The Girls' Guide to Life: How to Take Charge of the Issues That Affect You with Poster


At last! A book that empowers girls to take an active role in shaping their own lives as well as improving prospects for girls and women everywhere. With this lively, accessible handbook, girls will learn how to organize a "girlcott" against a company whose policies or products are offensive or unfair to girls and women, start a math or science club for girls, confront sexual harassment, challenge gender ...
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At last! A book that empowers girls to take an active role in shaping their own lives as well as improving prospects for girls and women everywhere. With this lively, accessible handbook, girls will learn how to organize a "girlcott" against a company whose policies or products are offensive or unfair to girls and women, start a math or science club for girls, confront sexual harassment, challenge gender stereotyping in textbooks and in the classroom, and much more, including:
-- The secret of self-esteem
-- The new score on girls and sports
-- The myths about math
-- Plus quizzes, poems, real-life stories, female firsts, and more than 100 other fun activities, ideas, and resources

With contributions from such well-respected women as activist-writer Gloria Steinem, poet Maya Angelou, former Texas governor Ann Richards, and author Marie G. Lee, The Girls' Guide to Life is an invaluable guide that belongs on every girl's and girls' group bookshelf.

Uses information, activities, and creative writings to examine a variety of issues important to teenage girls, including how they are treated at home and at school, what they think of their bodies, sexual harassment, pay equity, and more.

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Editorial Reviews

Los Angeles Times
Much has been written about girls' vulnerability to depression, low self-esteem, and behavioral and psychological disorders as they make the transition from childhood to adolescence. It's well-recognized now that the best defense against this treacherous period of development is a good offense. This book provides girls with advice, reassurance, and empowerment....If you know any girls, especially ages 10-13, buy it. (November 24, 1997)
Horn Book
This savvy handbook is more than just the "how-to" guide its title suggests. In a provocative and friendly style, Dee demonstrates that typical feminine characteristics such as silence in the classroom, insecurity about appearance, and intimidation about sports or science are not the irrevocable fate of being female but simply the result of growing up in a society that maintains a deep-seated bias against girls and women. She uses snappy, teen-magazine-style chapters to illu-minate these biases: what they are, how to recognize them, and how to change them. Each chapter explores the facts of a particular issue, such as sexism in the media, sexist language, sexual harassment, etc., then personalizes that issue through boxed first-person narratives and poetry , comic strips, anecdotes, and quizzes. A list at the end of each chapter provides information on related books, videos, pamphlets, and organizations that will help give girls their bearings. But it's the book's activist feature, "Things to Do," that will have girls writing letters, joining organizations, and kicking that old passive stereotype good-bye. Go, girls! A bibliography of resources for parents and teachers, source notes, and an index are appended. (July/August 1997)
Palo Alto Weekly
This book is such a good idea it's a wonder no one did it before. Catherine Dee of Palo Alto has taken a world of facts, information and resources and produced a lively, magazine-style book aimed at giving teen-age girls some things they should know....The Girls' Guide to Life is instructive and informative without ever becoming patronizing. (June 4, 1997) END
San Francisco Sunday Examiner and Chronicle
Dee ambitiously touches on a wide range of salient issues from self-esteem to working women. She easily moves back and forth between two poles, noting both the progress made by women and girls to date and the gender bias still in place. Dee's book is full of challenging ideas, neatly packaged so as to spur girls to think of themselves as players in the game of life. (July 27, 1997)
Santa Cruz Good Times
Here's a concept: Why not try to give teen girls a supportive, informative guide for coping with life and preparing for adulthood, and put it in a form that will (gasp) actually appeal to them in the way Sassy or Seventeen does. Far from a boring self-help tome, Catherine Dee's new Girls' Guide to Life patterns itself after the teeny-bop mags, from the bright, stylin' cover straight on through. But when the cover teasers--you know, the ones that normally read "50 Ways to Make Him Notice You" and "How Anorexia Can Help You Beat Split Ends"--say "Discover Your Political Power" and "Learn the Secret of Self-Esteem," you know you're in for something completely different....I'll bet it leaves more than one 13-year-old with her head spinning....Dee is clearly onto something here. ( August 14, 1997)
VOYA - Sarah Hudson
In The Girls' Guide to Life, Dee provides a historical background of women's rights and discusses current issues of relevance to adolescent girls and women, including self-esteem, appearance, household chores, personal safety, classroom equality, sexual harrassment, athletics, gender-biased media and speech, public policy, and careers. In addition, Dee suggests ways girls can examine these issues in relation to their own lives and ways in which they can work to positively change their situations. Some of her suggestions include keeping a journal, talking with friends, grading media for biased speech and sexist portrayals of women, and interviewing women working in a career of interest. To improve their situations, Dee says girls also might talk with parents, teachers, or counselors about concerns, write letters to public officials and media executives, take a self-defense class, confront harassers, participate in team or individual sports, and join girls' organizations. Throughout the book, Dee stresses activism, but in the conclusion, she reminds girls that they do not actually have to go out and do anything. By reading this book, they have taken a first step toward awareness. Dee also highlights the facts that girls should respect other people's differing opinions and appreciate boys who are sensitive to their beliefs. The author is concerned with gender equity, not male bashing. While the author is fair overall, she could show more tolerance for traditional female interests, such as beauty pageants and liberal arts studies. Dee calls the reader to activism against beauty pageants, while some teen girls continue to show interest in pageants. To her credit, the author acknowledges that everyone is concerned with their looks, but when concern turns into obsession, there is a problem, she writes. Also, while emphasizing math and science, she seems to devalue the liberal arts, as might be apparent in this line: "You've got a schedule to follow, friends to see, a math test to take, history class to stay awake in after lunch." It is important to stress to girls that they are capable of excelling in math or science, but not to invalidate other subjects they might be interested in. Each chapter is followed by a list of books and/or organizations that can provide further information. Dee recommends a variety of resources, including titles from Rosen's Coping With... and Staying Safe... series. Interspersed throughout the author's text are personal experiences reported by females and males of all ages. Poetry, photographs, cartoons, and comic strips accent the text. The graphics are blurry, which I hope will be corrected in the finished version. Contributors include Maya Angelou, former Texas Governor Ann Richards, and author Marie G. Lee. The appendix includes resources for parents and teachers, a list of organizations, and a bibliography of principal sources. The majority of sources are from the 1990s, although about ten to twenty are from the 1970s and 1980s. Overall, this is a worthwhile addition to any public or school library. Libraries serving communities that value women's issues and gender equity should purchase this work. Dee has produced a worthwhile starting point for girls who need a place to turn when facing problems in their lives. Illus. Photos. Source Notes. Further Reading. Chronology. Appendix. VOYA Codes: 4Q 3P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, Will appeal with pushing, Middle School-defined as grades 6 to 8, Junior High-defined as grades 7 to 9 and Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
Children's Literature - Trina Heidt
The Girls' Guide to Life contains an interesting collection of stories and statistics about women and their roles in society. It attempts to empower young girls by providing general information, role models, and inspirational stories. The stories, advice, and excerpts are about and by powerful, confident women taking charge of their own lives and defying stereotypical gender based roles. While timely, much of the content is too intense for the younger end of its targeted audience (10-to 15-year-old girls). An excellent supplement or reference for boosting any young girl's self-esteem.
Kirkus Reviews
A fact-packed and thought-provoking information and activity book from Dee, who notes that she grew up with Marlo Thomas's groundbreaking Free to Be You . . . and Me.

With her definition of a feminist (a person "of either gender who believes in equality for both genders"), Dee establishes her notions of the struggle for equality, and provides enthusiastic support for girls in many arenas. Some topics covered: being "ladylike"; personal safety; assertive behavior in the classroom; sexual harassment; athletics and politics; advertising images of girls and women. The format is inviting, with quizzes, projects, cartoons, poetry, and excerpts from authors—Maya Angelou and Gloria Steinem among them. Extensive source material is appended (notes, lists of organizations, bibliographies) as well as meted out at logical intervals throughout the book. The attractive chapters, numerous black-and-white illustrations and photographs, and abundant information offered with Dee's light touch add up to a pleasing and valuable guide, not necessarily to be overlooked by members of either sex.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780613024471
  • Publisher: San Val, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/28/1997
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 147
  • Product dimensions: 8.54 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Table of Contents

Why Should Girls Care?: What you'll gain by reading this book vi
A Quick Quiz: What is gender bias? Are boys better at math? Test your knowledge of the facts about females viii
Women's History Highlights: From Victoria Woodhull to Anita Hill: important moments in the history of women's rights from 1848 to the present x
Personal Life
Chapter 1 Looking Out for #1: Everyone's talking about self-esteem. What is it, and how can you build it? 3
Chapter 2 Go Figure: The skinny on beauty pageants, Barbie, and your appearance 15
Chapter 3 You Go, Girl! Is trying to be "ladylike" keeping you from expressing your fun side? 23
Chapter 4 Good Housekeeping: The truth about traditional "women's work" and tips on creating an equal-opportunity household 29
Chapter 5 Take That! Strategies for staying safe at home, at school, and on the street 38
At School
Chapter 6 Class Acts: Don't just raise your hand--raise your awareness of how girls may be treated unfairly in the classroom 47
Chapter 7 Math Myths and Science Fiction: How math + science = a great future for girls 56
Chapter 8 Leave Me Alone!: What sexual harassment is and the best ways to handle it 65
Chapter 9 Know the Score: How participating in athletics can help you develop a winning attitude in every area of your life 72
Our Society
Chapter 10 Media Darling: How to tune your frequency to detect gender bias and stereotyped portrayals of women on TV, in magazines and newspapers, and on the radio 83
Chapter 11 The "Old Boys' Club": Our government needs more pro-female leaders. You don't have to wait until you turn eighteen to help make it happen 92
Chapter 12 Spread the Word: What's wrong with saying stewardess, majorette, or old maid? How we can make our language more "female-friendly" 102
Chapter 13 Selling Us Short: Do you think advertisements portray women and girls realistically? If not, here's how to get companies to rethink their campaigns 108
Chapter 14 Creative Differences: How women have contributed to the arts and ideas for developing your own talents 115
Chapter 15 Working Woman: The challenges and joys of being female in the workplace 122
Conclusion: Secrets of Success: How to apply the principles in this book to real life 131
"Gender Inequity": Thirteen-year-old writer Sarah Duff Harris sums up with a poem 133
Resources for Parents and Teachers 134
Principal Sources 137
Index 143
Copyright Acknowledgments 146
A "Girls' Guide to Life" Full-Color Poster: Stick up this poster to remind you to stick up for yourself
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