Smart Girls: Success, School, and the Myth of Post-Feminism

Smart Girls by Shauna Pomerantz and Rebecca Raby

Smart Girls: Success, School, and the Myth of Post-Feminism by Shauna Pomerantz and Rebecca Raby, University of California Press, 2017. The co-authors, professors of child and youth studies at Brock University, Ontario present the outcomes from a five year study of 57 girls and 17 boys from Canada, aged 12-17 years.

The authors question “Are girls really taking over the world?” and if so is there a place for post feminism?

From the group and one-on-one interviews with the teenagers, we have a glimpse of the world that these self recognised smart kids live in. Balancing academic success, with popularity and extra circular activities is common for both boys and girls, however the overwhelming results indicate that “When girls are dumbing down in order to be attractive to boys and boys feel that is “unmanly” to study, we have a problem.”

Themes of the study include:

  • MENTAL HEALTH
  • FAMILY VS CAREER
  • PHYSICAL APPEARANCE
  • POST-FEMINISM
  • SOCIAL VALIDATION

As the mother of two teenage daughters I was interested to read about the studies that explore the pressures that teenagers are placed under today. At no other time in history has technology changed so dramatically in such a short span of time. How do we, as society cope with these changes and most importantly to me how are we able to help our children manage this change?

Smart Girls: Success, School, and the Myth of Post-Feminism

is recommended reading for anyone with an interest in parenting. The studies offer an authentic insight into the challenges faced by high achieving children and the dynamic with their parents, teachers and peers. Ultimately post-feminism is established as a myth. However I found that the information was presented in a rambling fashion and repeated a number of times.

For this reason I have rated this book Smart Girls: Success, School, and the Myth of Post-Feminism as 3 stars.