I’m reading a book called “Girl Land.” It’s a non-fictional account of the history of representations and signs of girlhood in the United States of America. It’s fascinating, so fascinating that I almost neglected writing here in order to finish just more chapter.
It’s fascinating and a bit haunting in its talk about the worlds of girls and the transition of girls into womanhood and how that transition is always emotional and physically fraught with confusion, sadness, and longing for a return to…what once was.
I talk a lot about girls on my other blog and often on this blog, I used to think, because I have two girls of my own. But in truth, I think for my entire life, I’ve been thinking, writing, talking about girls and what it means to be a girl and a woman in our society.
As a girl, my story was like that of many others. I had a normal childhood, became self-conscious, battled self-esteem issues, and then became a mom. But my story is different from that of some of my peers because my path in girlhood to womanhood was a bit different. I got married younger than any of my friends, at the age of 23. I didn’t have a boyfriend until I was 21 and that was my husband.
I focused on school and music and my writing and that was what kept me not focused on the other things that came to define the paths of so many of my peers.
Have you heard of the book “Girl Land” by Caitlin Flanagan? To my women readers, what marked your passing from girlhood to womanhood?