Kyle Wendy Skultety (gimmethatbook.com)'s Reviews > Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World

Think by Lisa Bloom
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Aug 01, 11

bookshelves: first-reads
Read from July 19 to 27, 2011

I would like to thank Vanguard Press and Goodreads for offering this book in the FirstReads contest. As you can tell, I'm a happy winner :)

Lisa Bloom is the daughter of Gloria Allred (a fact marveled on by all who read my book jacket). Bloom wrote this book to encourage girls and women to THINK about things, and consider them in a new light. Not exactly a "question authority" kind of thing, just a "why are you conforming to stereotypes" thing. Her parents raised her to be a free thinker, challenging Bloom's assumptions about the world, and encouraging her to be her own person. In chapter one she discusses her childhood, (fondly remembering how she was the First Girl to take wood shop), reminisces about things she learned from her Mom's law practice, and shares how her Dad always admonished her to THINK, thereby provoking her response of "I never thought of it that way before".

In the second chapter she discusses how we, as Americans, practice not-thinking, starting off with the general dumbing down of schools and learning, the growing fascination with pop culture and fashion, and finally, a section on how girls are focused on being "hot" instead of smart. Bloom quotes statistic after statistic on how much we spend on makeup vs books, how many girls/women are ignorant of all things political, and how we are obsessed with the Kardashians and American Idol.

The third chapter deals with our lack of awareness/interest in humanitarian and ecological issues. She talks about genocide in Rwanda, global warming, and all the hot button political issues that Americans are ignorant of. She especially grinds her proverbial axe with the story of Angelina Jolie, who most of us know as Brad Pitt's wife, the one with all the kids, who is Jennifer Aniston's sworn enemy.....but who also is a woman who spends time in Pakistan and other 3rd world countries, trying to make their quality of life better. Bloom's complaint is that we would rather read Vogue to hear about what makeup she uses, or what she cooks Brad for dinner, rather than appreciate her for her forward thinking and caring for the poor.

The second part of the book consists of Bloom's solutions to the not-thinking problem. She is a voracious reader, and certainly her thoughts and admonishments about reading rang true with me. She also advocates "farming out" chores to your kids, limiting time on social media websites, and other things like that so as to have more "you" time and not be so frazzled. High on her list is self acceptance, of course, and she quotes more shocking stats on how many girls are thinking about breast implants more than they think about what college they want to get into.
Pages 160 to 191 was my favorite section by far, as she gave reasons to read, suggestions on what to read (everything!) and ways to make your kids WANT to read, which is her starting point for helping us start to THINK. If we as Americans can THINK more in our daily lives, we will be smarter and happier, according to her.

I tend to agree, but I believe a lot of people will take issue with this. Most of us want to read People instead of the NY Times, and most of us WOULD rather watch American idol instead of some boring political debate or Senate hearing. Bloom just wants us to be well rounded, and not be experts on pop culture only.

The one thing that sticks in my head is how we talk to little girls when we meet them: "Oh, what a pretty dress, did your Mom do your hair, what a cute dolly" etc etc. We should THINK, and say to them "Who is your favorite author, what is your best subject in school, what are you reading now" etc.
Women should not encourage little girls to obsess over their figure, or to be all pink and frilly. Bloom's message is for every girl to THINK for herself and accept herself for who she is. Well done! This book should be a gift to all girls from their Moms.
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07/20/2011 page 61
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