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How to Raise a Feminist Princess

idea by veronicaeye
How to Raise a Feminist Princess

Decribe your idea

:

As a professional feminist and a mom, I often get questions on how I was able to raise a girl, who will soon turn nine, in today's princess-ified society, who did not go through a full-fledged princess phase. When most pre-school girls were refusing to take off their tiaras and gowns, my daughter was doing everything else a young child does. People assume that I banned princesses from our home, but I didn't. Rather I stressed the aspects of princesses that I wanted to see my daughter connect with. Not the yearning for a prince to save her, but their yearning for life, love of books or sometimes even saving the heroes by being a better shot with a blaster.

Why do you want to share your idea with TEDxUChicago in 2013?

The princess-ification of our daughter's childhood is overwhelming, even to people who cherish princess fairy tales. The lack of choice for girls is what is frustrating. When a character is introduced that is an alternative, eventually even she is princess-fied.

I have my favorites princesses, love fairy tales and am a feminist who is raising a daughter. When she was born, I thought it would be impossible. I tried to ban princess things, but that quickly was futile. Thanks to my love for a certain 1977 sci-fi flick with a kick ass princess, this idea was born. I replicated it with a warrior princess and recalling that Diana Prince is short for Diana, a princess.

How will you share your idea in a creative way?

:

Discussing how to uncover feminist themes is fairy tales/princess stories that are usually the bane of feminists is a pretty funny conversation. I will bring the fun as well as some great diagrammed stories.

Discussion
33 Pink-talk-bubble-tail

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This is an awesome and much-needed topic to be discussed. As usual, Veronica can provide great information and advice. Book her!

by kck7051
about 2 years ago | Reply

Enthusiastically, love, love, love. Need to, would gladly attend a conference at which I could explore. Case in point, the most surreal conversation I had with my daughter, who's father actually comes from a royal family: Mommy, I don't want to go to school any more. Me: Okay, but when you get older, if you don't go to school, how will you get money? Mikayla: Daddy. Me (laughing): Daddy is not going to give you any money if you don't go to school. Mikayla (in a huff): Then I'll be a princess. Me (grasping a straws): But you were born a princess. Mikayla (fists clenched, yells in my face): And that's what I'm going to be! Yikes!

Yeah, we need help to deal with these tiny humans. It has to be different for them. It just has to.

by temitayo.osundina
over 2 years ago | Reply

You had me at the photo!

by katherinegordon
over 2 years ago | Reply

My daughter is nearly 3 and already being indoctrinated into the princess obsession by her schoolmates. No matter what I do it doesn't seem to counter this princess obsession. I really need to hear what she has to say about this!

by AnOtherMother
over 2 years ago | Reply

What a great idea! Can't emphasize how important it is to raise conscious, strong young women. Thank you for proposing this talk.

by youngurbanmoms
over 2 years ago | Reply

Amazing! Voted and I hope you win!! :) Uchi Davidzon

by Uchi
over 2 years ago | Reply

I personally need to hear this talk!

by laflowers
over 2 years ago | Reply

I love this post! As a reluctant feminist who has been writing about this topic, I very much appreciate the creative question you've posed. Consciously claiming the Princess archetype of times past, when women had no choice but to do all they could to secure a beau, would be quite a table turner! I think we would have to bring some historical context to the story though, so Princesses aren't seen as bad, but something that emerged in human culture during an earlier era for specific reasons.

Truth is archetypes are very limited and few for women/girls compared to men, and are almost universally defined by their relationship to men, male gods or as mothers/grandmothers. It would be great to take Princess and recreate it so to speak, and i guess in doing so we could create brand new archetypes for girls that aren't so limited to just our sexual roles. Bravo! look forward to seeing your TED talk. :)

Here's my blog from a few weeks ago called "Should We Worry About Our Daughters Playing Princess?" http://www.smarterlifebetterplanet.com/blog/should-we-worry-about-our-daughters-playing-princess

by Meg Cater
over 2 years ago | Reply

Excellent! I would be grateful to hear a discussion on this topic! Voted and I hope you win!! :)

by chantillypatino
over 2 years ago | Reply

I worked the children's section of an independent bookstore for five years and I'm happy to report that there are many, many non-Disney, strong princess and other strong women stories out there, to share with your girls. Here are a few of my favorite titles (I like them so much, I bought them for my own library!):
The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch; Princess Smartypants by Babbette Cole; Cinder Edna by Ellen Jackson; Brave Margaret by Robert D. San Souci; Ruby's Wish by Shirin Yim Bridges; Library Lil by Suzanne Williams; Stephanie's Ponytail by Robert Munsch.

by jenraven
over 2 years ago | Reply

Very nice meeting you at Top Blogueras Retreat! Wish you much success and hope my vote gets you closer to your dream of speaking at TED WooHoo! Abrazos Lynn Ponder

by Lynn Ponder
over 2 years ago | Reply

Please, please do this presentation - it's so desperately needed!

by patti.mulligan
over 2 years ago | Reply

Great idea! It should definitely be selected. Good luck!

by daniasantanahenriquez
over 2 years ago | Reply

Book her. Great idea for TedXUChicago.

by barbara.glickstein
over 2 years ago | Reply

Great Ted Talk. Book her!

by barbara.glickstein
over 2 years ago | Reply

And it's not something that just recently can work either! I'm a 29 year old who grew up with a tough, smarty, witty understanding of "Princess" thanks to Princess Leia and my obsessive watching of Star Wars, in addition to other media role models once I was old enough to watch more violent movies... Ellen Ripley (Aliens), Sarah Connor (Terminator 2), etc. Here's for powerful female characters who can assert themselves, crack jokes, be opinionated and generally kick butt!

by ellikers
over 2 years ago | Reply

I hope this topic gets selected. I shared with others to vote. It is an important and difficult topic. The societal and entertainment influences on princess culture is strong. Banning them from a household doesn't seem to be the answer-- and like anything may actually put more emphasis on it. I like the idea of having discussions (age appropriate) with girls/boys...asking "How else could Cinderella have left her situation without the Prince?" Talking about alternate endings, choices and outcomes in princess themed books and movies are great ideas. The gender-ficaiton of toys, movies, shows, books is so pervasive-- it will take all of us talking to children and exposing them to varieties of movies, toys, books. Thanks for covering this topic!

by stacyn
over 2 years ago | Reply

TedEx would be smart to have you speak at their event. We want to hear your voice!

by anarc
over 2 years ago | Reply

Best of luck Verónica!

by SilviaM
over 2 years ago | Reply

Veronica Arreola has done amazing work around our girls, Latinos and STEM. As the Latina mother of a daughter, I very much want to see this Tedx talk.

by elisaabatista@gmail.com
over 2 years ago | Reply

Having raised 2 (feminist) sons I have watched with horror the additional challenges faced by the parents of girls (even back when friend girls of my sons went to Madonna bd parties). I'd come to this session in a heartbeat

by Cynthia.K.Samuels
over 2 years ago | Reply

This is an important idea to discuss and sounds like it's approached in a way that stresses the positive. Would love to see it.

by ourmaninchicago
over 2 years ago | Reply

I've raised a daughter myself. Gabi is now 18yo and about to graduate high school. I also worried about the plethora of princess-promoting stories in children's literature and went out of my way to find books that would promote self-reliance, independence and a positive self image.Every time we reached the part of a story when the prince rides in, saves the princess, and they ride off in eternal bliss, I would change the ending so it included the two riding off to college and graduate school.

Another unexpected challenge during G's growing years was finding toys that were gender neutral and ethnically diverse. One of my greatest challenges was finding an angelic X-mas tree topper that was not blond. I remember getting one and literally painting her golden locks brown and touching up her blue eyes. We ended up opting for a big star. we have come a long way, however, parents must remain vigilant so we may offer our children a view.of females of all ages as active agents, not merely passive observers or worse, victims.

by Maria Montalvo
over 2 years ago | Reply

By the way, one of my proudest moments was when she decided to dress as Joan of Arc for Halloween. Cool kid.

by Maria Montalvo
over 2 years ago | Reply

I signed up for Good just to vote for you! It was ALWAYS warrior princesses that I wanted to be as a little girl. Always. I also recommend Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind by Miyazaki-a great film starring a Princess who decides to become a warrior to protect her kingdom and has great environmental themes.

by edie.helena
over 2 years ago | Reply

What I did was to tell my daughters that being a princess is a job like any other. They have to know multiple questions, diplomacy, and lots of math. And I told them Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State represents us the way a monarch might represent his or her country around the world.

by WD
over 2 years ago | Reply

I'm a mom to a seven-year-old girl who's been told that princesses are amateurs--the REAL job you want is prime minister, president, or (should the obsession with royalty remain stubborn) QUEEN! Veronica's talk is one that I , and many feminist moms like me, want to see!

by radicalhw
over 2 years ago | Reply

This is something we have worked on in our house, as well. Princesses were enjoyed when our daughter was younger, but she never was into the costumes. She loved that Belle loved books and that Mulan (although technically not a princess) was a girl who was smarter than the boys, who saved China and who wasn't looking for a husband to save her!

by punditmom1
over 2 years ago | Reply

Awesome!

by cara.bergpowers
over 2 years ago | Reply

It's funny that the same thing happened with my daughter. I never told her not to play with dolls or to play dress up. Instead, I always told her and, more importantly her brother, that they could be anything they wanted to be. We stocked all types of toys including a pink boa my son loved to dress up with. I think the key is to focus on your daughter being a person and not a gender. If she is exposed to many different things, yes even princess stuff, she will learn that it's ok to feel pretty and smart. I don't want her to feel that she ever has to exchange her femininity in order to be taken seriously!

by jill.grimm.16
over 2 years ago | Reply

So fantastic. This would be an excellent session -- fun, strategic and completely relatable for parents, for women in general, and even for people without children but have kids in their friends-and-family community.

by jennpozner
over 2 years ago | Reply

AMAZING! I love this idea.

by Courtney E. Martin
over 2 years ago | Reply

Pink-ribbon-award-box-icon
Award_topvotedidea
Speaking Engagement at TEDxUChicago 2013
Circle-1-inactive Step1-title-idea-inactive

Submission Began
Sunday, April 29

Submission Ended
Thursday, May 17
at 12:00 PM PDT

Circle-2-inactive Step2-title-voting-inactive

Voting Began
Thursday, May 17

Voting Ended
Monday, June 04
at 12:00 PM PDT

Circle-3 Step3-title
HopeBook - Cancer Survivor
HopeBook - Cancer Survivor

Winner Announced
Monday, June 04

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