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"Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls" by Mary Pipher, Ph.D, was published in 1994.

More of us should have read it.

I picked it up a few weeks ago, and I've been blown away by how relevant and vital the content is.

A thread of my favorite quotes...
"Simon de Beauvoir believed adolescence is when girls realize that men have the power and that their only power comes from consenting to become submissive adored objects. They do not suffer from the penis envy Freud postulated, but from power envy." (p. 21)
"[Simone de Beauvoir] described [adolescence] this way: Girls who were the subjects of their own lives become the objects of others' lives. 'Young girls slowly bury their childhood, put away their independent and imperious selves and submissively enter adult existence.' "
"Girls become 'female impersonators' who fit their whole selves into small, crowded spaces. Vibrant, confident girls become shy, doubting young women. Girls stop thinking, 'Who am I? What do I want?' and start thinking, 'What must I do to please others?' " (p. 22)
"Mead believed that the ideal culture is one in which there is a place for every human gift. Western culture is far from ideal for women. So many gifts are unused & unappreciated. So many voices are stilled. Stendhal wrote: 'All geniuses born women are lost to the public good.'"
"The lip service paid to equality makes the reality of discrimination even more confusing." (p. 27)
"In early adolescence girls learn how important appearance is in defining social acceptability. Attractiveness is both a necessary & a sufficient condition for girls' success. This is an old, old problem. Helen of Troy didn't launch a thousand ships because she was a hard worker.
"As she adopts a false self, [she] loses her confidence and calmness. She loses her clear, direct speech... Her surface behavior and her feelings are not congruent. She no longer behaves in a way that meets her true needs." (p. 38)
"At this time girls are expected to sacrifice the parts of themselves that our culture considers masculine on the altar of social acceptability and to shrink their souls down to a petite size." (p. 39)
“Authenticity is an ‘owning’ of all experience, including emotions and thoughts that are not socially acceptable.“ (p. 38)
“Because self-esteem is based on the acceptance of all thoughts and feelings as one’s own, girls lose confidence as they ‘disown’ themselves. They suffer enormous losses when they stop expressing certain thoughts and feelings.” (p. 38)
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