Good Girl Messages: How Young Women Were Misled by Their Favorite Books

Good Girl Messages How Young Women Were Misled by Their Favorite Books Through much of the th century books for children encouraged girls to be weak submissive and fearful This book discusses such traits in much of our most popular literature making an indictment of

  • Title: Good Girl Messages: How Young Women Were Misled by Their Favorite Books
  • Author: Deborah O'Keefe
  • ISBN: 9780826412362
  • Page: 244
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Through much of the 20th century, books for children encouraged girls to be weak, submissive and fearful This book discusses such traits in much of our most popular literature, making an indictment of the books that many generations of girls have loved This includes Alcott, Betsy Tacy, Seventeenth Summer, Cherry Ames, the Chalet School, Daddy Long Legs, Elizabeth EnrightThrough much of the 20th century, books for children encouraged girls to be weak, submissive and fearful This book discusses such traits in much of our most popular literature, making an indictment of the books that many generations of girls have loved This includes Alcott, Betsy Tacy, Seventeenth Summer, Cherry Ames, the Chalet School, Daddy Long Legs, Elizabeth Enright, Anne of Green Gables and others.

    One thought on “Good Girl Messages: How Young Women Were Misled by Their Favorite Books”

    1. Written by an apparently 50-something woman who asserts that the messages in typical childhood books of our generation and earlier "misled" us by fostering passivity, acceptance, etc Unfortunately I was never a big reader of "girl books" such as Little Women, Secret Garden (have yet to read them to this day), the Hitty books or most of the others that she cites as examples- my favorites were horse/animal stories and mystery adventures like Nancy Drew & Dana Girls. I did, however find several [...]

    2. I've been skimming this online, and it is interesting but does she miss the point with Betsy-Tacy by saying, "Books like this are about what you are, and how that relates to what everyone else is - they are not about what you do."She describes Rosamond du Jardin's books as offering three guidelines: be beautiful, be manipulative, and be yourself. "It was hard to be yourself and be beautiful at the same time, and impossible to be yourself and also manipulative, but the contradictory nature of the [...]

    3. A revealing look at the evolution of how girls were given the worst role models growing up during the first half of the 20th Century and the slow, but important improvements made since. Even if you haven't read many of the books referenced there is plenty of information provided to understand the shocking contrast in attitude, and it's apparent we still have a long way to go, but the changing books today gives some hope that ideologies are improvingrt of.

    4. Although some readers may view this work as a bit dated, I found O'Keefe's book, which is an interesting historical look at the images of girls and young women in children's books, especially children's books written in the late 1800s to early 1900s, a solid study.

    5. It is difficult to determine how many of the hypocrisies and contradictions in this book are intentional, based on the author's avowed aim of feminist literary criticism of a wide variety of self-selected children's novels, and how much is accidental and has not crossed the mind of the author. Nevertheless, it is the job of a fair-minded but critical reviewer to subject a book like this to careful scrutiny, not least because it makes claims of being insightful and providing wisdom when it does n [...]

    6. An interesting topic with some good commentary, but I didn't find O'Keefe to be that good of a writer. Her tone adn formality seemed to shift frequently. Also, I don't know her age, but a majority of the "classics" she referred to I had never heard of.

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