Words by Cristina Tartaglia

As a forced and oh, so reluctant shopper at Army & Navy boy’s ‘husky’ section, I was never mistaken for a skinny girl.

I wanted to be skinny. Every magazine I saw had multiple articles telling us how to get skinny, it must be good and what everyone wanted. There weren’t tips for getting husky, now, were there?

My childhood observation was that it was an insult to comment on someone’s weight if you thought they were too heavy, but that saying they were thin was good.

On Character, Cleavage, and Being Cool by Dana Udall-Weiner

I am not a cool mom. I can’t get into the whole good-for-you-flaunt-it-if-you’ve-got-it-mentality. I don’t think it’s such a great thing when women parade around without much clothing, particularly when the intended audience is young children. As a result of these uncool beliefs, I sometimes find myself in bed (ideologically) with religious, right-wing conservatives. The same people I warn my children about. I wake up thinking, “How the hell did I get here?”

The Daring Book for Girls: Review by Susan Presley & M1

Susan: I've always liked reference books (I am, after all a librarian). When I was growing up, one of my favorite books was the Girl Guides Handbook (when we were in Canada) & later the Girl Scouts Handbook. I went back & read those even after I stopped doing the scouting thing. They were nice reference for all sorts of random things that struck my fancy & I could sit down & read a little bit then wander off to play & use what I just learned about (or not). The Daring Book for Girls is very reminiscent of those books for me... and so much more. The authors have done a great job of covering all sorts of interesting things from princess & queens to Robert's Rules of Order, the origins of basketball & softball, how to read palms, & all sorts of other things. There's something here to appeal to almost every girl. Even if everything doesn't appeal, at least it provides exposure -- I wish I'd known about Robert's Rules of Order before my second year of college. In retrospect, it seems like something I should have come across before then one way or another, but somehow I managed to be completely oblivious.

An Open Letter to my Daughter's Adolescence by Jeanne Holtzman

Dear Adolescence, I spent years waiting for you. Even as my daughter suckled at my breast, or slipped her warm little hand in mine as we crossed the street, I knew she was under your curse. I'd heard you mutter it when she was born. I knew that even if I dedicated my entire life to burning every single spinning wheel in every single galaxy, you, Adolescence, would still find her and claim her. And not on her sixteenth birthday, either. I would be lucky to get twelve, thirteen years before you snatched her from me.

Monica and Me by Laura Fokkena

Gifted young women like Monica dwell in a purgatory of thwarted ambition. They find that while braininess and aggression are not encouraged, artful manipulation is available as the most powerful device in the feminine arsenal. Monica's byzantine designs to further her affair with Clinton are the brilliantly neurotic symptoms of someone, who, as we say, 'has too much time on her hands.' This big girl should have been mentored to run the world, not run little games around the little men who inhabit it.

Girl Power? by Dorothy Woodend

Not so very long ago girl power ruled. Sisterhood was powerful and Girls Kicked ASS! Well, we still might mouth the words but we've forgotten the tune. The Spice Girls vanished into tales of eating disorders, rumors of sapphic love and custody battles. The usual tabloid fodder, which, perversely enough, is closer to the realities of most ordinary girl's lives.

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