My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a book that moved straight from my library request list to my Amazon Wish list. In fact, it's hard for me to review it right now because I pulled all my notes for it so that it can go back to the library in five minutes. Well, it's hard for me to review it the way I want to. Long story short - this book is something that I wish I could give my mother-in-law and other people who think that I'm just being contrary and obstinate by resisting the "Princess Phenomenon" with all my might. Orenstein makes a number of clear, well-researched points about the gender divide in little kids, and how the princessification of little girls can lead to the very objectification of young women the "innocent princess" phase is meant to avoid.
Orenstein is very clear in her motives - she has a distrust of princesses from the start, and is willing to be either validated or proven wrong, and I respect that a lot about her. I am also a feminist raised to be open-minded and suspicious of gender characterization/separation, so her voice rang true for me. Well-researched & well-footnoted, I am looking forward to investigating some of the source materials.
Side note - the day I picked this book up from the library (from inter-library loan, a recurring character in my reviews) the librarian handed it over with some interest. "I was looking at this when it came in," she said. "It looks interesting."
"Yeah, I'm really excited to read it!" I said earnestly. "My daughter is three, and the princess stuff is definitely on the horizon."
"Right," she said. "Plus, it has glitter on the cover. Everything is better with a little sparkle."
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