Sexism & Sensibility

Raising Empowered, Resilient Girls in the Modern World

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Pub Date Sep 03 2024 | Archive Date Nov 03 2024

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An invaluable guide to understanding and dismantling sexism for parents trying to raise confident and powerful girls in a culture that often demeans them.

“Seasoned and sensible guidance on the toughest topics in raising girls: misogyny, objectification, body image, confidence, harassment, sexual development, and more.”—Lisa Damour, PhD, New York Times bestselling author of The Emotional Lives of Teenagers

The world is full of mixed messages for girls: Stand up for yourself but do it softly. Be independent but not single. Love your body, just make sure it’s waxed, bleached, and thin. And then there are the more overt hostilities: being talked over, paid less, touched without permission, and having politicians debate their right to bodily autonomy. Many parents find it simpler to affirm girls’ strength than to address these distressing experiences directly. But with girls’ skyrocketing rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide, parenting them in this culture presents an urgent challenge: How do we teach girls to recognize and cope with these realities without crushing their optimism and belief that they can incite change?

Jo-Ann Finkelstein, a Harvard-educated psychologist, has more than two decades of experience working with girls, helping them find resilience in the face of toxic messages about beauty, sex, and femininity. In Sexism & Sensibility, she draws on real stories from her practice to unpack the effects of sexism in its many guises. Going beyond girl power and full of smart, constructive ways to help girls make sense of things, it includes 

• how to talk about misogyny, gender stereotyping, objectification, and consent—at different ages
• strategies for fine-tuning our daughters’ natural “sexism detectors” and safeguarding their self-esteem 
• ways to help girls spot and contest the microaggressions they face in school, in the media, in relationships, and in public
• how to recognize and combat sexism in our own parenting

We can’t shield our daughters from gender bias and sexism, but we can make sure that they are more prepared to handle it than we ever were. Sexism & Sensibility is an eye-opening and essential resource for proactive parenting.
An invaluable guide to understanding and dismantling sexism for parents trying to raise confident and powerful girls in a culture that often demeans them.

“Seasoned and sensible guidance on the...

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ISBN 9780593581162
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Featured Reviews

Gives a comprehensive understanding of the many ways sexism manifests in the the lives of girls and young women, and provides very helpful advice on how to counteract that with a foundation of equality, empowerment, justice, and a refusal to tolerate mistreatment. Great stuff!

(I received a free digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)

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As the mother of an 11 year old daughter, I found this to be a marvelous encapsulation of so many issues and topics... I am not generally a self-help or parenting-book reader, but found Dr. Finkelstein's presentation to be thoughtful and thought-provoking without feeling like it was chastising me or telling me how I was wrong and why. Instead it provided insightful looks into behaviors, attitudes and perceptions - several of which I had never given more than a cursory thought before - and offered alternative approaches to handling tough conversations that I had not considered. There is a lot of food for thought here, and it is definitely the type of thought that does not get enough attention in the modern world!

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