Saturday, February 16, 2008

A book of allsorts

At the Sunday Times, Jenny Diski considers The Daring Book for Girls:
How old are the readers of The Daring Book for Girls supposed to be? Old enough to be fascinated by the periodic table, sleepover parties and the Heimlich manoeuvre. Not so old that they will be too busy drinking alcopops to make a willow whistle or play jacks – although learning French terms of endearment and how to put your hair up with a pencil are handy at any age. Definitely under 19, up to which point, apparently, it is possible to ignore boys.

The section on Boys goes on to explain that “boys are people”, and that for those who haven’t managed to ignore them it’s essential to remember “if a boy doesn’t like you the way you are, the problem is him, not you”. Adding, for balance, “don’t try to make a boy change for you – it’s important to appreciate people for who they are”. Oh, I foresee terrible repercussions for both sexes if they are really persuaded by this; an epidemic of niceness draining whatever passion the alcopops have allowed to remain.
Hmmm, I feel developmentally stunted, I never learned to put my hair up with a pencil...

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