The first Why It’s Great To Be A Girl has been out of prints for years, but, in retrospect I shouldn’t have been as surprised at Emma’s comment as I was. Over the years, friends of friends, friends of cousins, and co-workers have found used copies of Why It’s Great To Be A Girl to give as gifts and have asked me to autograph them, although I warned them, “A lot of the facts in that book are very outdated.”
Our world has changed dramatically since 1992-93, when I was researching and writing the book. Madeline was four. She graduated from high school with a 4.3 GPA, she plays a mean clarinet (she was in both marching band and wind symphony), and she was frequently called upon during her high school years to boost morale, not just in the band but among non-band students, as well. As her “senior project,” she started a business designing and manufacturing T-shirts that don’t bash males but that empower teen girls. Madeline won the 2005-2006 Helix High School English Department Outstanding Student of the Year honor. She was awarded a substantial merit scholarship to one of California’s best private colleges, where she is now studying.
I am not saying that she’s perfect. One example: her room has always been a pigsty. And I don’t mean to imply that her successes and self-confidence are solely due to my book or the parenting she received. She has had several excellent role models over the years, many of them teachers (both women and men), who have boosted her confidence in her abilities. She is also an insatiable reader of certain genres of fiction from which she has derived strong convictions of her own.