Read Girl Trouble: Panic and Progress in the History of Young Women by Carol Dyhouse Online


Horror, scandal and moral panic! The popular fascination with the moral decline of young women has permeated society for over a hundred years. Be it flappers, beat girls, dolly birds or ladettes, public outrage at girls' perceived permissiveness has been a mass-media staple with each changing generation. Eminent social historian Carol Dyhouse examines what it really meansHorror, scandal and moral panic! The popular fascination with the moral decline of young women has permeated society for over a hundred years. Be it flappers, beat girls, dolly birds or ladettes, public outrage at girls' perceived permissiveness has been a mass-media staple with each changing generation. Eminent social historian Carol Dyhouse examines what it really means and has meant to be a girl growing up in the swirl of twentieth-century social change in this detailed, factual and empathetic history. Dyhouse uses studies, interviews, articles and news items to piece together the story of girlhood, clearly demonstrating the value of feminism and other liberating cultural shifts in expanding girls' aspirations and opportunities, in spite of the negative press that has accompanied these freedoms.This is a sparkling, panoramic account of the ever-evolving opportunities and challenges for girls, the new ways they have able to present and speak up for themselves, and the popular hysteria that has frequently accompanied their progress....

Title : Girl Trouble: Panic and Progress in the History of Young Women
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781780324937
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 328 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Girl Trouble: Panic and Progress in the History of Young Women Reviews

  • Enya-Marie
    2019-03-22 10:01

    A well researched yet brief overview of Britain's (although heavily weighted towards England) social perceptions of women since the Victorian period. This is an engaging, interesting read and a lot of effort has clearly gone into challenging stereotypes about women. It could've been less descriptive and more thought-provoking/critical but it didn't quite take that leap. It also didn't pay much attention to how events like the 1960s America civil rights movement or the Irish 'Troubles' affected Britain's feminist movement which I think could have made an interesting approach if done in Dyhouse's style. If anyone can recommend any feminist history that does focus on the reaction and changes to women as a consequence of political events like that then please do so as I'm quite curious about it!This book was also quite restricted in that it mainly focused on what mainstream English media had to say about women which meant it didn't give much of a voice at all to women belonging to minority groups e.g. migrant women, gay women, women belonging to ethnic minorities, etc. This seems like a big oversight but considering the intersectionalist approach many 21st century British feminists have nowadays it could just be yet another marker of how feminism has changed since the book's been published to be more inclusive.On a similar note, it was also irritating that Britain was taken as a whole with no regard to regional differences between feminist movements and female stereotyping. A few times when reading I found myself wondering (as a woman from North East England) how this applied regionally and how different the book would read if this was taken into account.Still, 'Girl Trouble' was a good introductory read into feminist history and its broad sweep from the Victorians to the early 2000's put the continuities and changes of how women have been stereotyped and represented in the media in an interesting light. Dyhouse also included many references to other feminist works throughout this period and often compared them which acts as a helpful guide for what to read next and the context in which different works were written.

  • Kate
    2019-02-25 11:05

    Excellent, as expected of Dyhouse. It's difficult to describe her prose without sounding like I'm damning it with faint praise: it's so lucid and economical and effortlessly enjoyable to read it's too easy to overlook the truly impressive scholarship and research behind every sensible, balanced sentence. This is a great overview/introduction to these themes, though having read her Glamour: Women, History, Feminism and Girls Growing Up in Late Victorian and Edwardian England, many elements (and some of the funniest bits of Victorian pseudoscience) were familiar to me; a very necessary corrective to much of the CURRENT pseudoscience (and panic) about girls and women in the media.

  • Sam
    2019-02-26 16:48

    This is a thoroughly researched and well written insight into the changing (and not changing) attitudes of women, primarily in the UK but with references to the USA. This book shows how far women have come in some areas and how little has changed in others, particularly how the media and society as a whole responds when women act how they want to and not how they are told to (very familiar with this...). Dyhouse manages to keep much of her writing a little light-hearted given the subject matter and the implications of some of the continued attitudes that are found throughout society regarding women and our rights to self-determination in every aspect of our lives. My only criticism of this is that the chapters are rather long and there are no breaks within these, which would've made the reading of this a bit easier and more flexible. This book shows that while we (women and men together) have come far, there is still a long way to go before real equality is established, particularly in the media where guys can 'get away with' a lot than us girls cannot.

  • WaterstonesBirmingham
    2019-03-03 10:43

    This was a really interesting and pretty intense look at the changing lives of young women in (mainly) the United Kingdom and the United States. It looks at all aspects of their lives, from the changing attitudes towards marriage and education, to the public responses to what they saw as wild young women. From flappers to ladettes, this book shows how the public perception of young women often differed from reality, how rife double standards between the sexes have been and young women have had to fight every step of the way. Really well put together and well written.Grace

  • Patricia
    2019-03-21 12:44

    An amazing amount of well-balanced information is packed into an eminently readable and enjoyable history of British attitudes toward and obsessions with girls and young women and their behavior from the Victorian era to the present. I appreciate any history book that can cause me to laugh out loud. Includes lots of examples from popular culture--headlines, books, films--and puts current panics about young women into perspective. There are occasional references to North America, but the focus is on England. My only wish would have been a bit more comparison with how boys were depicted and treated in the same eras; there were probably parallels in some instances and stark contrasts in others. Thanks to our friend Michael, who gave it to me as a Christmas gift. Recommended!

  • Grace
    2019-03-02 10:45

    This was a really interesting and pretty intense look at the changing lives of young women in (mainly) the united kingdom and the united states. It looks at all aspects of their lives, from the changing attitudes towards marriage and education, to the public responses to what they saw as wild young women. From flappers to ladettes, this book shows how the public perception of young women often differed from reality, double standards between the sexes were rife and young women had to fight every step of the way. Really well put together and well written.

  • rachael gibson
    2019-03-19 09:47

    As other reviewers have said, the best thing about this book is how it takes some difficulty and complex theories and turns them into easily understandable ideas - it's not a difficult read at all. What is difficult is the depressing truths within and seeing how little has changed in some aspects...

  • Jbondandrews
    2019-02-22 14:44

    I enjoyed reading about Girl Trouble. It made me wonder how active were my female ancestors in the suffrage movement and as I have found the voter lists for my great grandmother and great great grand mother, I would like to believe they were very active.

  • Lesley
    2019-03-08 11:43

    So very good, such an amazing mass of research so engagingly written, such important debunking of pervasive popular preconceptions and nostalgic visions.

  • Johanna
    2019-03-13 13:44

    Loved it! After reading "Perfect Wives" by V. Nicholson I wanted to know more about the position and rights of women in British society before and after 1950s and this gave me just that. Comprehensive, well written overview. I'm trying my best to not get sucked into women's rights history but books like this ARE NOT HELPING. I really need to check out more about women in education after this because it seems like that fight was the true gateway to equal ground.Hit me up if you want to borrow it.

  • BasmaAmin
    2019-03-01 15:42

    This is much more academic than I thought it would be. There are a lot of references to names and books and a lot of minor details that I personally felt were not needed to make the point clear but then again this seems more on the academic side so maybe it is necessary. I did not read all the chapters seeing as the ones at the end were a bit familiar/have read similar topics in other books and I was not looking for extra details of the kind that was exhibited in this book, however the first few chapters were quite interesting albeit a bit long and the font is too small.

  • Morgan Schulman
    2019-03-12 14:01

    I keep getting this author's books but I don't enjoy them and here's why. The books all focus on what old white Tory men think about Girl Culture, instead of focusing on the subjectivity of the girls themselves. I can't imagine anyone feels more ink needs to be spilled exploring what conservative white men think.

  • Mark Farley
    2019-03-20 10:02

    A quick but still very detailed romp through the ages from local University of Sussex professor about the naughtiest and baddest women that ever walked the earth, covering different cultural and historical perspectives. A really interesting read!

  • Gayle Noble
    2019-03-05 17:45

    This covers a lot of time from Victorian to 20th century but it is eminently readable for all the information packed into the pages. It is fascinating and yet disheartening to read about really how little has changed in some respects when it comes to the sexuality of young women. We are still having the same arguments and fighting similar fights now. Even though we have never been so free in terms of contraception, education, and economic prospects, females are dealing with the ever-present sexual double standard still and even more pressure with the mainstreaming of porn and the rise of operations such as the labiaplasty. There is also the issue of contraceptive and abortion rights constantly being undermined in some countries. I was glad that someone finally touched on the issue of girls/young women and their fascination with singers and bands. I have always felt that for girls, obsession with bands right from The Beatles to One Direction, are a safety valve for burgeoning sexuality in a society which still has a problem with seeing sexuality in any way except from the male gaze and male expectation of sex. Girls are force-fed romance, love, marriage, still from childhood up and sex is still considered as less important to women than those things. Masturbation and porn to a large extent are still considered male things and this leaves young women in a no-man's land (pun intended).Dyhouse makes an interesting point about the fact that we are not perpetual victims and that women do have agency in their decisions but I disagree that factors such the 'pinkification' of everything female is not a problem. Yes, many girls like pink but when it gets to the point that there is no other choice and toys become gendered by colour then it is stifling. I also wonder what Dyhouse makes of the more recent rise of 'revenge porn' and girls being encouraged to send explicit photos which are then shared, along with other issues such as the plastic surgery on perfectly good body parts purely because of the unreal aesthetic standards required of the female body?Overall a very interesting read.

  • Karen
    2019-03-20 10:55

    This book about social obsession with the conduct of women and girls from the Victorian era to the present is well written and thoroughly footnoted and indexed. Its main focus is on Britain, but it references similar situations in the US. Some of it was familiar territory (fears that educating girls and young women would flatten their chests and shrivel their ovaries, unfitting them for motherhood--or, if it didn't do that, it would make them so strong minded and unwomanly that no man would want them), but some was new to me. I didn't know about the Victorian obsession with the idea that pimps and shady characters were waiting in train stations and in doorways to kidnap innocent (white) young women and sell them into slavery. As I read this chapter, I recalled reading Sherlock Holmes stories where things like this happened, and that suddenly made sense. Apparently this fear led to the establishment of bills in Parliament and many societies for the protection of young (again, white) women and their virtue, but evidence suggests that there was no such epidemic of young women being kidnapped and forced into prostitution. As Dyhouse says late in her book, it is sometimes hard to tell at the time what is an issue of real, pressing concern, and what is being blown into a moral panic. From this retrospective position, many of the worries people had about educating girls alongside boys, allowing them to move out of the family home to live on their own before marriage, opening a more complete range of professions to women,etc. appear completely overblown. Others, no matter how much we might wish they were settled (e.g., access to contraception and abortion), keep coming back as topics of controversy. This book shows us a progression in the state of the public attitude toward women, and chronicles the problems that resulted for society as well as the difficulties encountered by those who tried to change those attitudes.Very well worth reading.

  • Yasmin
    2019-03-17 09:54

    Finished Girl Trouble as it is only from the perspective of Britain it is a little restrictive. It would be interesting to know about a book that covered many countries into one. In the part focusing on the 19th and early 20th centuries I have to admit I was sceptical. However, I have not made that time period a study of mine, altho' I have not come across the newspaper headlines in any of the things I have read. But as I have not seen all the editions of The Women's World, from the mid 1880s I cannot say for sure none of these stories didn't feature in that periodical in some form. Be that as it may I should also point out that at least in London in the late 1890s women over the age of 30 and had property could vote in local elections. Of course that did leave out many other women and who knows as yet if their votes actually counted! Also if you happen to follow a current feminist like Laurie Penny for example, recently, you do still bring into question the future of women, whether as feminists or not. Domestic abuse is still ever on the rise and not just in Britain as is sexism and racism. On the whole an interesting book into the lives of young women in history, much of the time even other women were not their allies or sympathetic.

  • Meredith
    2019-02-25 13:52

    This book provides a history of the obsession with the conduct of young women, which has been a constant throughout history, from the Victorian era to the present. It's divided into several sections focusing on a particularly topic, and each of those sections are presented in chronological order.I found the book extremely well-written and organized. Dyhouse is a balanced commentator, pointing out studies which are limited and drawing attention to differing views, especially on current events in feminism. Each section seemed warranted, without repeats but drawing on previous chapters. The book never lost my attention.I'm not someone who puts markers in books or takes notes on them (except for negative things when preparing to review a book), but I filled this one with post-its - choice quotes from other books, novels and memoirs to look out, interesting information, etc...

  • Amanda
    2019-03-19 15:51

    I won this book in a goodreads giveaway. The topic isn't one I'd read much about previously, but it sounded interesting. This book is eye-opening and extraordinarily well-researched. It chronicles the social history of young women throughout the past century, and I was struck by how well the author analyzed social changes that I'd lived through, but hadn't given much prior thought to. Personally, I would have preferred more first-hand accounts, such as interviews or diary entries...I wanted to get more of a "feel" for what it was like being a young woman in decades past, and at times I found the prose to be overly matter-of-fact and impersonal. Still, a very interesting and informative read that I recommend to anyone with an interest in this topic.

  • Shelly
    2019-02-20 14:54

    A well researched and documented, whitty look into the History and Evolution of Females. Through social standing, media, literature, culture and print media. This book documents the life and times of the female phscy and how it has been portrayed.From While Slavery and the Seduction of Innocence through prostitution in the early 1900'sBrazen Flapper and the Bright Young Things of the 30-40sTo Rock & Roll, Punk, Girl Power and Manic Pixie, Lolita effects.I would recommend this to any budding feminist, historian or general persons interested in a really well thought out study.

  • Andie
    2019-03-06 11:56

    Controlling the behavior of girls and young women has been the concern of societies from the beginning of recorded history, and this entertaining social history of British women in the 20th Century demonstrates that despite giant strides that women have have made in the past 100 years, there are still biases and prejudices that die hard.Told with illustrative examples from popular literature, films and television. This book is an easy fascinating read. It's interesting to see the parallel tracks that the fight for women's right has taken in both the US and in Britain

  • Bianca
    2019-02-20 14:54

    An interesting and well written book about young women and feminism from suffragettes to now. It wasn't what I expected but I couldn't put it down. I learned a lot and it made me think about my position of being a woman today. While it tries to be academic, there are moments of pure opinion that I personally didn't care. They make me take the text less seriously. Otherwise a good beginner feminist novel.

  • Lisa
    2019-03-14 09:55

    Afraid this will be a terse writeup, as it's been some months since I read the book. (I thought I'd written about it at the time.) The long and short of it is that the worry about girls these days is perennial- only the details of the specific worry of the day seemed to change, and the panic was frequently overblown. While it focused more on the British experience, there were references to the US as well.

  • georgia
    2019-03-01 15:51

    A nice factual background to already existing ideas/anecdotes on feminism and why it's so important. I wouldn't say I learnt anything new or thought-provoking but social history and the basis to how our modern society rests today always makes for an interesting read. However, I couldn't even LOOK at the chapter entitled 'White Slavery' without cringing, and the book really lacked intersectionality - an overlooked but vital component of 21st century feminism.

  • Elise
    2019-03-04 16:56

    A well-written history about the progress of women, from a lower class of citizen who must be protected and kept at home to independent people with education and choices.Focusing mostly on the UK, but certain aspects could easily be applied to the US. As prudish as Americans are, it's fun to see that Britons aren't much different--Britons are often portrayed in the media as much more sexual and accepting. We are more alike than some would care to admit.

  • Ester
    2019-02-28 16:50

    Very interesting and well-written - only minor criticism is that I felt it veered more into a history of feminism from the 70s onwards, which is unavoidable to an extent but did shift the focus of the book quite a bit and covered things that I would suspect much of the readership is already aware of.

  • Aimee Georgeson
    2019-03-11 15:03

    Written by a historian so a bit dry but very informative if a little narrow in focus. 2.5 out of 5

  • Carmen
    2019-03-22 15:47

    Eh. No original thought here, quite a boring, ambivalent history of women and girls in Britain. I'd guess Dyhouse is quite third wave as well, so rather lacking in critical thinking about sexuality.

  • Stephanie
    2019-03-01 09:56

    this was a hard book to het into so I put it down after a few chapters into the book

  • Claire
    2019-02-26 09:47

    loved this summary by a tutor of mine from Uni many years ago

  • Jeni
    2019-02-25 16:04

    I would enjoy reading an American counterpart to this.