These four pieces explore different aspects of American life through the eyes of female characters. Best in Show, Meadows, and Dads and Dancers each capture childhood moments where being a girl really counts, whether for better or for worse. While the poems tell specific stories, the questions and realizations are common for many girls growing up in America. How do we teach girls about their bodies and worth through the ways we allow men, especially their fathers, to interact with them? How are gender roles established even in childhood playtime?
The fourth poem, Venus, contrasts the first three, which all highlight questions and issues of girlhood in America. Venus illuminates the strength of women through a re-imagining of the Christian creation story. The poem invites all American women to reclaim their strength in the face of the challenges posed by a patriarchal United States.
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