Raising Empowered Daughters

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 04 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

As the father of a 4 year old daughter that is already showing signs of leadership skills and is happily extroverted, I found this to be a great book. It delves into the different ways society treats girls and boys and offers some great insight and advice. Recommended for anyone raising daughters in the USA.
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I imagine that it would surprise few readers to know that there are innumerable events at work in our society that contribute to the suppression of women---so how does a dad help his daughter (and himself) to avoid as much of it as possible? The long and short of it is to be constantly evolving and open-minded (also, don't be an arse), and a book such as this one helps to aggregate and identify the major areas of focus. 

So much here might seem obvious (princess clothes, toys to mimic cleaning), but Adamick is clear on the long-term effects of what girls are getting from multiple angles, whether it be expectations, costernations, or limited access to resources (intended and unintended). I mean, have you ever thought about the fact that, as a guy, grabbing a business drink with your boss truly doesn't carry the same weight were you a woman? The book's just trying to make a point here, which leads me to the next thing to say...

Most of the people that need to read this book (that I know personally) don't read *period*. That's telling in and of itself, but Adamick does instruct that change begins with the reader---the communication of what's over-the-line and/or oppressive, as opposed to innocent. One of the more notable points made in the book is that many of the things responsible dads should rail against get them in trouble, that such things are "no big deal", or that people are "too PC nowadays". Armed with results of lengthy studies, advice from experts in various fields, and numerous pulls from popular culture to back him up, Adamick persuasively shows that we stand to lose so much from being so complacent and indifferent toward the daily bombardment our children endure. I say "children" because Adamick goes into hard detail to outline the idea that a large chunk of positive change comes with the re-evaluation of how we raise our boys, too, making this essential reading for parents *period*.

Now, have I any complaints about the book? Not directly, no, but a few suggestions not to be judged by length of the paragraph. The author labels himself as a movie buff, but he makes a few less-than-ideal choices as examples: (1) He mentions the film Mulan and cites an example where Mushu, voiced by Eddie Murphy, has more words than the lead (female) character. While I am sure that this is true, the example is deceptive and I think doesn't (or chose to not take) other things into account, like the fact that Mushu is literally a fast-talking, smart-mouthed comic relief, as opposed to Mulan's, well, not fast-talking personality (i.e. less words). Anyone familiar with Murphy's schtick knows what's going on. Couple that with the obvious move by Disney to use his star-power to propel the film to success (we're in the realm wherein Disney had released Hercules and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, oft-considered classics in their own rights, but not the cash cows that preceded them like Aladdin or The Lion King), and I think a critical reader could argue that Disney, by way of including Murphy, helped to get the story of Mulan to the big screen to start with, which is commendable in its own right. I know that every single, finite detail can't be considered that's brought up, but this example is too weak. (2) While making some really interesting and great points about male domination in film, the movie Rogue One is referred to as a "disgusting bachelor party" and "nearly unwatchable for its maleness". While Adamick is quick to applaud RO's diversity, I have to ask just why in the hell he feels compelled to issue such a decree on a movie that's a part of one of the more progressive film series (obviously we're not in a super-happy territory, but, when you think of the whole, the recent SW films are objectively working to at least do something). Such a complained seemed to be soaked in such disdain that it took me straight out of the book. 

As a new dad to a daughter, I can say that Adamick has put together a humbling (but splended) work that gives a road map to follow to help guide one into making sound, fair decisions. Even despite my concerns listed above, I think what's here is wonderful and worthy. Drop it in your queue. 

Many thanks to NetGalley, Perseus Books, Da Capo Press, and Seal Press for the advance read.
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