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Redefining Girly: How Parents Can Fight the Stereotyping and Sexualizing of Girlhood, from Birth to Tween Paperback – January 1, 2014


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Redefining Girly: How Parents Can Fight the Stereotyping and Sexualizing of Girlhood, from Birth to Tween + Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press (January 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1613745524
  • ISBN-13: 978-1613745526
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,226 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Wardy, founder of the children’s products company, Pigtail Pals & Ballcap Buddies, has been at the center of online discussions addressing gender stereotyping of children. Here she addresses how girls in particular are affected by sexualization and pink or princess culture. Much of Redefining Girly will be familiar. No fan of Barbie or Disney products, Wardy is indignant over the prevalence of princess attire and pink Legos. She does, however, provide guidance to parents who might be troubled over the rash of gender-specific parties and activities, and she points out the subtle manner in which sexist language, such as always ­referring to girls first as pretty or cute rather than smart or brave permeates our culture. Peggy Orenstein, Mary Pipher, and others who have written on similar topics are cited, and Wardy provides a useful bibliography for further reading. While Redefining Girly does not break new ground, and Wardy’s tendency to overreach can become tiresome, parents will find the book a quick read that may inspire them to pick up more substantial titles on the subject. --Colleen Mondor

Review

“Melissa Wardy’s book reads like a conversation with a smart, wise, funny friend; one who dispenses fabulous advice on raising a strong, healthy, full-of-awesome girl.”  —Peggy Orenstein, author, Cinderella Ate My Daughter

"This eye-opening tome is an absolute must-read." —Starred review, Publishers Weekly

"Melissa Atkins Wardy writes with incredible insight, respect and honesty." —The Tribune (Greeley, CO)

"Redefining Girly is as interesting as it is educational, and Wardy provides parents with an easy, at times step by step guide on how best to respond to various scenarios relating to girlhood." —Metapsychology.net

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Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this book to anyone raising girls or involved in working with children, such as teachers.
I. Grubbs
It's about little girls choosing what type of girl they want to be....versus what the media and toy manufacturers want them to be.
Jennifer Crick
Although the subject matter is substantial, the book reads quickly, allowing the readers to digest the material easily.
Andrew Segall

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Lori Day on December 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
With Melissa Atkins Wardy’s "Redefining Girly," we have one more excellent tool for parents who are desperate for ways to push back against the stereotyped and sexualized messages that bombard girls every day. While there are other books on this topic, this one focuses heavily and extremely helpfully on the everyday issues that parents must face while raising girls in a culture that makes them grow up too soon, targeting them with media and products that undermine healthy emotional, physical and intellectual development by telling little girls that they should be beautiful and sexy above all else. Wardy’s candid and tested advice about navigating gendered birthday parties; avoiding sexualizing dolls and other gifts from well-meaning friends; handling trips to the pediatrician’s office that end up reinforcing girly-girl culture rather than affirming the individuality of each child; and guiding girls to select Halloween costumes that let them be children…all of these situations and so many more are discussed clearly and pragmatically. Parents are given sample language to use in different environments that help them communicate their values to the other important adults in their daughters’ lives. With "Redefining Girly," perhaps a tipping point will soon be reached as parents become more skilled at giving corporations the message that the disempowerment of girls for their own profit will no longer be tolerated. Let this book be your guide. Bravo Ms. Wardy!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Marauder The Slash Nymph on April 24, 2014
Format: Paperback
As somebody who's read quite a few of these "saving our daughters from stereotypes and hyper-sexualization" books, "Redefining Girly" might be the lightest one I've seen when it comes to statistical references. While it has some good suggestions, the book mostly consists of author Melissa Atkins Wardy holding up her raising of her daughter Amelia (and son Benny) as a shining example of how to raise children, and holding up her company Pigtail Pals & Ballcap Buddies as a shining example of a strike back in the war against female stereotyping. (Verbatim quote, emphasis mine: "My social media sites and blog are active *and incredible* places for discussion as parents unpack and digest what is going on around their girls.") We hear a lot about how smart the kids are, how Amelia is into science (how many times can Wardy remind us that she named her daughter after Amelia Earhart?), how Benny knows it's okay to like pink things, et cetera. It's less a conversation about stereotyping and more a mom bragging about her kids, and it gets old really fast. Wardy telling us that Amelia's nickname is Smalls constitutes an example that you can nickname a little girl lots of things besides Princess. Wardy taking a whole paragraph to tell us that Amelia's nicknames are (deep breath) Lia, Chippy, Choodle, "my babes," Pumpkin, Sweetie Bee, Smooch, Amelia Dinosaur, Smalls, Beetle, Rascal Pants, "Amelia My Girl," Buddy, Nama, and Mia - complete with who in the family calls her which, and why - constitutes Wardy indulging in eye-glaze-inducing mom-bragging.

I agree with a lot of Wardy's basic ideas, but the way she suggests people implement them left me annoyed and frustrated.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By EyreAffair on January 1, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a long-time follower of Melissa Atkins Wardy's work, a frequent participant in her Facebook community at Pigtail Pals Ballcap Buddies, and an academic with a background in media research. I had high hopes for this book and was excited that she would finally have all her thoughts written down for people who are new to the issue of media's influence on children. But I was worried that since I've been immersed in these issues for over a decade, this book would not offer me anything new.

I am happy to say that even as a "veteran", and even as a parent of only boys, I got a LOT out of reading this book. What I have always appreciated about Wardy's approach is that she recaps her own real-life experiences as a parent and provides "scripts" of how she interacts with children (both her own and other people's).

I know what kinds of people I want my boys to become, but since they are preschoolers, I often find it hard to talk to them about it at their level. Wardy has the words. And now she's shared them with all of her readers, enabling us to find new ways to talk about the difficult issues of gender representation, respect for others, and self-confidence in the face of peer pressure.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Michael P Murphy on February 24, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was anxious to read this book after seeing a story on CNN. I have a 10-year old daughter and hoped to benefit from information on raising her in a more gender-neutral manner.

One of the suggestions for raising a gender-neutral child is to eschew pink or boy clothing and to consider painting the baby's room green or yellow. This "advice" was insulting in its simplicity.

I am also dismayed at how many times the author refers to her web store...and how inaccurate I am finding the other reviews. I have not found any usable information in this book.

Instead of this book, try reading "Queen Bees and Wannabes" or "Reviving Ophelia". Although they are marketed as books for raising teen girls, I find them very helpful with my preteen.
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