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"Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls" book

(58 Posts)
SirVixofVixHall Thu 18-May-17 20:17:09

A friend has just bought this for my daughter's 10th birthday....She was happily reading the "stories of 100 heroic women". Then she says "Mama there is a BOY in here". There is a boy in there. A boy who has done nothing heroic in his short life, but "love dresses, the color pink, and shiney shoes".Oh and his parents managed to convince a judge that he should use the "bathroom of his choice" which was the girls. hmm
Then his parents threw a party. Probably involving lots of pink and sparkle. And this is supposed to inspire young girls, as much as Jane Austen, Rosa Parks, Florence Nightingale and Helen Keller, who are some of the other "100 heroic women".
Dd is outraged and I am furious. This is gaslighting girls, and a prime example of the patriarchy in action- to get in this list as a woman you could write a novel that has lasted for 200 years, you could stand up to racists, you could be a suffragette. To get in as a male? Oh just like pink and insist on using the girls loos. angry angry

joolspoon Thu 18-May-17 20:28:02

Mmm that's really weird?

M0stlyBowlingHedgehog Thu 18-May-17 20:28:33

Yes, I noticed this when I leafed through it at a friend's house. Amazon does seem to have rather a lot of one star reviews drawing attention to it, so there are a lot of people pissed off about this one.

Yes I was bemused at this inclusion too. The rest of the book is great though. But this does rather undermine it.

BreadAndChipsPlease Thu 18-May-17 20:29:37

I ripped this page out!

SirVixofVixHall Thu 18-May-17 20:34:56

I don't know whether rip it out or deface it. Grrrrr

Ha my H nearly did that too when he saw it!

MrsGWay Thu 18-May-17 20:38:02

My daughter got this and I got to that page and put it away. I have decided not to stick the pages together as it might come in handy in future. Hopefully when this insanity has passed........

BaggyCheeks Thu 18-May-17 20:42:15

I didn't know about that page until I had actually bought the book for my DC. I was not impressed, and neither have friends of mine who also bought the book. One of them has said she's going to print off a picture and write a short biography of another famous woman and stick it over the top.

The rest of the book is fantastic, but that so undermines it, for so many reasons - not least for the child not having actually achieved anything.

SirVixofVixHall Thu 18-May-17 22:16:44

Yes I agree Baggycheeks. A. He is male. B. He is a child. C. He hasn't done anything at all, yet is made out to be on a par with amazing women from history.
What does that teach girls? It really feels like stealth manipulation.

FeedMeAndTellMeImPretty Thu 18-May-17 23:26:59

I agree, this page really jarred given the achievements of the women/girls featured (Malala). My DD is 10 and very mature for her age, so the book is a little simplistic for her but I have used it as a springboard to discuss feminism and the trans agenda etc.

I applaud those who have just ripped it out of covered it with a page about a woman. I'm a bit scared to deface a book so would probably blu tac an extra page in!

Unfortunately I can't see the trans going away any time soon, so I'm trying to teach my DCs to respectfully question these things. I know they're going to run into trouble if they don't tow the line but it goes against everything feminism stands for and I'm not allowing them to sleepwalk into the fog.

FeedMeAndTellMeImPretty Thu 18-May-17 23:28:00

*Can't see the trans agenda going away

BonjourMinou Thu 18-May-17 23:28:34

I bought this book for my daughter (on the back of a fb film/post lamenting how few female protagonists there are in children's books and that those that are, are princesses). Was thrilled with it, makes these women's lives and work really accessible to young girls - until I reached this page. Gave me the rage for all the reasons mentioned. Have settled with a note on top of the bio for that page requesting it not be read for now - in case grandparents do bedtime - but I might print out my own alternative bio or something. This page really, really undermines the book. angry

BonjourMinou Thu 18-May-17 23:29:06

Excuse lack of paragraphs, struggling on my phone!

SirVixofVixHall Fri 19-May-17 09:08:21

Dd was cross as soon as she saw it, which is such a shame as she'd opened the parcel and looked at the cover and been really keen to read about all the interesting women. The language is quite simplistic as pp says, for a ten year old. Better for 7-8 perhaps, but I might have bought it for her when she was younger, if I'd seen it, because there are lots of inspiring women in there. WHY on earth is that boy in there? He is a CHILD for starters, he may change his mind about wanting to be a girl. He may hate pink. But his parents have frozen him forever as a small boy who must be a girl because he "likes pink and dresses". ffs. World has gone mad.

pamplemoussed Fri 19-May-17 09:16:04

Dd and I roared with laughter, discussed and agreed how ridiculous his inclusion was and moved on to read some of the great life stories in there, commenting, "Well that's more like it! How odd they thought to include that boy." Don't let it put you off showing your daughter the rest of it.

sticklebrix Fri 19-May-17 09:48:33

I like the idea of printing off another story and sticking it over the top. My youngest DC was immediately drawn to that story because it is the only child featured. Wouldn't have bought the book if I'd known in advance. Surely they could have found an admirable female child to include? There are lots of examples of girls doing brave and interesting things.

YetAnotherSpartacus Fri 19-May-17 09:54:35

WHY on earth is that boy in there? He is a CHILD for starters, he may change his mind about wanting to be a girl. He may hate pink. But his parents have frozen him forever as a small boy who must be a girl because he "likes pink and dresses". ffs. World has gone mad

It's worth speculating why, I guess, because putting an adult in there would raise all sorts of questions about practical things such as reproduction, surgery and sex.

Is Valentina Tereshkova in there? She was a role model for me never did pass my astronaut training. I liked reading about how in many ways women were better candidates than men for space travel (apparently women outperformed men in multiple ways in tests, but they didn't let women in because it was too hard to design a space-toilet for someone without a penis). It was empowering to read that women did outperform men in many ways though.

SirVixofVixHall Fri 19-May-17 10:59:07

No she's not. Maybe I need to glue her over sparkle boy!

PandasRock Fri 19-May-17 11:05:11

That page gave me the rage too, and I felt really,let down by its inclusion.

I used it as an opening to discuss with dd2 about how it was really odd that people would think a boy who,likes sparkles/pink etc was a girl - why would they automatically be a girl? Why are sparkles 'only' for girls, etc.

Helps a bit that she has a younger brother who loves all things sparkly, and most things pink, so was easy to say 'well, do you think ds is a girl, or a boy who likes sparkles?' and then continue from there.

We concluded that there are people in this world who have very mixed up,ideas grin

sticklebrix Fri 19-May-17 11:08:12

Just realised that my PP made it look like I was referring to the child as 'it' rather than the story. Not my intention!

YetAnotherSpartacus Fri 19-May-17 11:08:22

... or Margaret Thatcher ... (Just looked it up - there seem to be a few similar ones out there).

Sukebind Fri 19-May-17 11:10:37

I think that there are some much more appropriate transgender women who could have been included if it was felt that transgender women needed to be included. I would not put them on a par with many of the revolutionary women, scientists, leaders, etc. but they have certainly achieved more than the child who was included. Nicole Maines who is profiled in 'Becoming Nicole' is one example.

On a different note my nine-year-old dd was irritated by the error in the Elizabeth I profile which says that Elizabeth was told she had become queen by a guard coming into her cell in the Tower of London when she was under an oak tree at Hatfield House. There is a plaque marking the spot.

SylviaPoe Fri 19-May-17 11:11:19

Grace Darling?

KittyPerry77 Fri 19-May-17 11:43:34

So very disappointing. It totally negates the message of the rest of the entries that girls can do anything they want if a boy loving pink and sparkles has to mean that he is actually a girl. Leaving aside whether a transgender person should have been included or not, the actual entry for Cory Mathis was so sexist.

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