OK, technically I read it right after Christmas, but since I'm just getting to the review NOW, I'll be kind to myself and allow this book to be the first of the year.
Girls Gone Mild (by Wendy Shalit)
subtitled: Young Women Reclaim Self-Respect and Find it's Not Bad to be Good
This book has been on my wish list for quite some time, and thanks to my in-laws, I finally got a chance to read it!
You may remember Wendy Shalit from her first book, A Return to Modesty -- a tremendous book that I find myself rereading about once a year.
In her second book, Shalit continues along the same vein; that is, she uses examples from TV, movies, magazines, and music to show just how our culture degrades women, all the while claiming to "champion their rights" of freedom, independence, self-expression, etc. It is easy to coast along, half-believing in the strides made in these areas, until Shalit forces her readers to examine each claim in light of what is actually being seen/sung/read by our children today. I would not want to link anyone to anything offensive, so let me just say that there is enough garbage out there to give any mom of girls nightmares.
I found this book to be more than a bit depressing, as our culture is so oversaturated with s*x, with how we look, how h*t we want people to think we are, how early everyone wants to "educate" children and cause them to lose their innocence. Furthermore, there was too much of the "bad news," and not nearly enough "good news" to buoy my spirits throughout the reading of this book. I need to hear more of those who have said "enough!"
It was a good reminder for me, however, to keep praying -- for the innocence of my children, for vigilance on the part of my dh and I (that we would keep out all that would corrupt them), that we would exemplify purity in all that we say and do, and that we would model what real followers of Jesus look like. I was inspired by Danielle Bean, who bought her two oldest children iPods, with the explicit agreement that she and her husband would be in charge of what they listen to.
May all of us continue to pray for our children!
(and for a lift of your spirits, go watch A&E's Pride and Prejudice and remember how glorious a bit of modesty, dressing up and behaving like ladies can be!)