Strout’s Disturbing Portrayal of a Child Sex Predator

CONTENT WARNING Literature has a long history of sexualizing children, especially girls. Often, it centers the adult gaze, exploring pedophilia from different angles. “Death in Venice” and Lolita are two of the most famous examples, but it’s difficult to play literature jeopardy without an explosion of examples where old men fancy young women or even children, whetherContinue reading “Strout’s Disturbing Portrayal of a Child Sex Predator”

The Fetishization of Girlhood

I first realized that men look at girls as sexual objects on the day of my kindergarten graduation. Our teacher had set the theme as a Hawaiian luau (yes, cultural appropriation was all the rage in the 1980s). The girls had made skirts of green paper streamers to wear over our swimsuits as well asContinue reading “The Fetishization of Girlhood”

Why I Didn’t Play with Girls

When I was in kindergarten, my mom scheduled playdates to force me to socialize with other girls. My female playmates demanded compliments, played dolls with squeaky-high voices, and staged beauty pageants and dress-up games. Before the age of seven, they were checking themselves out in mirrors and fluffing their hair, just like their mothers. Within five minutes, IContinue reading “Why I Didn’t Play with Girls”