This might seem like a continuation of the last blog on Feisty Females, and in some ways, I guess it is. However, this time, we really need your help on reading material, rather than us reviewing something.
This post sprang from a comment Holly made today while playing with another female friend. They were in the living room and had popped the TV on briefly to incorporate it into their ‘make believe’ play. Holly then uttered the following words, which left me (nearly) speechless:
‘Let’s pretend that we are on a plane and my mum is the pilot, but she’s a man because pilots are men’.
A series of spluttering, gasping noises came from me before I berated her, saying:
‘Holly, that’s terribly sexist! Women are pilots too, you know!’
‘I know,’ she replied simply, adding, ‘But they’re normally men and that’s probably better.’
Where on earth did she learn this claptrap? Not from me, and not from the books she reads either. We read loads of books with strong female characters (although none of them are pilots, granted) so it’s not as if she’s devouring fiction that has helpless ladies waiting to be saved by princes (though of course we went through that fairy tale phase years ago).
Admittedly, whenever we have flown, we have always had a male pilot. I don’t disagree with her on that point BUT I do take exception to that fact that she thinks it’s better if men are behind the controls of a Boeing 737 than women.
I went directly to amazon to search for good books on feminism for girls, since I thought Holly (9) was too young still for The Female Eunuch or Simone de Beauvoir or Caitlin Moran.
The amazon search results threw up a list of dreadful titles and bizarre covers which made me wonder if the publishers and authors really had a grasp about what feminism was about. It seemed you were either a man-a-like (muscles, scowling, etc) or you needed reassuring that feminists could be feminine too – pink was often used on the covers, as well as pictures of women in skirts with slender ankles. What’s that all about?
So my question to you all is: Are there any good books out there on feminism that I could share with Holly?
I’d like something fairly direct too – not books that hope that the feminism speaks for itself because Anna is a mechanic. I think it’s time we were blunt with her, but with material aimed at her age.
Image courtesy of aviatormag.com.au