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Feminist Princesses Are Real | In Defense of the Princess by Jerramy Fine

Tuesday, March 22, 2016 Geraldine 0 Comments

The Breakdown

General Info:
     Title: In Defense of the Princess 
     Author: Jerramy Fine
     Genre: Non-fiction 
     Publisher: Running Press 
     Publishing Date: March 22nd, 2016

          - Made me see things in a new light
          - Very intellectually stimulating - although I didn't agree with all the points, it helped me clarify my thoughts around feminism, etc. 

    Things that could have been better:
         - A bit repetitive 

Rating: 3  stars
Goodreads | Amazon

Initial Thoughts

This is going to be an atypical book review, because this is an atypical book for this blog! I requested this book on Netgalley, after spotting it there, just because a) princesses and b) feminism. I don't usually read non-fiction...but I made an exception for this book!  

It’s no secret that most girls, at some point, love all things princess: the poofy dresses, the plastic tiaras, the color pink. Even grown-up women can’t get enough of royal weddings and royal gossip. Yet critics claim the princess dream sets little girls up to be weak and submissive, and allows grown women to indulge in fantasies of rescue rather than hard work and self-reliance.

Enter Jerramy Fine – an unabashed feminist who is proud of her life-long princess obsession and more than happy to defend it. Through her amusing life story and in-depth research, Fine makes it clear that feminine doesn’t mean weak, pink doesn’t mean inferior, and girliness is not incompatible with ambition. From 9th century Cinderella to modern-day Frozen, from Princess Diana to Kate Middleton, from Wonder Woman to Princess Leia, Fine valiantly assures us that princesses have always been about power, not passivity. And those who love them can still be confident, intelligent women.

Provocative, insightful, but also witty and personal, In Defense of the Princess empowers girls, women, and parents to dream of happily ever after without any guilt or shame.

In Defense of the Princess is a bunch of musings from the author, Jerramy Fine, about how princesses are not seen as feminist enough for today's society. I have to admit, going into reading this book, I was interested as to how Fine would argue this, because I haven't ever really thought of princesses as symbols for feminism! 

Anyway, In Defense of a Princess focuses on two things 1) princesses and 2) how they are symbols of empowerment. For me, it was a bit repetitive - but I guess this was necessary to really drill in the idea that princesses are empowering, instead of symbols of female oppression. I actually didn't end up finishing it - not because it was bad, but just because it seemed like everything was being repeated a lot. 

Despite this, I did find it quite interesting - it brought up ideas that I hadn't thought of before. I didn't necessarily agree with all the points that were brought up - I felt like a lot of them were based on assumptions, and I didn't see a reference list at all. Maybe that's just me being really academic :S For example, I felt like the definition of feminism isn't really defined throughout this book - even though this book centers around it. It seemed like Fine defined feminism as "trying to escape girlish things" and to some people it might mean that, but for me, feminism is so much more than that. So yeah, I didn't agree with all of the points brought up. 
I liked that In Defense of the Princess had personal anecdotes throughout it - it really made it more personal and relatable. 
For me, In Defense of the Princess is a start-stop book - a book that I really can't read all at once, because a) I can't appreciate it as much and b) it would overwhelm me if I did. 

Final Thoughts

After reading snippets of In Defense of the Princess, I think it's sufficient to say that my views towards princesses and their status as feminist role models has definitely changed! I'd give this book a 3 stars - the repetitiveness was the only thing that annoyed me (and even then, the book kind of has to be repetitive). It's perfect for any feminist and person who likes princesses! :D 

Thoughts in a Phrase

Don't be ashamed to be a princess! 

Keep reading and loving books!

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