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Alexandra Roumbas Goldstein questions a book which places the responsibility of counteracting the dangers of sexual imagery firmly on the shoulders of young girls and women

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“Padded bras for seven-year-olds, dolls dressed in high heels and pole dancing kits for kids” runs the blurb across the back. Enough to unsettle most feminists, especially a parent. And certainly we can’t possibly have anything to challenge from a book that’s all about teaching girls to question commercially-driven models of sexuality and helps them to become independent, confident women – can we?

Alas, it’s not that simple. Tanith Carey’s Where Has My Little Girl Gone? is a sadly conflicting publication, which tumbles together panicky accounts of tabloid-fodder ‘sexualisation’ stories with actually rather sound practical guides for raising healthy children with good self-esteem. The result is something that strays uncomfortably into both labelling girls as victims and victim-blaming territory.

Ultimately the existence of such a book seems to reinforce the system rather than shatter it.

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