PLEDGE NOW
Caitlin Flanagan On Protecting Girlhood

Caitlin Flanagan says we need to take our daughters back to a more protected childhood. Critics are fuming. We’ll dive in.

Girl Land cover from Hachette Books.

Girl Land cover from Hachette Books.

Caitlin Flanagan knows how to put a stick in the beehive of working moms and women’s movement champions.  She’s gone after professional women.  Now she’s going after – to save it, she says – contemporary girlhood.  In particular, girls’ adolescence.  The passage out of childhood.

She calls it “girl land”, and she says we’ve trashed it with rushed sexualization and Internet porn and overexposure just when girls need cozy, dreamy days with their diaries.

This hour, On Point:  American girls, adolescence, and a call to go back to a more protected, innocent girlhood.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Caitlin Flanagan, a writer and social critic, her new book is “Girl Land.” A contributing editor and book reviewer at The Atlantic Monthly and former staff writer for The New Yorker. She is also author of the book To Hell With All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife.

Irin Carmon, staff writer at Salon and former reporter for the women’s online magazine Jezebel. You can find her review of Girl Land here.

From Tom’s Reading List

Elle Magazine “Caitlin Flanagan’s debut collection, To Hell With All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife (2006), lit up the work-life-balance debate with essays on everything from wives who don’t want sex to what children gain when their mothers don’t work. She was pilloried as, alternately, an elitist and a hypocrite (she worked from home and had a nanny for her kids), but she wrote with eloquence, intelligence, and flair.”

Kirkus “The author claims that parents who impose protective limits on their daughters are not shortchanging them by treating them differently than sons—especially because we are living in a media and marketing-driven culture that is “openly contemptuous of girls and young women.” Flanagan points to the inherently different ways that females experience the onset of adulthood: menstruation, which raises the dangers associated with pregnancy as well as the promise of motherhood; the lurking possibility of date-rape as well as the opportunity for sexual fulfillment; and more.”

New York Times “This time, in “Girl Land,” she takes a more sustained look at girls as they leave childhood and head into the treacherous passage of adolescence.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
May 4, 2016
A voter casts her ballot in the Indiana Primary at a fire station in Indianapolis, Tuesday, May 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Results and story lines from the Indiana primary. Does it cement two pathways to the nominations?

May 4, 2016
Leslie Stahl with her grandchild Jordan. (Courtesy: Leslie Stahl)

Trailblazing journalist Lesley Stahl on her new book Becoming Grandma, and the joys, the science, the struggles, the evolution of being a grandparent today.

RECENT
SHOWS
May 3, 2016
In this photo taken Thursday, Sept. 17, 2009, fifteen-year-old Amorette Castillo has her sensor checked before starting a series of physical activities at a University of Southern California lab in Alhambra, Calif. Scientists across the country are playing with miniature gadgets and fitting them on the overweight and obese to get an unbiased glimpse into their exercise and eating habits. The cell phone for gathering data is on her hip. (AP Photo/Kim Johnson Flodin)

Weight loss lessons from the TV show “The Biggest Loser”. A study of the show’s contestants reveals why it’s so hard to keep off the weight we lose.

 
May 3, 2016
Geri Taylor, camera in tow, at the Hoover Dam in 2014. Photography had been a sideline for 30 years, but now she could really devote time to it.
Courtesy, New York Times. MICHAEL KIRBY SMITH FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES.

We look at how one women prepares for the full onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Devoured: We Are What (And How) We Eat
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

From chicken wings to kale smoothies, we look at what we eat, and how challenging it is to eat well in America.

More »
Comment
 
‘Embedded’: How Violent Gangs Are Terrorizing El Salvador
Thursday, Apr 14, 2016

NPR’s Kelly McEvers on her reporting in El Salvador for the podcast Embedded, and how gang killings brought San Salvador’s bus service to a halt.

More »
Comment
 
That Cheap Dress On Facebook? It Isn't Worth It
Monday, Apr 11, 2016

Know those shockingly cheap clothes you see advertised on Facebook? There’s a catch.

More »
Comment