I have been reading this book for several months. I keep finding new truths that remind me of my personal journey, through self exploration and through life. Most exceptional, is how much of what this author speaks of that can be applied to SO many women- women I know, women I'm related to, women with whom I work, women whose work I've read, women I treat as patients. I feel that most all women of this time and place could find something relatable in this discussion.
The book is an exploration of the complicated messages girls are receiving from society, from their families, from their teachers and from their friends. To be a "good girl", we must honor others' feelings before our own, diminish our grievances to avoid conflicts, avoid confrontation so as not to seem mean spirited, and thus promote dishonesty with each other and with ourselves.
This of course, leads to a suffocating mix of avoidance and frustration in personal relationships, as well as in professional spheres. How many of us have trembled at the idea of saying "That's not right/fair" or "I'm worth more than that" at work? I know I have. Or in relationships, how many of us cry unabashedly at the first sign of a disagreement, thus negating any rationale resolution or productive further discussion?
This author works with girls in leadership workshops that help young women develop their voice and learn ways to communicate that voice more effectively. They learn to develop healthy egos that allow for open communication of their needs/desires/opinions/feelings within all relationships.
What an extraordinary concept! That our families of origin, even those who were nuturing, were also leading us to some pretty toxic behavior. This prevents us from having the confidence and courage to discover who we are and what we want out of life. It does not admonish rule following- instead it offers suggestions for learning to deal with the natural disappointments of life and for finding our own way rather than following only what society proffers.
The practical discussion in the book could most aptly be used by a mother, but I found the discussion to be worthy of self reflection. How many of us, before we raise a girl, need to raise the girl within that may be stagnating in some of these repressive thought patterns?