Book Review: “The Feminist’s Guide to Raising a Little Princess”

By Kellie Doligale

In the age of over-sharing, parenting skills and styles are more scrutinized than ever. What’s more, we’re acutely aware of the continued imbalance between the sexes and the need for our children to come of age in a more equal world.

New York Times parenting columnist Devorah Blachor tackles the pressure of enlightened parenting in her new book, “The Feminist’s Guide to Raising a Little Princess.” With tireless humor, she combines anecdotes from raising her own daughter with research supporting her diehard feminist enthusiasm.

Despite the title, the book reads less as a guide and more like personal, opinionated thoughts from a friend who’s been there—a conversation between moms just trying to make sense of it all. Blachor unravels her initial shock at discovering her daughter was obsessed with all things classically girly, from pink tutus to Disney ballads, and the resulting stress throughout her personal war on fairytale princesses. Her book illustrates this battle through familiar rants, informal quizzes and lists, and entertaining side notes, as well as more sincere commentary on her struggle with depression.

The book is organized into two main parts: “The Little Princess Inside Our Home” and “The Little Princess Outside Our Home.” The first half of the book explains the broad definition of the “Little Princess,” Blachor’s prototype for the twirling, singing, cotton candy pink-covered mini-boss. She discusses how the Little Princess influences the entire family and further, how marketing and merchandise affect our kids. The second half addresses a girl’s life beyond the sanctuary of home, elaborating on the strengths Blachor hopes to instill in her children.

If you’re looking for a step-by-step breakdown of how to endow a toddler with political ideals, this may not be the book you’re looking for. Blachor interjects a tricky subject with easy reading through sarcastic “facts” and revisions to Disney stories with an illustrated Femtastic Godmother. This book does, however, provide an honest glimpse into one befuddled mother’s experiences and offers the reassurance we can all use: “You’re not alone.”