Book Review, "Girl Talk"
Full title: Girl Talk: Staying Strong, Feeling Good,
Written by: Judith Harlan
Published by: Walker & Company, New York; NY (1997)
Review By: Nancy L. Brown, Ph.D
Wouldn't you like to be a feminist, too? Ms. Harlan's book defines a feminist as anyone who supports political, economic, and social equality for women. Is that you? As a parent, are you raising feminist children? As a teacher, are you educating feminist boys and girls? Or, are you a parent or teacher who still listens more to boys, believes girls cannot operate machines, use microscopes or computers, and take out the garbage?
If you answered yes to any of those from the previous question, you are failing the feminist movement, and you better beware of any young girls who have read this book. Ms. Harlan is encouraging girls to create equality in every context of their lives – including home, school, and the workforce. To help young readers develop a more girl-positive world, Judith Harlan gives her readers practical suggestions for identifying obvious and hidden discrimination, protecting themselves and their friends from harassment, and expanding their potential and future options.
In addition, Girl Talk is full of information about great women in history – many of whom, I am embarrassed to say, I had never heard about. Along with identifying many potential heroes, this book identifies records set by women and consistently provides messages that include:
- "Stay confident"
- "Women are strong"
- "Spend time shaping your life, not your body"
- "Be active" and, my personal favorite,
- "Take a parent fishing or dance with him or her around the living room"
Reviewed by: Adolescent Interest Group
Last reviewed: August 2013