Are you a parent, who is frustrated by the lack of diverse, strong, women offered in children’s books? Those stereotypical books that target young girls, ‘pinkwash’ them into aspiring to be cute, dress and wait prettily while a boy comes to sweep them away, from their miserable, boring lives?
The ‘Girls section’ is riddled with cliche books about princesses, tiara’s, tea parties, and girls who lust over a boy. Shift over to the boys section and you’ll see that their books, are bursting with monsters, farting, dinosaurs and jetting off to the moon. No swooning over girls necessary. They have a world to conquer.
What are these books, telling our girls? That they should lead a life that pleases others? That ideas outside these concepts, means she is not ‘girly’ enough, she’s an odd ball, or a tom boy?
While boys are shooting off to another planet, they can rest assured that the world is as good as theirs. Why? Well because the fine churning of pinkwash books, toys and programmes continues to keep, 50% of the population to stay within the limits of their homes.
Girls and even young women till this day, are told by society to settle, have kids as soon as possible, not that it’s a bad thing, but it shouldn’t be the ONLY thing, that they aspire to become. They should have their own merit, their own purpose, independent of the supporting role they play in others lives.
Growing up we have our lives mapped out for us, by our parents, our families, society, the media, all play a part in how we turn out as individuals. Boy or girl the environment we are raised in, play a part in what we become. Why is that girls limits are set so much lower than boys?
While boys are encouraged to take risks, jump higher, expand their horizons, make mistakes and try again. They are taught to be brave, ambitions and take chances.
On the flip side what are girls told to do? To take caution, be careful, look after your looks, dress properly, aim for perfect, don’t try too hard, don’t lead, always play a supporting role?
Goodnight Story for Rebel Girls flips, stereotypical perceptions of how girls are weak, wavering and need saving, on its head. It shows what happens when girls jump into their passions, take risks, explore their talents and accomplish their goals, whether the world is ready for it, or not!
Although it is supposed to be a book targeted to young girls, I was so excited to get my hands on it. It appeals to readers of all ages and gender.
We get 100 stories of extraordinary, real life females, around the world, throughout history, who have stood up against the social norms, that hold girls down. From Cleopatra to Rosa Parks, from Malala to Maya Angelou it not only introduces but connects young minds to great minds.
The book is married with 100 amazing artwork by women, from all over the world, making it a beautiful coffee table book, which will start many intriguing conversations!
The 100 stories begin in the traditional once upon a time format, and gives you a snippet of amazing work these great individuals have done in the face of unjust hurdles. The glimpse into their lives leads the reader wanting to know more.
Just as my girls did, every time I read a passage of an inspirational figure, they would have so many intrigued questions, which would lead to hours of lengthy discussions. This in turn extends bedtime, and the dreams I would hear about the next morning, would be even more elaborate!
After reading the story of a computer expert, my eldest daughter, age 7, started opening up all the old remotes that we had lying around. She opened up broken clocks, and it ignited a spark of curiosity, on how things work. I doubt any other bedtime story book would have made her do that!
All the stories are inspiring and rebellious, featuring females that are true to themselves, following their passion, talent and having immense amount of grit. No small minded barriers of ‘you can’t, because you’re a girl’ stopped them from reaching their goals. Many not only smashed gender stereotypes but achieved heights that men hadn’t before.
The collection of lives, celebrates womanhood, as an entity to be reckoned with, strong willed, reminding me my worth as a woman. This is the book that men needed growing up, as reminders that they have lived a life of privilege, while their partners have been held back.
The message of being held back, by society and social norms, is prevalent in majority of the lives of these rebel girls. But that didn’t stop them, they may have been rebels at the time, but they are seen as pioneers now.
Men can jump into any role they please feet first, while women till this day have to think and calculate and measure the hurdles.
Studies have shown that men are more likely to apply to jobs where they are 60% qualified to do, while women only apply when they are 100%. Why is that? Because women have the odds against them, just for a being a ‘woman’, they know that, that’s why they aim for perfection, before even applying.
Smart girls are being doubted on, criticized for wanting to break molds, and mocked at for ‘wanting to be men’, when taking up leadership roles.
The book gives each and every woman out there, permission to dare greatly, and step into their passion, and not hide from it.
The frustrations are age old, however they are as relevant today as they were 100 years ago. 100 years ago it was much more clear and apparent. Nowadays they call it ‘marketing’.
We fool ourselves that we are on a level playing ground, with the right to vote, to drive, and all the other modern liberties that women have fought for.
Yes, we have many liberties, in many parts of world. However, we can not ignore, that their are babies, who are still fighting for the right to life, just because they are a girl. They are still girls, who are having to go against the grain just to study in school. There are women, who have to use their bodies and not their intellect, because they are still seen as objects, and what they have to say is not seen as important. There are women, who are just as able as men for posts, but are ousted out because of patriarchal prejudices.
There are women, who work just as hard as men, aiming for perfection and giving 110%, but still get less pay. They are women who are told what to wear, what not to wear, and when not to wear it. Women are objectified, and every inch of her is scrutinized, just on appearance, while men are measured on intellect.
Beauty still trumps brains. Women are still being celebrated on their looks, than their abilities, the peddling of this narrative is still as strong as ever.
Everybody knows Stephan Hawkins and Steve Jobs, but when you ask about famous smart women, were all stumped. Why? It’s not because there aren’t any, it’s because our society doesn’t care to know them.
Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls shows us that there are extraordinary women who paved the way for a world, as we know it today.
There are great women, who are continuing to grind away, at prejudices, for generations to come. It makes every single woman connected, to the common cause, of being seen as an equal.
Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.
Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls, is a must have book for every human on the planet, no matter what their age. It should be in every library, every school and every waiting room. Because why not!
Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls, is what I needed growing up, this book is what my mother needed, and her mother, and generations before them, telling them that they were not good enough. Women have been held back for too long and it still continues today.
I may not have had this book as a child, but it gets me emotional to have it now, as a grown adult. Having read it every night to my young girls, encouraging them to be bold and be whoever they choose to be. Reminding them, the world may not be ready for them, but the world is not always right, but it will catch up, eventually.
There were many famous women that we knew, but so many that we never heard of. It was an education for me aswell as for my children. I will be reading it to my boy when he is at an age of understanding, so that he sees women in all their glory, and not to presume what they are capable of from idiotic tv commercials and movies.
The book intrigues the reader, into researching more about the figures spoken about, in the book. It also builds a curiosity, to research on great women in your own country.
If you haven’t got this book get it, and if you have it, buy it for your loved ones!! Can’t wait for Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls Part 2 !!
This post is no way sponsored or affiliated, reviews and opinions are my own.