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Girl Trouble: Panic and Progress in the History of Young Women
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Girl Trouble: Panic and Progress in the History of Young Women

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  149 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Horror, scandal and moral panic! The popular fascination with the moral decline of young women has permeated society for over a hundred years. Be it flappers, beat girls, dolly birds or ladettes, public outrage at girls' perceived permissiveness has been a mass-media staple with each changing generation.

Eminent social historian Carol Dyhouse examines what it really means
Paperback, 328 pages
Published March 1st 2013 by Zed Books (first published January 1st 2013)
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Apr 22, 2013 Enya-Marie rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, non-fiction
A well researched yet brief overview of Britain's (although heavily weighted towards England) social perceptions of women since the Victorian period. This is an engaging, interesting read and a lot of effort has clearly gone into challenging stereotypes about women.

It could've been less descriptive and more thought-provoking/critical but it didn't quite take that leap. It also didn't pay much attention to how events like the 1960s America civil rights movement or the Irish 'Troubles' affected B
Jul 22, 2013 Kate rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, feminism
Excellent, as expected of Dyhouse. It's difficult to describe her prose without sounding like I'm damning it with faint praise: it's so lucid and economical and effortlessly enjoyable to read it's too easy to overlook the truly impressive scholarship and research behind every sensible, balanced sentence. This is a great overview/introduction to these themes, though having read her Glamour: Women, History, Feminism and Girls Growing Up in Late Victorian and Edwardian England, many elements (and s ...more
Jul 19, 2014 Sam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a thoroughly researched and well written insight into the changing (and not changing) attitudes of women, primarily in the UK but with references to the USA. This book shows how far women have come in some areas and how little has changed in others, particularly how the media and society as a whole responds when women act how they want to and not how they are told to (very familiar with this...). Dyhouse manages to keep much of her writing a little light-hearted given the subject matter ...more
Jan 16, 2015 Pat rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Emily, Doris
Recommended to Pat by: Michael Fountain
An amazing amount of well-balanced information is packed into an eminently readable and enjoyable history of British attitudes toward and obsessions with girls and young women and their behavior from the Victorian era to the present. I appreciate any history book that can cause me to laugh out loud. Includes lots of examples from popular culture--headlines, books, films--and puts current panics about young women into perspective. There are occasional references to North America, but the focus is ...more
Jun 08, 2014 Grace rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This was a really interesting and pretty intense look at the changing lives of young women in (mainly) the united kingdom and the united states. It looks at all aspects of their lives, from the changing attitudes towards marriage and education, to the public responses to what they saw as wild young women. From flappers to ladettes, this book shows how the public perception of young women often differed from reality, double standards between the sexes were rife and young women had to fight every ...more
rachael gibson
Jan 13, 2014 rachael gibson rated it really liked it
As other reviewers have said, the best thing about this book is how it takes some difficulty and complex theories and turns them into easily understandable ideas - it's not a difficult read at all. What is difficult is the depressing truths within and seeing how little has changed in some aspects...
Jul 09, 2013 Jbondandrews rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed reading about Girl Trouble. It made me wonder how active were my female ancestors in the suffrage movement and as I have found the voter lists for my great grandmother and great great grand mother, I would like to believe they were very active.
Mar 21, 2013 Lesley rated it it was amazing
So very good, such an amazing mass of research so engagingly written, such important debunking of pervasive popular preconceptions and nostalgic visions.
Gayle Noble
Jun 06, 2015 Gayle Noble rated it really liked it
This covers a lot of time from Victorian to 20th century but it is eminently readable for all the information packed into the pages. It is fascinating and yet disheartening to read about really how little has changed in some respects when it comes to the sexuality of young women. We are still having the same arguments and fighting similar fights now. Even though we have never been so free in terms of contraception, education, and economic prospects, females are dealing with the ever-present sexu ...more
Nov 08, 2013 Karen rated it really liked it
This book about social obsession with the conduct of women and girls from the Victorian era to the present is well written and thoroughly footnoted and indexed. Its main focus is on Britain, but it references similar situations in the US. Some of it was familiar territory (fears that educating girls and young women would flatten their chests and shrivel their ovaries, unfitting them for motherhood--or, if it didn't do that, it would make them so strong minded and unwomanly that no man would want ...more
Jul 18, 2013 Yasmin rated it really liked it
Finished Girl Trouble as it is only from the perspective of Britain it is a little restrictive. It would be interesting to know about a book that covered many countries into one. In the part focusing on the 19th and early 20th centuries I have to admit I was sceptical. However, I have not made that time period a study of mine, altho' I have not come across the newspaper headlines in any of the things I have read. But as I have not seen all the editions of The Women's World, from the mid 1880s I ...more
May 13, 2013 Meredith rated it it was amazing
This book provides a history of the obsession with the conduct of young women, which has been a constant throughout history, from the Victorian era to the present. It's divided into several sections focusing on a particularly topic, and each of those sections are presented in chronological order.

I found the book extremely well-written and organized. Dyhouse is a balanced commentator, pointing out studies which are limited and drawing attention to differing views, especially on current events in
Apr 23, 2013 Amanda rated it really liked it
I won this book in a goodreads giveaway. The topic isn't one I'd read much about previously, but it sounded interesting. This book is eye-opening and extraordinarily well-researched. It chronicles the social history of young women throughout the past century, and I was struck by how well the author analyzed social changes that I'd lived through, but hadn't given much prior thought to. Personally, I would have preferred more first-hand accounts, such as interviews or diary entries...I wanted to g ...more
Mar 10, 2016 Shelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Shelly by: Jen Campbell
A well researched and documented, whitty look into the History and Evolution of Females.
Through social standing, media, literature, culture and print media. This book documents the life and times of the female phscy and how it has been portrayed.
From While Slavery and the Seduction of Innocence through prostitution in the early 1900's
Brazen Flapper and the Bright Young Things of the 30-40s
To Rock & Roll, Punk, Girl Power and Manic Pixie, Lolita effects.

I would recommend this to any budding
May 31, 2013 Andie rated it really liked it
Controlling the behavior of girls and young women has been the concern of societies from the beginning of recorded history, and this entertaining social history of British women in the 20th Century demonstrates that despite giant strides that women have have made in the past 100 years, there are still biases and prejudices that die hard.

Told with illustrative examples from popular literature, films and television. This book is an easy fascinating read. It's interesting to see the parallel tracks
Apr 14, 2013 Bianca rated it really liked it
An interesting and well written book about young women and feminism from suffragettes to now. It wasn't what I expected but I couldn't put it down. I learned a lot and it made me think about my position of being a woman today. While it tries to be academic, there are moments of pure opinion that I personally didn't care. They make me take the text less seriously. Otherwise a good beginner feminist novel.
Apr 03, 2013 Lisa rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Afraid this will be a terse writeup, as it's been some months since I read the book. (I thought I'd written about it at the time.) The long and short of it is that the worry about girls these days is perennial- only the details of the specific worry of the day seemed to change, and the panic was frequently overblown. While it focused more on the British experience, there were references to the US as well.
A nice factual background to already existing ideas/anecdotes on feminism and why it's so important. I wouldn't say I learnt anything new or thought-provoking but social history and the basis to how our modern society rests today always makes for an interesting read. However, I couldn't even LOOK at the chapter entitled 'White Slavery' without cringing, and the book really lacked intersectionality - an overlooked but vital component of 21st century feminism.
May 20, 2014 Elise rated it really liked it
A well-written history about the progress of women, from a lower class of citizen who must be protected and kept at home to independent people with education and choices.

Focusing mostly on the UK, but certain aspects could easily be applied to the US. As prudish as Americans are, it's fun to see that Britons aren't much different--Britons are often portrayed in the media as much more sexual and accepting. We are more alike than some would care to admit.
Sep 19, 2014 Ester rated it liked it
Very interesting and well-written - only minor criticism is that I felt it veered more into a history of feminism from the 70s onwards, which is unavoidable to an extent but did shift the focus of the book quite a bit and covered things that I would suspect much of the readership is already aware of.
Jul 08, 2015 Carmen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Eh. No original thought here, quite a boring, ambivalent history of women and girls in Britain. I'd guess Dyhouse is quite third wave as well, so rather lacking in critical thinking about sexuality.
Oct 18, 2013 Eva rated it it was amazing
Loved it.
To me it's obvious that maybe, just maybe, people (male and female) should stop telling girls what to do, how to act, who to be and just let them do as they feel best.
Rachael Eyre
Jul 14, 2014 Rachael Eyre rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A hugely accessible and readable social history. Highly recommended for a quick overview of the British feminist movement. I'll definitely read more of her books.
Sinead Campbell
Sinead Campbell rated it liked it
Jan 17, 2015
Sam rated it really liked it
Oct 03, 2016
Ann Catherine
Ann Catherine rated it it was amazing
Apr 14, 2013
Arabella Stewart
Arabella Stewart rated it really liked it
Jun 02, 2015
Sam Grove
Sam Grove rated it really liked it
Jul 10, 2014
Lindsey rated it it was amazing
Apr 09, 2013
Christine Blackthorn
Christine Blackthorn rated it really liked it
May 14, 2014
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Carol Dyhouse is a social historian. Her research has focused on gender, education and the pattern of women's lives in nineteenth and twentieth century Britain. Her books include Girls Growing Up in late Victorian and Edwardian England (1981); Feminism and the Family in England, 1890-1939, (1989); No Distinction of Sex? Women in British Universities (1995); and Students: A Gendered History (2006). ...more
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