The Wonder of Girls (Part 3)

I thought I would do one more post to sum up some other points from this book.

Gurian tends to favor more conservative rules for teenage dating, with which I tend to agree.  He advocates no dating the age of 16.  For one thing, most girls have no concept of who they are until this age, so how could they possibly share themselves with someone else in such an intimate relationship.  (We won’t even get into the maturity of boys.)  And while he doesn’t come right out and dismiss the popular idea that “dating doesn’t always have to be so serious but can be just for fun”, he does seem to lean towards the idea that “dating” should be about assessing a potential mate and father of your children rather than just “feelings”.   He correctly notes that “Our culture, highly individualistic, has seen dating not as a character rite of passage for the adolescent and family, but as a ‘child’s right’, to be protected whenever the child asserts it.”

Michael Gurian goes on to describe himself as a “Womanist” rather than a “Feminist”.  As the father of two daughters, he would not want their potential or possibilities diminished for any reason.  But rather than telling them that they can “have it all at the same time” like the Feminist Movement, he and his wife explain that they can have it all, but just not at the same time.  There is only so much of one woman to go around, and a woman must decide what her priorities are.  And the care and well-being of her child should take priority over anything else.  This may mean quitting your job, switching to part-time work, or bringing in someone else to care for and bond with the child in your absence.  Gurian and his wife, like most of us, must reconcile the ideal with the reality.

I can not recommend this book enough, and I’ve already added some of his other books to my reading list.

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