Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Thursday, May 5, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Mt Angel Towers 8.13

Home : Arts : Arts and Entertainment News
6/16/2014 4:29:00 PM
Author's broad opinions weaken otherwise interesting book about girls
"Daughters in Danger: Helping Our Girls Thrive in Today's Culture" by Elayne Bennett. Thomas Nelson (Nashville, Tennessee, 2014). 313 pp., $24.99.
Catholic News Service

To some readers "Daughters in Danger: Helping Our Girls Thrive in Today's Culture" will bring awareness about the perils young women face and instruct families and institutions how to help girls survive in an overly sexualized and violent world.

But others may be put off by the book's many judgmental comments based on assumptions and opinions.

The author, Elayne Bennett, undoubtedly will hit naive parents with a reality check about the threats young woman face. A mother of two sons, Bennett is the founder and president of Best Friends Foundation, which partners with schools to promote "self-control through self-respect," as well as abstinence from premarital sex, illegal drugs and alcohol. Bennett has been working in this capacity with young women for decades. She is the wife of William Bennett, an author and political commentator who worked in the administrations of former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

Bennett writes as an advocate and not a social scientist, and her commentary is embedded throughout.

She informs readers that young women will face such challenges as teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and sexual violence.

She argues that parents should be keenly and actively aware of what their daughters are exposed to in school, such as questionable sex-education programs and the current college campus culture that contributes to the over-sexualization and objectification of women. If awareness is the first step to helping girls survive the frightening culture she so accurately describes, then the book has value.

Bennett makes many recommendations, insisting that first and foremost a solid family with a present and engaged mother and father is key to a daughter's success. Readers will recognize her suggestions about what schools can do from common Catholic education practices, such as adopting a kindergarten through eighth-grade model to help girls transition emotionally to high school, to uniforms and same-sex classrooms.

Bennett's ideas and opinions are pulled from research-based books, literature and modern media, such as YouTube, online articles and television.

This is not a book based solely or heavily on primary research or firsthand interviews, as Bennett does not directly quote the people she includes in her examples. The general conclusions, arguments and first-voice commentary are sprinkled within sometimes disconnected titles and subtitles.

For example, in the chapter about what schools can do to help young women, Bennett summarizes the story of Natalee Holloway, who disappeared during a loosely chaperoned and unofficial class trip to Aruba. Instead of focusing on what the school did or did not do, as the title of this section would suggest, Bennett argues that the media neglected to scrutinize Natalee's parents, who allowed her to go on such a trip.

She writes, "In the TV movie version, Natalee's divorced father, Dave Holloway, restates his objections to having let her go. ... The fact that he was no longer living under the same roof as Natalee obviously weakened his authority." Bennett tries to connect the parents' divorce to the circumstances of the trip, but she uses a TV movie to make that connection. Regardless of its misplacement in this chapter, her conclusion seems unfair and judgmental, given its source.

Elsewhere, in a particularly broad statement regarding the challenges boys face, Bennett suggests that young men are exposed to emasculating literature. To make this point, she references the example of only one reading list from one public library in Maryland.

Later, Bennett uses the example of Florida teens Rachel Wade and Sarah Ludemann to illustrate what fathers should do to help their daughters. The young women fought viciously over their boyfriend, and it ended in a fatal stabbing.

Bennett concludes, "Although these girls' fathers surely loved their daughters, to rescue them they would have had to wade right into the culture and pull their daughters out, kicking and screaming if necessary. They did not know enough to do this."

Unfortunately the reader really does not know what the fathers did or did not do. The only information that can be gleaned from the book is from footnotes. Only then is the reader given a little more information about the fathers in the online article referenced. Bennett should have talked to the fathers. Or, as in the case of several of her pulled-from-the-headlines examples, she should have left it out of the book entirely.

In a society in which young women are exposed to and even inundated with near-pornographic images on TV (thanks, Miley Cyrus and Beyonce), some of Bennett's points are a good addition to the conversation. But because of the holes in her argument, she has made herself vulnerable to harsh criticism.

Article Comment Submissions
Submit your comments, please. 
Comments are reviewed before being posted to the site. Comments must use respectful language and address the story. Comments are not posted immediately to the site. The site editor may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours. Comments may also be considered to appear as letters in our print edition, unless the writer specifices no.
Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved