Monthly Archives: December 2009

Little Mommy – Reviewed & Found WANTING

What publisher is still living in the 1950’s, still sending out messages to young girls that limit them to a life of keeping house and raising babies?  Little Golden Book!

This children’s publisher with a reputation for some of the finest, classic stories to its name, has seen fit to republish its book entitled Little Mommy.  Read to me by my 10-year-old granddaughter, at first I was stunned by this book; now I am angered by it.  The story it tells my granddaughter and all little girls is the same story I was told more than 4o years ago – limiting, insulting our intelligence and our abilities and just plain, dare I say it, patronizing.

The book was first published in 1967, 42 years ago, when I was a very young mother.  But I have changed, women’s roles and opportunities have changed and the world has changed.  Somehow this book manages to ignore the history-making changes of the 70’s as well as the courage and efforts of the women’s rights activists who rocked the very foundations of this country.

Even when it was first published, the book was a bit of an insult, telling a story that reflected the simplistic “Leave It To Beaver” attitude – men going to work, women staying home and raising children.  The fact that this book was published during a sea change that was occurring in our society – a change that would forever free ALL women from ANY stereotype, makes it even more puzzling.

Everything changed because pioneering women like Bella Abzug and Gloria Steinem, joined by women in all walks of life,  led the way for women’s rights in this country.  Women and launched and eventually won the battle for equal rights for women(the ERA) and equal funding in sports (Title IX).

I have no objection to women following whatever path suits them including staying home and raising children.  I do object to reading a book that is obviously so dated and so passe.  So how could such a respected children’s publisher perpetuate the myth of a woman’s role in society, a myth that was out of date 42 years ago?  I have no answer but would love to hear from someone who does.

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