHot Chocolate for the Mystical LoverHow Families Still MatterHow to Create Chemistry with AnyoneHow to Give Her Absolute PleasureHow to Handle a Hard-To-Handle KidHow to Keep Your Teenager Out of Trouble and What to Do If You Can'tI am Not Sick I Don't Need Help!I Don't Know How She Does ItI Hate You-Don't Leave MeI Only Say This Because I Love YouI'm OK, You're My ParentsIn the Mood, AgainInside the American CoupleIntrusive ParentingIt's Called a Breakup Because It's BrokenIt's Love We Don't UnderstandJakarta MissingKeeping Passion AliveKeeping Your Child in MindLet's Get This StraightLiberation's ChildrenLife's WorkLikely to DieLove JunkieLove SickLove Times ThreeLove Works Like ThisLoving Someone With Bipolar DisorderLoving Someone with Borderline Personality DisorderLust in TranslationMaking the RunMaking the RunManic DepressionMars and Venus - Starting Over.Mating in CaptivityMom, Dad, I'm Gay.MotherstylesMurder in the InnMysterious CreaturesNecessary NoiseOdd Girl OutOpenOpening to Love 365 Days a YearOphelia's MomOrgasmsOur Journey Through High Functioning Autism and Asperger SyndromeOut of the DustParenting and the Child's WorldParenting on the GoParenting Your Out-Of-Control TeenagerParents and Digital TechnologyParents Do Make a DifferencePassionate MarriagePlanet JanetPreventing Misbehavior in ChildrenProblem Child or Quirky Kid?Raising AmericaRaising ElijahRaising Kids in an Age of TerrorRaising Kids in the 21st CenturyRaising Resilient ChildrenRay's a LaughRelationship RescueRespect-Me RulesRomantic IntelligenceRoom For JSecrets of a Passionate MarriageSelf-NurtureSelfish, Shallow, and Self-AbsorbedSex Addiction: The Partner's PerspectiveShidduch CrisisSickenedSingleSlut!Socrates in LoveSomeone Like YouSong for EloiseSpecial SiblingsSpiritually Healing the Indigo Children (and Adult Indigos, Too!)Staying Connected to Your TeenagerStaying Sane When Your Family Comes to VisitStop Arguing with Your KidsStop SignsStop Walking on EggshellsStop Walking on EggshellsStrong, Smart, & BoldSummer of the SkunksSurviving a Borderline ParentTaking Charge of AngerTelling SecretsThank You for Being Such a PainThe Anti-Romantic ChildThe AwakeningThe Bastard on the Couch CDThe Birth of PleasureThe Brief Couples Therapy Homework Planner with DiskThe Bully Action GuideThe Burden of SympathyThe Commercialization of Intimate LifeThe CorrectionsThe Couples Psychotherapy Treatment PlannerThe DisappearanceThe Dream BearerThe Educated ParentThe Emotional RevolutionThe Employee Assistance Treatment PlannerThe EpidemicThe Ethics of ParenthoodThe Ethics of the FamilyThe Gay Baby BoomThe Good DivorceThe Guide for International Intercultural Couples and Families Intercultural MarriageThe Healing Journey for CouplesThe Hostile HospitalThe Husbands and Wives ClubThe Inside Story on Teen GirlsThe Introvert AdvantageThe Little FriendThe Love HexagonThe Moral Intelligence of ChildrenThe Neuroscience of Human RelationshipsThe New I DoThe Normal OneThe Nurture AssumptionThe OASIS Guide to Asperger SyndromeThe Other ParentThe Psychology of Parental ControlThe Real Rules for GirlsThe Reflective ParentThe Right to Be ParentsThe Secret Lives of WivesThe Spider and the BeeThe StepsThe Story of My FatherThe Velveteen FatherThe Virgin BlueThe Visitation HandbookThe Whole ChildTo Have and To Hurt:Two Is EnoughUnderstanding MarriageUnderstanding the Borderline MotherUnhitchedUp in FlamesWe've Got IssuesWhat about the KidsWhat Goes UpWhat Is Secular Humanism?What It Means to Love YouWhat Our Children Teach UsWhen a Parent is DepressedWhen Mars Women DateWhen Someone You Love Is BipolarWhen Someone You Love Is DepressedWhy Are You So Sad?Will You, Won't You?WomanWorking With Emotional IntelligenceWorried All the TimeYes, Your Teen Is Crazy!
Strong, Smart & Bold is
a production by Girls Inc., which refers to itself on the book jacket as the
leading empowerment organization for girls.
Girls Inc. is a national organization focusing on research, education,
and advocacy for girls. The
organization offers programs at its own sites (most of which, according to its
website, are located in low income areas), as well as making its programs
available offsite. Its programs center
around the Girls Bill of Rights established by the organization. There are six such rights (for example, A
girl has the right to accept and appreciate her body; A girl has the right to
prepare for interesting work and economic independence). Each chapter in the book focuses on an
individual right, and includes activities, exercises, and suggestions for how
to encourage your daughter to be aware of her rights and develop strengths in
order to achieve her goals.
There are some statistics in each
chapter to support the assertion that society is pressuring girls in various
ways to be less than what they could be.
The fact that the book is a little light on research, though, does not
pose a significant problem. I do not
really need to see research on marketing trends in childrens clothing, for
example, to know that girls clothes have become increasingly sexualized; I
need only look at some of the older girls who attend my daughters elementary
school to know that mini skirts, bare midriffs, and halter tops have become
commonplace among the pre-teen set.
What this book does do is offer some tips for how to handle such
situations. Many of the tips range from
the general (Teach a girl to critique beauty ideals for girls and women as
they are portrayed in television programs, popular songs, movies, books, and
magazines) to the lofty-but-impractical (Lobby the fashion industry to expand
its definition of beauty by featuring more diverse-looking models), but there
are some very worthwhile ideas as well.
The chapter on resisting gender
stereotypes, for instance, advocates examining the gender roles that operate in
your own house, and making sure that responsibilities are not defined along
gender lines. It also suggests reading
the financial section of the newspaper with your daughter, so that she develops
a basic understanding of economics and gets the message that she should be literate
about finances as she grows up. Encouraging
her to become proficient at using a computer is important as well, and the
chapter gives some tips on how to accomplish that.
I am not one who is overly fond of
self-help type exercises, and some of the ones suggested in this book I found a
bit silly; I cannot imagine asking my daughter to draw a castle, for instance,
so we could label all the happy things that belong in her castle and thus learn
what makes her special. If you are one
who finds such exercises useful then by all means this is the book for
you. Even if you do not care to indulge
in such activities, however, it would be a mistake to rule this book out. There is some solid advice packed in here,
as well as some food for thought about the perils of raising a girl today. Even if you do not choose to adopt any of
the techniques suggested here, you will at least be encouraged to think about
issues that will be of importance to your daughter.
Link: Girls Inc.
2003 Elizabeth O'Connor
Elizabeth OConnor, Ph.D. is
co-author with Suzanne Johnson of For Lesbian Parents (Guilford, 2001)
and The Gay Baby Boom: The Psychology of Gay Parenthood (NYU Press,
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