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Your Daughter's Bedroomby Joyce T. Mcfadden
Synopses & Reviews
Your Daughters Healthy Identity Starts With You
After psychoanalyst Joyce McFadden treated countless women who felt alone and isolated in experiences that they were unaware many other women were dealing with too, she began to ask what she could do to help them reach out to each other. The result was the launch of her Womens Realities Study in which she interviewed hundreds of women from ages 18-105, about the most private issues as she sought to understand what events in a womans life impact her future happiness and self-confidence. What McFadden found was truly revealing— the theme that most interested them as they explored their identities was how their relationship with their mothers influenced their understanding of themselves as sexual beings throughout their lives—from the time they were little girls straight through adulthood.
Drawing on over a thousand responses, Your Daughters Bedroom offers a new and unprecedented look at the mother-daughter bond. McFadden argues that the type of womanhood mothers model for their daughters determines the young girls comfort with their own bodies which, in turn, leads to confidence and satisfaction later in life. From the most mundane and everyday gestures—a reluctance to call body parts by their real name; an offhanded suggestion to lose weight— to how mothers introduce life altering events such as the start of puberty and sexual exploration, all of these have an impact on a girls psyche. She found that in an attempt to protect and shield daughters, mothers withhold important information and leave girls to wrestle with their own bourgeoning sexuality and other challenges of growing up.
Offering a fresh perspective on the fraught mother-daughter relationship, McFadden shows how mothers can create the right environment for their daughters to grow into self-assured women. Your Daughters Bedroom is an essential resource for women who want to establish a more open and positive relationship with their daughters.
"Manhattan-based psychoanalyst McFadden had been listening to women's narratives in her practice for 25 years; in 2005 she decided to conduct an online survey called Women's Realities, having observed that many women feel alone in their emotional struggles or ashamed of their sexual histories and desires. Knowing that others are going through similar experiences, the author hypothesized, would be healing. Hundreds of women from all walks of life, of various ethnicities and ages, participated by anonymously sharing their stories with 'raw honesty.' This text represents a portion of McFadden's extensive findings, focusing in depth on three of the survey's most popular topics: menstruation, women's relationships with their mothers, and masturbation (she explains that current publishing trends prevented her from examining the entire online survey in book form). McFadden's mission is not only to give women an anonymous forum, but also to encourage women to become more candid in their discussions about such issues with their own daughters. The text not only validates women's shared experiences but also gives mothers practical suggestions for shepherding their daughters to womanhood. Emphasizing a mother's power to enhance or harm a girl's sense of identity and attitude toward sex, McFadden warns against outsourcing sexual education: music videos, ads, books, or the school nurse aren't a substitute for an open mother/daughter relationship. Despite the rather ambiguous title, this is a fascinating and empowering text for women of all ages. (May)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
In "Your Daughters' Bedroom" psychotherapist Joyce McFadden argues that mothers loom large in the psyche of young girls and that, in their quest to create perfect daughters, mothers may be hurting them instead. By making offhanded comments that impair their daughter’s confidence or hiding facts about themselves as sexual women, mothers can unintentionally cause girls to feel isolated, left alone to confront their burgeoning sexuality during the most confusing time of their lives.
Drawing on the personal testimonies of more than a thousand women, McFadden weaves together their stories about sexuality, self esteem, and the origins of their feelings. The result is a rich and powerful narrative about the complex mother and daughter bond and its enduring impact on women’s lives.
About the Author
Joyce McFadden is a psychoanalyst in private practice in New York and East Hampton. Author of the ongoing anonymous web-based Womens Realities Study, she is a faculty member, clinical supervisor and training analyst at the Training and Research Institute for Self Psychology, as well as a faculty member at the Woodhull Institute and the NYC Open Center. She is a featured writer on intent.com and a columnist on Huffington Post.
Table of Contents
Introduction * Exploring Our Mothers Influence on Ourselves * Menstruation: Are You There Mom? Its Me, Your Daughter * Sexual Mother, Sexual Daughter * Talking To Our Daughters about Sex throughout Our Lives Together * What Do You Most Want To Know About Your Mother But Would Never Ask? * Body Image and “Beauty”: Saving Our Daughters From Ourselves * Conclusion * Appendix
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