GUYS, I read a BOOK
A real book, not a textbook, not for school… a book. It was called Girls and Sex.
My mom has been telling me about Peggy Orenstein for ages now, ever since she heard her speaking on CBC radio about her latest book, Girls and Sex.
I’m going to take a cue from my favourite book blog, Rainy Days And Stormy Nights (which belongs to one of my favourite people in this world – just by coincidence), and print the little description here:
The author of the New York Times bestseller Cinderella Ate My Daughter offers a clear-eyed picture of the new sexual landscape girls face in the post-princess stage—high school through college—and reveals how they are negotiating it.
A generation gap has emerged between parents and their girls. Even in this age of helicopter parenting, the mothers and fathers of tomorrow’s women have little idea what their daughters are up to sexually or how they feel about it. Drawing on in-depth interviews with over seventy young women and a wide range of psychologists, academics, and experts, renowned journalist Peggy Orenstein goes where most others fear to tread, pulling back the curtain on the hidden truths, hard lessons, and important possibilities of girls’ sex lives in the modern world.
While the media has focused—often to sensational effect—on the rise of casual sex and the prevalence of rape on campus, in Girls and Sex Peggy Orenstein brings much more to the table. She examines the ways in which porn and all its sexual myths have seeped into young people’s lives; what it means to be the “the perfect slut” and why many girls scorn virginity; the complicated terrain of hookup culture and the unfortunate realities surrounding assault. In Orenstein’s hands these issues are never reduced to simplistic “truths;” rather, her powerful reporting opens up a dialogue on a potent, often silent, subtext of American life today—giving readers comprehensive and in-depth information with which to understand, and navigate, this complicated new world.
So for those of you who aren’t aware, this kind of thing is sort of my jam. I’m studying sociology, but my focus is really on sex and gender, and I want to do some sort of work involving those things when I grow up (ha). And my mom is basically the most wonderful and supportive woman ever, so she ordered a copy for me.
This book does such an amazing job of staying liberal and sex positive while still addressing the self-objectification that so many young women experience. Peggy openly questions things like our praise of Beyonce (I have a whole Beyonce spiel that all of my roommates have been subjected to – maybe you’ll get to hear it one day), how girls really feel about hook up culture, and the ways we talk to young girls about sex.
If you have any interest whatsoever in feminism, sexuality, sociology, or just the general wellbeing of young women… pick this book up. I read the whole thing in two days (mostly while sitting on the plane -the old guy next to me didn’t seem very impressed) and it was so accessible, so readable, and so enjoyable. I can’t recommend it enough.
Reading books feels good.
Any recommendations for future reading endeavours? Who knows, maybe I will become a person who reads again one day.
love love love – L