Scott's Reviews > The Daring Book for Girls

The Daring Book for Girls by Andrea J. Buchanan
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's review
Nov 10, 08

bookshelves: education, feminism-and-gender-studies, children
Read in January, 2007

While the Dangerous Book for Boys truly was dangerous--it goes against the grain of popular wisdom on how boys should be--and indeed for boys--audaciously confirming that masculinity is okay for boys--the "daring" counterpart for girls is neither daring nor quintessentially feminine in the sense parallel to the zesty masculinity of the original. Instead, it tries too hard to be a girl's version of the original, seeming to go out of its way to show that girls can be both boys and girls too.

The point of the original was not to promote androgyny--we don't see in the Daring Book for Boys any sections on how to embroider (something I enjoyed as a child), the art of cross-dressing (another thing I enjoyed, but my parents discouraged), how to plant, arrange, and dry flowers (more fun from my childhood) or even something completely practical but gender-bending like sewing on a button or baking bread. I intentionally used examples of things I learned and enjoyed from my childhood to show that I'm not opposed to androgyny (I am glad my parents mostly encouraged it) and that I think it is healthy as long as it is provided alongside clarity about gender.

What I think would have been truly daring would be to publish a book that revived the almost-forgotten activities that girls used to both find joy in and affirm their girlhood through (in the same vein as the building of forts, go-carts, and treehouses for boys). That would be more welcome than a pink book that seems to attempt to recast the world as an enormous Lake Wobegone (the home of Garrison Keelor), where the men are men, and the women are too. :(
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message 1: by LUKE (new)

LUKE I think it was good it had more games then the dangeris book for boys . But I think girls 6 to 20 would like it :-)


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