Elevate Difference

Supergirls Speak Out: Inside the Secret Crisis of Overachieving Girls

Supergirls Speak Out could be loaned out at preschool or kindergarten orientation. It should be on hand for all elementary school teachers and administrators. Reading the stories inside is one warning shot after another to parents, teachers, and others in our society who keep telling our kids—girls and boys—that if you don't do well in elementary school, you can't get into the top high school and then you might as well start picking out safe schools for college.

I go on a lot about being in the Chicago Public School system, but it's true. That's the name of the game. Growing up in the suburbs in a one high school district, it was more about making sure you did well in elementary so you at least got into the honors track in middle and high school. So there is a lot of pressure to get kids going on the right foot, and I'm all for that—except that subtle and not-so-subtle messages we give kids about screwing up (i.e., getting a B) in third grade can ruin their college hopes.

Funk agrees that there is a hook-up culture that is running rampant, and talks about seeing it firsthand. I have to say that I'm still leary that this phenomena is actually happening, especially when one quotes Laura Sessions Stepp as an expert.

As her first book, Funk has sought to expose what some say is the ugly under belly of feminism's daughter—trying to do it all, be good, sexy, and perfect. I do think that many of feminism's messages have been heard wrong, poorly stated, and that any movement has negative outcomes. But I believe that the fact that girls today still think they need to be perfect and "good" means that feminism still has a long way to go at breaking gender stereotypes.

Supergirls Speak Out isn't as good as You're Amazing in talking to girls about the issue. I'd say that Supergirls is more for parents than the girls themselves. Maybe buy them together and give your daughter Mysko's book while you keep Funk around to keep your dreams for your daughter in check.

Cross-posted from Viva La Feminista

Written by: Veronica I. Arreola, March 31st 2009