Don't Call Me Princess: Essays on Girls, Women, Sex, and Life

HarperCollins. Feb. 2018. 384p. ISBN 9780062688903. $16.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062688910. SOC SCI
OrangeReviewStarLike her previous books Girls & Sex and Cinderella Ate My Daughter, Orenstein's latest looks at the damage that gender stereotyping has on lives and laws, among other things. This book would complement women's, gender, and sexuality studies because of the range of the essays, especially in the first section, in which Orenstein profiles women such as graphic novelist Phoebe Gloeckner, iCarly star Miranda Cosgrove, and scientist Elizabeth Blackburn. That being said, the real strength of this collection is Orenstein's beautiful interweaving of personal stories with politics and her writings on/about politics. In some ways, her description of Gloeckner's deployment of genre conventions (mixing a traditionally female form, the diary, with male-dominated comic book writing) could describe her own approach, which blurs the boundaries among polemical, personal, and political. Orenstein situates her writing within her own identity, thereby suggesting the limitations of her viewpoints. Overall, she enriches her readers' understanding of abortion laws, breast cancer, body image, pornography, and other timely issues in specific yet open-ended and complex ways.
VERDICT For all interested in how situation and circumstance influence women's everyday lives.
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