Wake up sleeping beauty – how we hold girls back

aqua-bulbI have been writing furiously all week on my new book (due in October) and I wanted to share a bit with you. Its all very exciting the way topics flow into place. Here is an excerpt. Enjoy.

Wake up Sleeping Beauty: Protect your daughter from sexism, stereotypes and sexualization.  

by Maureen F. Fitzgerald, PhD (copyright)


“I’m a perfectly good carrot that everyone is trying to turn into a rose. As a carrot I have good color a nice leafy top. When I am carved into a rose, I turn brown and wither.” Mary Pipher

You are likely holding your daughter back. You are probably preventing her from reaching her potential and limiting her opportunities. It’s not really your fault. No one ever told you about how our whole society, especially parents, places expectations and pressures on girls to such an extent that they grow up much smaller than they could be.

As a result, too many girls are afraid, timid, and don’t speak up. Many don’t try their hardest, are anxious and harm themselves. This is not because they were born weak, insecure or over sensitive. This is because our whole society pressures girls in millions of tiny ways making them feel as if they are not quite good enough – and it’s killing them slowly.

The good news is that we can change this. But first we have to see what is really going. We have to admit that we live in a world that treats girls badly and we have to take responsibility for our role in it. Then we have to promise our daughters that we will do everything in our power to change things and will not allow fifty percent of our population to grow up stunted. It’s not only cruel to girls but from a societal perspective it’s insane.

This book describes the world of raising girls and shines a light on the many tools we use to hold girls back. More importantly, it provides practical ways to dismantle the expectations, pressures and barriers that we place in front of our daughters so girls everywhere can be truly free.

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