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Don't Call Me Princess: Essays on Girls, Women, Sex, and Life

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The New York Times bestselling author of Girls & Sex and Cinderella Ate My Daughter delivers her first ever collection of essays—funny, poignant, deeply personal and sharply observed pieces, drawn from three decades of writing, which trace girls’ and women’s progress (or lack thereof) in what Orenstein once called a “half-changed world.” Named one of the “40 women who chang The New York Times bestselling author of Girls & Sex and Cinderella Ate My Daughter delivers her first ever collection of essays—funny, poignant, deeply personal and sharply observed pieces, drawn from three decades of writing, which trace girls’ and women’s progress (or lack thereof) in what Orenstein once called a “half-changed world.” Named one of the “40 women who changed the media business in the last 40 years” by Columbia Journalism Review, Peggy Orenstein is one of the most prominent, unflinching feminist voices of our time. Her writing has broken ground and broken silences on topics as wide-ranging as miscarriage, motherhood, breast cancer, princess culture and the importance of girls’ sexual pleasure. Her unique blend of investigative reporting, personal revelation and unexpected humor has made her books bestselling classics. In Don’t Call Me Princess, Orenstein’s most resonant and important essays are available for the first time in collected form, updated with both an original introduction and personal reflections on each piece. Her takes on reproductive justice, the infertility industry, tensions between working and stay-at-home moms, pink ribbon fear-mongering and the complications of girl culture are not merely timeless—they have, like Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, become more urgent in our contemporary political climate. Don’t Call Me Princess offers a crucial evaluation of where we stand today as women—in our work lives, sex lives, as mothers, as partners—illuminating both how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go.


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The New York Times bestselling author of Girls & Sex and Cinderella Ate My Daughter delivers her first ever collection of essays—funny, poignant, deeply personal and sharply observed pieces, drawn from three decades of writing, which trace girls’ and women’s progress (or lack thereof) in what Orenstein once called a “half-changed world.” Named one of the “40 women who chang The New York Times bestselling author of Girls & Sex and Cinderella Ate My Daughter delivers her first ever collection of essays—funny, poignant, deeply personal and sharply observed pieces, drawn from three decades of writing, which trace girls’ and women’s progress (or lack thereof) in what Orenstein once called a “half-changed world.” Named one of the “40 women who changed the media business in the last 40 years” by Columbia Journalism Review, Peggy Orenstein is one of the most prominent, unflinching feminist voices of our time. Her writing has broken ground and broken silences on topics as wide-ranging as miscarriage, motherhood, breast cancer, princess culture and the importance of girls’ sexual pleasure. Her unique blend of investigative reporting, personal revelation and unexpected humor has made her books bestselling classics. In Don’t Call Me Princess, Orenstein’s most resonant and important essays are available for the first time in collected form, updated with both an original introduction and personal reflections on each piece. Her takes on reproductive justice, the infertility industry, tensions between working and stay-at-home moms, pink ribbon fear-mongering and the complications of girl culture are not merely timeless—they have, like Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, become more urgent in our contemporary political climate. Don’t Call Me Princess offers a crucial evaluation of where we stand today as women—in our work lives, sex lives, as mothers, as partners—illuminating both how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go.

30 review for Don't Call Me Princess: Essays on Girls, Women, Sex, and Life

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

    "It was beyond my imagination that he [Trump] would triumph -- but now the work feels more urgent than ever." I don't read a lot of essays but wanted to read this book because it's a feminist book. I really liked the way Peggy Orenstein writes, and quite enjoyed some of these essays. Maybe half. Many of them I can't relate to though, especially the ones about breast cancer (I'm very thankful that's not a topic I can identify with) miscarriages, trying to get pregnant, being pregnant,, and rai "It was beyond my imagination that he [Trump] would triumph -- but now the work feels more urgent than ever." I don't read a lot of essays but wanted to read this book because it's a feminist book. I really liked the way Peggy Orenstein writes, and quite enjoyed some of these essays. Maybe half. Many of them I can't relate to though, especially the ones about breast cancer (I'm very thankful that's not a topic I can identify with) miscarriages, trying to get pregnant, being pregnant,, and raising a daughter. I wish there had been a bit more variety in this book, because it felt rather redundant, especially when much of it wasn't something I'm particularly interested in or can relate to at all.. The essays are a collection of ones Ms. Orenstein has published over the last 40 years. People who enjoy the author's writing or who can relate more to the subject matter will probably love this book. She's a fantastic writer -- very intelligent, personal, and personable. My rating is 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Palumbo Davies

    Peggy Orenstein has helped to reshape my views on sex and feminism. The idea that girls deserve to experience sexual pleasure just as much as boys should not be revolutionary, and it is disturbing that so many young women don't realize this. Orenstein also tackles infertility, egg donation (in one of the more interesting essays), breast cancer (presenting a critical look at breast cancer culture), and even the pitfalls of being a boy in the Trump era.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Fraenkel

    I only read the essays that interested me, so probably about half the book or more. Great writing style and really interesting and timely topics. A really enjoyable and thought provoking read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    JZ

    Gail did it better than I could. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... I got bogged down in the breast cancer essays, so it took way too long to finish this. I do get tired of listening to the problems of middle class women who have choices denied to so many of the rest of us, but I guess that they have their problems, too. They just aren't mine. On the other hand, she has insight into the same years that I grew up in. It turned out to be a thoughtful walk down memory lane regarding attitudes Gail did it better than I could. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... I got bogged down in the breast cancer essays, so it took way too long to finish this. I do get tired of listening to the problems of middle class women who have choices denied to so many of the rest of us, but I guess that they have their problems, too. They just aren't mine. On the other hand, she has insight into the same years that I grew up in. It turned out to be a thoughtful walk down memory lane regarding attitudes and situations that men don't get.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany Miss.Fiction

    Thanks EDELWEISS+ and the publisher for providing a copy of this book! Well, first of all Peggy Orenstein is one of the most interesting discoveries of the last few weeks for me. I didn't know a thing about her but after reading Don't Call Me Princess, i've met a journalist whom writing is extremely insightful, refreshing and inspirational. Don't Call Me Princess is a collection of essays and articles, following women of relevance or professionals, general topics and political and cultural issues Thanks EDELWEISS+ and the publisher for providing a copy of this book! Well, first of all Peggy Orenstein is one of the most interesting discoveries of the last few weeks for me. I didn't know a thing about her but after reading Don't Call Me Princess, i've met a journalist whom writing is extremely insightful, refreshing and inspirational. Don't Call Me Princess is a collection of essays and articles, following women of relevance or professionals, general topics and political and cultural issues. While i loved some articles, i couldn't understand why others were included. Some ideas were so opposing to others and my biggest critique is that this collection sometimes shows a lack of homogeneity. That said, some stories were very powerful, other extremely interesting, i felt very uncomfortable reading some pages while angry to the point of skipping some lines for others. I would definitely recommend it to see the point of view of a witness of social changes and of a great journalist that, maybe not always perfectly, testified and followed the life of some remarkable women.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    I borrowed this book from my public library's 'new' shelf because the title and cover amuse me. And because I thought it would fulfill Read Harder Challenge #22: read an anthology of essays. But it's a book of essays, not an anthology of essays. (An anthology is essays on a similar theme by different authors like The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race edited by Jesmyn Ward, which I intend to read for this.) I also intend to get around to reading this book, because it looks fun. I borrowed this book from my public library's 'new' shelf because the title and cover amuse me. And because I thought it would fulfill Read Harder Challenge #22: read an anthology of essays. But it's a book of essays, not an anthology of essays. (An anthology is essays on a similar theme by different authors like The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race edited by Jesmyn Ward, which I intend to read for this.) I also intend to get around to reading this book, because it looks fun.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dar

    I love Orenstein's writing. The essays were about a range of heavy issues experienced by women, such as infertility, pregnancy loss and cancer. Issues from developing countries, such as FGM and child marriage, were not covered. It seemed like a walk on the dark side of privileged, North American women's lives. These issues are real and common. But I do wish the essays had included anything at all on the presence of joy in female lives, or examples of girls and women who are hopeful. Now I want t I love Orenstein's writing. The essays were about a range of heavy issues experienced by women, such as infertility, pregnancy loss and cancer. Issues from developing countries, such as FGM and child marriage, were not covered. It seemed like a walk on the dark side of privileged, North American women's lives. These issues are real and common. But I do wish the essays had included anything at all on the presence of joy in female lives, or examples of girls and women who are hopeful. Now I want to write my own book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ross

    Well written collection with very personal and eye-opening content. I was first introduced to Peggy Orenstein when she was interviewed on NPR's Fresh Air. During that interview, she was talking about her research for two of the books she's written, specifically, "Cinderella Ate My Daughter." The topics in the interview caught my attention as a husband, father of two girls, and an educator. I listened to "Don't Call Me Princess" on audiobook which was narrated by Orenstein. Before each essay she i Well written collection with very personal and eye-opening content. I was first introduced to Peggy Orenstein when she was interviewed on NPR's Fresh Air. During that interview, she was talking about her research for two of the books she's written, specifically, "Cinderella Ate My Daughter." The topics in the interview caught my attention as a husband, father of two girls, and an educator. I listened to "Don't Call Me Princess" on audiobook which was narrated by Orenstein. Before each essay she introduced the piece by saying when it was published and if the piece influenced later work. That publication date gave a great frame of reference for medical citations and quotes from the experts she interviews. I don't always agree with Orenstein's stance on the issues discussed in the essays but I was open to hearing her perspective. She is very passionate about her beliefs, research findings, and implications on herself, girls, women, and others. I'd recommend this book to adults as the subject matter can be heavy but necessary. Orenstein encourages open dialogue with children and teens so this book was a helpful resource. I'm looking forward to reading other works by her.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    I think Peggy Orenstein is a fantastic writer, so my rating does not reflect my feelings of her journalistic ability or integrity. My rating reflects this particular collection of articles and essays on gender and feminism. The collection is amazingly bookended with well-researched and interesting pieces from the beginning and most recent years of her career; they contain insightful interviews and commentary on topics from Ms magazine, Disney princesses, and second wave feminism! However, the mi I think Peggy Orenstein is a fantastic writer, so my rating does not reflect my feelings of her journalistic ability or integrity. My rating reflects this particular collection of articles and essays on gender and feminism. The collection is amazingly bookended with well-researched and interesting pieces from the beginning and most recent years of her career; they contain insightful interviews and commentary on topics from Ms magazine, Disney princesses, and second wave feminism! However, the mid-section of the book takes a decidedly personal and intimate look at Orenstein’s history with cancer, infertility and motherhood. The personal narrative was not what I was expecting in the collection; it felt like a completely different focus and to be honest, more self-indulgent...which would be great in a memoir. But this is not a memoir. I love her writing but prefer it when she’s on the outside looking objectively at the people and ideas she is trying to understand.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    This book is an annotated compilation essays written over the past few decades by Peggy Orenstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter (which I often recommend to students). It includes essays on infertility, breast cancer, the sexualization of teenage girls, feminism, and other topics. Some of the stories are intensely personal - Orenstein's breast cancer diagnosis, participation in a cancer support group, struggles with infertility, etc., and I imagine they will be/have been helpful to those This book is an annotated compilation essays written over the past few decades by Peggy Orenstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter (which I often recommend to students). It includes essays on infertility, breast cancer, the sexualization of teenage girls, feminism, and other topics. Some of the stories are intensely personal - Orenstein's breast cancer diagnosis, participation in a cancer support group, struggles with infertility, etc., and I imagine they will be/have been helpful to those who have been through similar challenges. I don't always agree with her (though I often do), but I really like her writing style, and the fact that she thoroughly researches her subject matter.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nora

    Insightful, researched, personal at times, Orenstein shares a collection of essays/articles written over her career as a journalist and feminist. There are some very pertinent and thought-producing pieces here; so interesting to see that where we are now in our views on women is not very far, unfortunately, from what they were 20-30 years ago. We must do better, for our daughters, and sons.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Berardi

    Full disclosure- I did not read this book cover-to-cover. I skimmed over or flat out skipped the ones I had on interest in. The essays were about a range of heavy issues experienced by women, such as infertility, pregnancy loss and cancer. These issues are real and common.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jena

    I feel stronger just reading this book. And much more thoughtful. Such good food for thought.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tricia

    A wide range of essays that stoked my angst in a good way.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rosanna

    Love Peggy Orenstein! Read her in the post and heard her interview about her new book, Boys & Sex, which I will be sure to read. Love Peggy Orenstein! Read her in the post and heard her interview about her new book, Boys & Sex, which I will be sure to read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rai

    “It’s just, honey, Cinderella doesn’t really do anything.” Don’t Call Me Princess offers a crucial evaluation of where we stand today as women—in our work lives, sex lives, as mothers, as partners—illuminating both how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go. “Girls enjoy torturing, decapitating, and microwaving their Barbies nearly as much as they like to dress them up” I’d never heard of Peggy Orenstein before reading Don’t Call Me Princess. This was an enjoyable essay collection, and I en “It’s just, honey, Cinderella doesn’t really do anything.” Don’t Call Me Princess offers a crucial evaluation of where we stand today as women—in our work lives, sex lives, as mothers, as partners—illuminating both how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go. “Girls enjoy torturing, decapitating, and microwaving their Barbies nearly as much as they like to dress them up” I’d never heard of Peggy Orenstein before reading Don’t Call Me Princess. This was an enjoyable essay collection, and I enjoyed Orenstein’s writing style and her opinions on feminism and gender roles. Unfortunately, I couldn’t really click with her essays on trying to conceive and breast cancer, and this is what the bulk of this collection comprised of. That’s not to say they weren’t ‘enjoyable’ (for lack of a better term when talking about such subjects), but I couldn’t relate to them, and as such, I ended up skimming the latter half of these sections. Still, I enjoyed Don’t Call Me Princess for the most part, and I look forward to reading more of Orenstein’s work. 3 / 5

  17. 5 out of 5

    Miriam

    Columns written over the past thirty years, focus on breast cancer, the trauma and sorrow of miscarriage, sexual pleasure, and other issues, part and parcel of a healthy life. Peggy Orenstein’s reading of her own words is smooth and often matter-of-fact. An essential listen for women, and men, of all ages. Look for a longer review in AudioFile Magazine http://www.audiofilemagazine.com Columns written over the past thirty years, focus on breast cancer, the trauma and sorrow of miscarriage, sexual pleasure, and other issues, part and parcel of a healthy life. Peggy Orenstein’s reading of her own words is smooth and often matter-of-fact. An essential listen for women, and men, of all ages. Look for a longer review in AudioFile Magazine http://www.audiofilemagazine.com

  18. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    Very thought provoking. This is a book I'd like to discuss in book club. She doesn't arrive to a right vs wrong conclusion on a lot of topics, but rather asks if she's doing enough to start or continue the conversation with her daughter or society.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Melody

    This was interesting because all of the essays in this collection were already dated, or even snippets of larger works by Orenstein I have already read. I really enjoyed the introduction to each essay in context of how things have progressed since it was published. Also in that way it is interesting to see Orenstein's own thoughts progress, as well as the cultural shifts that have happened even within this time. I didn't always agree, or the way some topics were articulated at times made me unco This was interesting because all of the essays in this collection were already dated, or even snippets of larger works by Orenstein I have already read. I really enjoyed the introduction to each essay in context of how things have progressed since it was published. Also in that way it is interesting to see Orenstein's own thoughts progress, as well as the cultural shifts that have happened even within this time. I didn't always agree, or the way some topics were articulated at times made me uncomfortable, but that also opens up conversation. I was disappointed it was not more intersectional. There were essays in here that were really fun to read; there were others it was harder for me to get through.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Gail

    “Don’t Call Me Princess” is Peggy Orenstein’s best hits album, and like “Michael Jackson Number Ones,” the content justifies its own compilation. Few pop stars can identify important topics, compose poetry about them, and deliver it with perfect pitch; most do one or two, but not all three. It’s similarly rare for a journalist to write critically on subjects that don’t always seem salient until she dubs them so and with diction that sings (e.g., “April is a distraction, as would be any student w “Don’t Call Me Princess” is Peggy Orenstein’s best hits album, and like “Michael Jackson Number Ones,” the content justifies its own compilation. Few pop stars can identify important topics, compose poetry about them, and deliver it with perfect pitch; most do one or two, but not all three. It’s similarly rare for a journalist to write critically on subjects that don’t always seem salient until she dubs them so and with diction that sings (e.g., “April is a distraction, as would be any student who cannot catch up but will not drop out”). Plus, I learned cool stuff. The following excerpts showcase Orenstein’s insightfulness, in the form of introspection and empathy, detail and synthesis: “Looking back on her career, [Nobel prize-winning scientist Elizabeth Blackburn] believes she was subject to plenty of bias; like many successful women in nontraditional fields, she was just particularly adept at denying it. ‘I was oblivious for a long time,’ she recalls, ‘and that’s the way I coped. It was very much a defense. If I had stopped and thought about it, I would’ve felt so vulnerable to it.’” “It isn’t easy to watch a daughter’s incipient forays into romance and sexuality. If Miranda [Cosgrove, Nickelodeon’s “iCarly”] embodies the wish that girls could engage in the former without the latter, Chris was acting out a parent’s desire to ensure it. Most of us don’t (and can’t) chaperone our daughters at school, at concerts, at public appearances. Most of us accept, if with some ambivalence, that our daughters have to navigate the turbulence of romantic life on their own. Most of us have no choice but to let our daughters go.” “In its zeal to find them, science has outpaced the medical, psychological, and ethical implications of its discoveries.” “For years I had thought of myself as a Weeble, one of those roly-poly children’s toys that ‘wobble but they don’t fall down.’ I had, after all, survived breast cancer in my thirties, an age when it tends to be especially deadly; after three miscarriages and six years of infertility, I got pregnant in my forties with my daughter. There were other crises, too, of the heart and the head as well as the body—how could there not be after five decades of living?—but they didn’t define me. I’ve always popped up fine. Yet lately, incrementally, I had begun to feel defective, emotionally diminished rather than strengthened by trauma, in danger of becoming the sum of my pain. Had that happened after this latest bout of cancer or before? I couldn’t say. But I felt cleaved, a word that also means its opposite: cleaved to this body, whether I liked it or not, and from it by its many betrayals.” “During the ‘Mommy Wars’ of the early 2000s, women who stayed home with children were pitted in the media against mothers who worked for pay and neither side emerged a winner. Womens’ insecurities were ripe for exploitation: after all, in what I would come to call a ‘half-changed world,’ others’ choices can feel like a rebuke.” “Whether or not they worked outside the home, the vast majority of women had made concessions to parenthood in a way that men, for the most part, still do not. That’s why words like ‘balance,’ ‘trade-off,’ and ‘work-family conflict’ have become as feminine as pink tulle.” “Women complained to me that their husbands didn’t pull their domestic weight, but time after time, I heard them let men off the hook. A thirty-eight year-old technical writer I interviewed in San Francisco was typical: ‘You know,’ she mused after running down a litany of frustrations, ‘my husband is really involved compared with his own father.’ I pushed, pointing out that this sets the bar too low. Shouldn’t we be comparing men’s involvement with that of their wives instead? ‘Well,’ said another mom, ‘you can’t really expect that.’ I tried putting it another way: ‘It seems to me that women, whatever their arrangements, feel like lesser mothers than those of the previous generation. Meanwhile men, even with minimal participation at home, feel like better fathers.’” “[T]here are no studies proving that playing princess directly damages girls’ self-esteem or dampens other aspirations. On the other hand, there is evidence that young women who hold the most conventionally feminine beliefs—who avoid conflict and think they should be perpetually nice and pretty—are more likely to be depressed than others and less likely to use contraception…. [And] school-age girls overwhelmingly reported a paralyzing pressure to be ‘perfect’: not only to get straight A’s and be the student-body president, editor of the newspaper, and captain of the swim team but also to be ‘kind and caring,’ ‘please everyone, be very thin and dress right.’ Give those girls a pumpkin and a glass slipper and they’d be in business…. It doesn’t seem to be ‘having it all’ that’s getting to them; it’s the pressure to be it all. In telling our girls they can be anything, we have inadvertently demanded that they be everything. To everyone. All the time.”

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tonstant Weader

    Don’t Call Me Princess is a collection of essays and articles written by Peggy Orenstein over the course of her career. Focused primarily on women and girls and the issues they face, there are twenty-eight different articles that reveal how her thinking and her priorities have changed over time. It is interesting when she revisits an issue such as the value of breast cancer support groups and her opinions shift over time and her own experience. She writes about young women, dress codes, sexuality Don’t Call Me Princess is a collection of essays and articles written by Peggy Orenstein over the course of her career. Focused primarily on women and girls and the issues they face, there are twenty-eight different articles that reveal how her thinking and her priorities have changed over time. It is interesting when she revisits an issue such as the value of breast cancer support groups and her opinions shift over time and her own experience. She writes about young women, dress codes, sexuality and sex education, about fertility, miscarriage, and parenting, and about cancer and survival. Throughout the years, most of what matters to women and girls in America have come under her scrutiny and been written about in her essays. Peggy Orenstein is a good journalist. She writes well and is refreshingly candid. I enjoyed each essay individually. I think she organized the essays well, in clusters that make sense. She begins with a collection of seven profiles of very different women who made a difference. There are eight essays that focus on health issues five about mothering, and eight that focus more on side effects of misogyny, body image, lack of confidence, and the lack of intimate justice. Twenty-eight articles in all. So, I think this book suffers from two very contradictory weaknesses. I simultaneously wish there were fewer articles and more. It is interesting when her opinion changes, but I would just as soon have the most recent article only with a short mention of her previous article. It just seems like a lot, but then, on the other hand, I would have liked to see more from after the election of Trump. Her article on Hillary is from 2008. Why not from 2016 when the misogyny was so strong from left and right? It feels like she side-stepped the issue of sexism in the 2016 election. The most recent article is shortly after the Access Hollywood tape, “How to be a Man in the Age of Trump” but really, I would love her thoughts on how to resist, how to avoid despair, how to hold on. Her introductions acknowledge his election, but ending before the election just feels like sidestepping the most immediate issue. I received an e-galley of Don’t Call Me Princess from the publisher through Edelweiss Don’t Call Me Princess at Harper Collins Peggy Orenstein author site https://tonstantweaderreviews.wordpre...

  22. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

    I've been a fan of Peggy Orenstein's work for some years now, ever since that fateful day I stumbled across her article, "What's Wrong With Cinderella?" In a Women Studies class, I was working on a paper about the Disney Princesses and the type of "role models" they were for girls. I was hooked. Since then, I've read most of her books, many of her articles, and always make sure I add her to my "to-read" if I see she's cranking out something new. Orenstein is insightful and funny. Do I always agr I've been a fan of Peggy Orenstein's work for some years now, ever since that fateful day I stumbled across her article, "What's Wrong With Cinderella?" In a Women Studies class, I was working on a paper about the Disney Princesses and the type of "role models" they were for girls. I was hooked. Since then, I've read most of her books, many of her articles, and always make sure I add her to my "to-read" if I see she's cranking out something new. Orenstein is insightful and funny. Do I always agree with her? Of course not, but what I appreciate about her voice is that it does not feel like an unwavering one. She, of course, has firm stances in her feminism, but she does not feel stubborn. She discussions her own internal conflicts about certain topics and feels like she wrestles with certain points-- not wanting to come off an an unbending feminist of a by-gone era, but also not willing to concede certain points. I feel like she makes some damn good arguments and has plenty to say. This book was a collection of her works from over the years, so some of these I've read before and others were new to me. new to me AND news to me. Some of the pieces collected in this book discussed topics I've never read into before or really had much thought on. As always, she's given me plenty to think about and mull over. I'd definitely recommend.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    The topics of the essays in this collection are more varied than I expected, including topics regarding breast cancer and infertility. I don't tend to enjoy collections of previously published essays because there tends to be overlap in content. I didn't enjoy this as much as Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture, but it did make me want to read Girls and Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape and Boys & Sex: Young Men on Hookups, Love, The topics of the essays in this collection are more varied than I expected, including topics regarding breast cancer and infertility. I don't tend to enjoy collections of previously published essays because there tends to be overlap in content. I didn't enjoy this as much as Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture, but it did make me want to read Girls and Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape and Boys & Sex: Young Men on Hookups, Love, Porn, Consent, and Navigating the New Masculinity because I think the topics would be better served but full length books as opposed to articles.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Leah Cossette

    This wasn't quite as in-depth as I was looking for. Though interesting and often informative, it just didn't resonate a lot. In feminist books I'm usually looking for a book that will help me to be a better, smarter woman; this wasn't a learning experience so much as it was a summary of women's existence in the US. Part 1 was comprised of short biographies; these I didn't enjoy all that much, except for the one about Miranda Cosgrove, oddly. Part 2 was body talk, mainly about the author's own st This wasn't quite as in-depth as I was looking for. Though interesting and often informative, it just didn't resonate a lot. In feminist books I'm usually looking for a book that will help me to be a better, smarter woman; this wasn't a learning experience so much as it was a summary of women's existence in the US. Part 1 was comprised of short biographies; these I didn't enjoy all that much, except for the one about Miranda Cosgrove, oddly. Part 2 was body talk, mainly about the author's own struggles with breast cancer and fertility struggles. Part 3 was about motherhood, and as a not-mother myself I sort of shrugged at most of this. Part 4, Girls! Girls! Girls! was the portion I was looking forward to most, based on the table of contents. But even that sorta fell flat, though it was an interesting enough read. Sorry, Peggy. It's not you, it's me.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Liz Willard

    Having read one of her other books, I know Orenstein is a strong writer who does her research and presents an interesting mix of facts and opinion. Some of that is evident in this book, but the structure of this book detracts rather than adds to her strength. It doesn't feel like a book, it feels like a disjointed, slap-dash effort at putting together a book. Some of the essays seem downright out of place; I'm still mystified why she started with the profile of a relatively obscure feminist. Her Having read one of her other books, I know Orenstein is a strong writer who does her research and presents an interesting mix of facts and opinion. Some of that is evident in this book, but the structure of this book detracts rather than adds to her strength. It doesn't feel like a book, it feels like a disjointed, slap-dash effort at putting together a book. Some of the essays seem downright out of place; I'm still mystified why she started with the profile of a relatively obscure feminist. Her introductions were distracting, and there was no flow between the essays. Read one of her other books instead.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sonia

    I didn't realize the book is a collection of essays the author has already published, including essays from her previous books. I guess that's why I felt there lacks a clear and smooth flow among the essays like the previous books I've read. Towards the end I skipped 2,3 essays I remember. So I'd say this book appeals a little less to regular readers of Peggy Orenstein's works. Even for people who are not familiar with her work, I'd recommend reading her previous books. Within the books there's I didn't realize the book is a collection of essays the author has already published, including essays from her previous books. I guess that's why I felt there lacks a clear and smooth flow among the essays like the previous books I've read. Towards the end I skipped 2,3 essays I remember. So I'd say this book appeals a little less to regular readers of Peggy Orenstein's works. Even for people who are not familiar with her work, I'd recommend reading her previous books. Within the books there's a stronger cohesion. Bottomline: this book is good for people who only have time to read a little bit from time to time but want to know more on this topic.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rosie

    This is a collection of essays Orenstein has written over the years. They cover what is, for me, an interesting variety of topics. In particular her essays about breast cancer felt especially power for me. I also thought her essays that eventually led to her book exploring the sexualization of young women were pretty interesting. Her articles about particular people didn't do much for me but when she explores other topics like breast cancer and such I was on board. Decent read but not a super st This is a collection of essays Orenstein has written over the years. They cover what is, for me, an interesting variety of topics. In particular her essays about breast cancer felt especially power for me. I also thought her essays that eventually led to her book exploring the sexualization of young women were pretty interesting. Her articles about particular people didn't do much for me but when she explores other topics like breast cancer and such I was on board. Decent read but not a super strong recommend from me.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Thurston Hunger

    After watching "Diary of a Teenage Girl" with my wife and one of our sons, a search on Phoebe Gloeckner pointed me towards this collection of essays by Peggy Orenstein. Read that first, but then went and read the entire book cover-to-cover. Quite a gamut, sure plenty of stuff for me to just shut up and listen to, or mourn over ("Breast Friends" concluding that sad arc, and later "Children Are Alone" leading off the final cluster...the book like a mix tape is well put-together.) In an alternate u After watching "Diary of a Teenage Girl" with my wife and one of our sons, a search on Phoebe Gloeckner pointed me towards this collection of essays by Peggy Orenstein. Read that first, but then went and read the entire book cover-to-cover. Quite a gamut, sure plenty of stuff for me to just shut up and listen to, or mourn over ("Breast Friends" concluding that sad arc, and later "Children Are Alone" leading off the final cluster...the book like a mix tape is well put-together.) In an alternate universe it would be wonderful to have a daughter to discuss the topics here (and we do with our sons), but back in this universe I am glad Orenstein is here and has her daughter.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa

    These essays covered a wide range of topics, from profiles to personal essays to takes on feminism, sex, and child-rearing. While I found myself more invested in the final section of the book, Orenstein's insightfulness, empathy, and honesty made the sections I couldn't relate to (miscarriage, infertility, breast cancer) far more compelling than I anticipated. It's easy to skip around and read the small sections here and there, and I found myself more than once sending snippets and article recom These essays covered a wide range of topics, from profiles to personal essays to takes on feminism, sex, and child-rearing. While I found myself more invested in the final section of the book, Orenstein's insightfulness, empathy, and honesty made the sections I couldn't relate to (miscarriage, infertility, breast cancer) far more compelling than I anticipated. It's easy to skip around and read the small sections here and there, and I found myself more than once sending snippets and article recommendations to friends.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Laura Myers

    I find Peggy’s works enthralling and informative. She has reminded me that it is so important to be open and to have these discussions with mixed company. The selection of essays, most of which I had read, are only the tip of the iceberg. Peggy has helped me reconsider my position on many thoughts and ideas. I am anxious to discuss these many essays with others to discover which ones resonated the most with them. Peggy writes in a way that is both personal and inclusive. I appreciate her candor I find Peggy’s works enthralling and informative. She has reminded me that it is so important to be open and to have these discussions with mixed company. The selection of essays, most of which I had read, are only the tip of the iceberg. Peggy has helped me reconsider my position on many thoughts and ideas. I am anxious to discuss these many essays with others to discover which ones resonated the most with them. Peggy writes in a way that is both personal and inclusive. I appreciate her candor and ability to help us maintain a dialogue.

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