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Don't Call Me Princess: Essays on Girls, Women, Sex, and Life

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  455 ratings  ·  61 reviews
The New York Times bestselling author of Girls & Sex and Cinderella Ate My Daughter delivers her first ever collection of essays—funny, poignant, deeply personal and sharply observed pieces, drawn from three decades of writing, which trace girls’ and women’s progress (or lack thereof) in what Orenstein once called a “half-changed world.”

Named one of the “40 women who c
Published February 27th 2018 by HarperAudio
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3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  455 ratings  ·  61 reviews

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Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, feminism
"It was beyond my imagination that he [Trump] would triumph -- but now the work feels more urgent than ever."

I don't read a lot of essays but wanted to read this book because it's a feminist book. I really liked the way Peggy Orenstein writes, and quite enjoyed some of these essays. Maybe half. Many of them I can't relate to though, especially the ones about breast cancer (I'm very thankful that's not a topic I can identify with) miscarriages, trying to get pregnant, being pregnant,, and raisi
Samantha Fraenkel
I only read the essays that interested me, so probably about half the book or more. Great writing style and really interesting and timely topics. A really enjoyable and thought provoking read.
Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Gail did it better than I could.

I got bogged down in the breast cancer essays, so it took way too long to finish this. I do get tired of listening to the problems of middle class women who have choices denied to so many of the rest of us, but I guess that they have their problems, too. They just aren't mine.

On the other hand, she has insight into the same years that I grew up in. It turned out to be a thoughtful walk down memory lane regarding attitudes
Tiffany Miss.Fiction
Thanks EDELWEISS+ and the publisher for providing a copy of this book!

Well, first of all Peggy Orenstein is one of the most interesting discoveries of the last few weeks for me. I didn't know a thing about her but after reading Don't Call Me Princess, i've met a journalist whom writing is extremely insightful, refreshing and inspirational.
Don't Call Me Princess is a collection of essays and articles, following women of relevance or professionals, general topics and political and cultural issues
Mar 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
I borrowed this book from my public library's 'new' shelf because the title and cover amuse me. And because I thought it would fulfill Read Harder Challenge #22: read an anthology of essays. But it's a book of essays, not an anthology of essays. (An anthology is essays on a similar theme by different authors like The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race edited by Jesmyn Ward, which I intend to read for this.) I also intend to get around to reading this book, because it looks fun.
Jun 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, essays, gender
I love Orenstein's writing. The essays were about a range of heavy issues experienced by women, such as infertility, pregnancy loss and cancer. Issues from developing countries, such as FGM and child marriage, were not covered. It seemed like a walk on the dark side of privileged, North American women's lives. These issues are real and common. But I do wish the essays had included anything at all on the presence of joy in female lives, or examples of girls and women who are hopeful. Now I want t ...more
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well written collection with very personal and eye-opening content. I was first introduced to Peggy Orenstein when she was interviewed on NPR's Fresh Air. During that interview, she was talking about her research for two of the books she's written, specifically, "Cinderella Ate My Daughter." The topics in the interview caught my attention as a husband, father of two girls, and an educator.

I listened to "Don't Call Me Princess" on audiobook which was narrated by Orenstein. Before each essay she i
Aug 16, 2019 rated it liked it
This book is an annotated compilation essays written over the past few decades by Peggy Orenstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter (which I often recommend to students). It includes essays on infertility, breast cancer, the sexualization of teenage girls, feminism, and other topics. Some of the stories are intensely personal - Orenstein's breast cancer diagnosis, participation in a cancer support group, struggles with infertility, etc., and I imagine they will be/have been helpful to those ...more
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Insightful, researched, personal at times, Orenstein shares a collection of essays/articles written over her career as a journalist and feminist. There are some very pertinent and thought-producing pieces here; so interesting to see that where we are now in our views on women is not very far, unfortunately, from what they were 20-30 years ago. We must do better, for our daughters, and sons.
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I feel stronger just reading this book. And much more thoughtful. Such good food for thought.
Andrea Berardi
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Full disclosure- I did not read this book cover-to-cover. I skimmed over or flat out skipped the ones I had on interest in. The essays were about a range of heavy issues experienced by women, such as infertility, pregnancy loss and cancer. These issues are real and common.
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wide range of essays that stoked my angst in a good way.
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: about-life
Columns written over the past thirty years, focus on breast cancer, the trauma and sorrow of miscarriage, sexual pleasure, and other issues, part and parcel of a healthy life. Peggy Orenstein’s reading of her own words is smooth and often matter-of-fact. An essential listen for women, and men, of all ages.

Look for a longer review in AudioFile Magazine
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very thought provoking. This is a book I'd like to discuss in book club. She doesn't arrive to a right vs wrong conclusion on a lot of topics, but rather asks if she's doing enough to start or continue the conversation with her daughter or society.
Nicole Palumbo Davies
Peggy Orenstein has helped to reshape my views on sex and feminism. The idea that girls deserve to experience sexual pleasure just as much as boys should not be revolutionary, and it is disturbing that so many young women don't realize this. Orenstein also tackles infertility, egg donation (in one of the more interesting essays), breast cancer (presenting a critical look at breast cancer culture), and even the pitfalls of being a boy in the Trump era.
Mar 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This was interesting because all of the essays in this collection were already dated, or even snippets of larger works by Orenstein I have already read. I really enjoyed the introduction to each essay in context of how things have progressed since it was published. Also in that way it is interesting to see Orenstein's own thoughts progress, as well as the cultural shifts that have happened even within this time. I didn't always agree, or the way some topics were articulated at times made me unco ...more
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“Don’t Call Me Princess” is Peggy Orenstein’s best hits album, and like “Michael Jackson Number Ones,” the content justifies its own compilation. Few pop stars can identify important topics, compose poetry about them, and deliver it with perfect pitch; most do one or two, but not all three. It’s similarly rare for a journalist to write critically on subjects that don’t always seem salient until she dubs them so and with diction that sings (e.g., “April is a distraction, as would be any student w ...more
Tonstant Weader
Mar 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Don’t Call Me Princess is a collection of essays and articles written by Peggy Orenstein over the course of her career. Focused primarily on women and girls and the issues they face, there are twenty-eight different articles that reveal how her thinking and her priorities have changed over time. It is interesting when she revisits an issue such as the value of breast cancer support groups and her opinions shift over time and her own experience.

She writes about young women, dress codes, sexuality
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: feminists, mothers, folks impacted by breast cancer
I've been a fan of Peggy Orenstein's work for some years now, ever since that fateful day I stumbled across her article, "What's Wrong With Cinderella?" In a Women Studies class, I was working on a paper about the Disney Princesses and the type of "role models" they were for girls. I was hooked.

Since then, I've read most of her books, many of her articles, and always make sure I add her to my "to-read" if I see she's cranking out something new. Orenstein is insightful and funny. Do I always agr
Leah Cossette
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed, women
This wasn't quite as in-depth as I was looking for. Though interesting and often informative, it just didn't resonate a lot. In feminist books I'm usually looking for a book that will help me to be a better, smarter woman; this wasn't a learning experience so much as it was a summary of women's existence in the US.

Part 1 was comprised of short biographies; these I didn't enjoy all that much, except for the one about Miranda Cosgrove, oddly. Part 2 was body talk, mainly about the author's own st
Liz Willard
Nov 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: book-club
Having read one of her other books, I know Orenstein is a strong writer who does her research and presents an interesting mix of facts and opinion. Some of that is evident in this book, but the structure of this book detracts rather than adds to her strength. It doesn't feel like a book, it feels like a disjointed, slap-dash effort at putting together a book. Some of the essays seem downright out of place; I'm still mystified why she started with the profile of a relatively obscure feminist. Her ...more
Dec 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a collection of essays Orenstein has written over the years. They cover what is, for me, an interesting variety of topics. In particular her essays about breast cancer felt especially power for me. I also thought her essays that eventually led to her book exploring the sexualization of young women were pretty interesting. Her articles about particular people didn't do much for me but when she explores other topics like breast cancer and such I was on board. Decent read but not a super st ...more
Laura Myers
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I find Peggy’s works enthralling and informative. She has reminded me that it is so important to be open and to have these discussions with mixed company. The selection of essays, most of which I had read, are only the tip of the iceberg. Peggy has helped me reconsider my position on many thoughts and ideas. I am anxious to discuss these many essays with others to discover which ones resonated the most with them. Peggy writes in a way that is both personal and inclusive. I appreciate her candor ...more
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Don't Call Me Princess... a partial lifetime of essays delegating women as the champions they deserve to be recognized as. Ms. Orenstein discusses issues of dress codes, body shame/ confidence, career empowerment, abortion, adoption, surrogacy, breast cancer, lumpectomy and mastectomy procedures, sexual intimacy, young female role models, and media portrayal of celebrities. I enjoyed reading the brief reasoning of inclusion for an article in each chapter.
Chelsea Ducote
May 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Some really good essays about miscarriage, sexualization and lack of sex ed for girls, and breast cancer.
I particularly enjoyed when she pointed out how polarized the abortion debate was in America as compared to other countries, and how girls indicate their appearance as a measure of how they feel instead of... how they actually feel.

"How did you feel about that sexual encounter?"
"I felt like I looked sexy."

Looking sexy is not a feeling.
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Extremely thoughtful, accessible and frank collection of essays written by Orenstein over the years on a wide variety of topics affecting or about women and girls. About five of these essays deal with various aspects of the author’s experience with and research about breast cancer, including a brief profile on a woman named Atsuko Chiba.
Katya Zablocki
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Peggy Orenstein is a fantastic writer who has lived an awe-inspiring life. While some of the material made me uncomfortable (who really likes reading about breast cancer?), I felt compelled to keep turning the pages and reading more about what she has gone through and what she continues to endure. I'd definitely recommend this to people who want to read a feminist's perspective!
Aug 25, 2018 rated it liked it
I love Orenstein and her work. This book is a bit of a mishmash of essays that don't always connect (to each other, or the reader). The second half of the book is much better than the first but it is by no means a "must read." The best news in it is that she is working on a follow up to her excellent Girls & Sex book that will take the issue from the boy's perspective.
Mar 08, 2019 rated it liked it
The essays feel like introductions to the topics, so there isn't a lot of deep exploration. I loved her other books, but this one just didn't feel like enough. Still, it's a decent read. I highly recommend her other books, though!
Jun 24, 2018 rated it liked it
I expected more, but I guess I did not realize in advance that some of these essays are years and decades old.
I listened to this book and while some of the essays were super interesting and felt very appropriate to read as I raise a daughter, some of them were a tad on the boring side.
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Peggy Orenstein is a best-selling author and a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine. Orenstein has also written for such publications as The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Vogue, Elle, Discover, More, Mother Jones, Salon, O: The Oprah Magazine, and The New Yorker, and has contributed commentaries to NPR’s All Things Considered. Her articles have been anthologized multiple times, incl ...more
“The minimum I ask for my footwear: to be able to dance in it and that it not get me murdered”);” 0 likes
“Rihanna! We’ll know when she is properly powerful and successful when we see her in a lovely cardigan.” 0 likes
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