By Kate Carraway
Caitlin Flanagan’s new book Girl Land posits that adolescent girls, negotiating the difficult transition from children to young women, are met with a culture that seeks to exploit and endanger them sexually. Flanagan (a contributor to The Atlantic and an often elegant writer who just as often applies a smug and wilful ignorance to established feminist arguments), writes that girls long “to be in two places at once: the safety of little girlhood, with the stuffed animals and the jump ropes and the simplicity of childhood, but also in the new place, in the arms of a lover whom she wants to ravish her, to deliver her to new shores.”
While Flanagan’s thesis might be a version of something true, and not only for 14-year-olds, her grossly prescriptive, subjective response has inspired a quick and brutal maelstrom of media ire.
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