I've been a fan of Stephanie Su's blog and book reviews for a long time now. Her reviews are always written honestly and intelligently. And the girl is my age! So when I asked her to guest post, I was thrilled with the post she came up with. Check it out!
What YA Lit Taught Me About Feminism and Femininity
By Stephanie Su
A few weeks ago, I started reading Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture by Peggy Orenstein. This is a hilarious, yet biting and troubling, nonfiction account of our society’s consumerist (re)obsession with all things pink, frilly, and girly for females. In the book, the author wonders how this phenomenon will impact the current generation of little girls. Is this female penchant for feminine things such as princesses, playing House, and the color pink biological, or is it the result of the conditioning females have received at the hands of an unwitting (or perhaps very intentional) society?
Related to that, I’m curious as to what effect recent trends and tropes in YA literature have on our notions of feminism and femininity. Below, then, are some things I learned from reading YA*:
Girls can do anything just as well as boys.
Be thyself, and thou shall attract sexy, sexy boys.
If you have a boyish (nick)name or figure, you will have more fun.
It’s okay to have unrealistically high expectations for romance.
You are not complete until you find love.