Women's Speaker Series: Melissa Atkins Wardy, author of Redefining Girly

Wednesday, February 5, 2014, 7-9 pm

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Fee: $25/$20 members – includes an autographed copy of Redefining Girly and refreshments.

Margy Stratton, founder and executive producer of Milwaukee Reads continues year three of her series featuring writers of particular interest to women. We are joined this year by series sponsor Bronze Optical and treats sponsor MKELocalicious.

Lynden Sculpture Garden's Women's Speaker Series, Boswell Books, and Bronze Optical welcome Melissa Atkins Wardy, author of Redefining Girly: How Parents Can Fight the Stereotyping and Sexualizing of Girlhood, from Birth to Tween to the Lynden Sculpture Garden, Wednesday, February 5, 7-9 pm.

Many parents are increasingly startled and unnerved at how today’s media, marketers and manufacturers are sexualizing and stereotyping ever-younger girls—all-pink aisles in toy stores, ultrasexy Halloween costumes in tween sizes—but feel powerless to do much about it. Mother of two and author Melissa Wardy was frustrated—and then she channeled her frustration into activism. She created a website to sell T-shirts with girl-positive messages; started blogging and swapping parenting strategies with families around the world; began writing letters to corporate offenders; and worked with parents through workshops and social media. Wardy’s outreach ensures parents have the tools they need to change, limit and challenge the media that their daughters are confronted with every day. Amidst all the sexualized messages and gendered marketing of clothes and toys, Wardy encourages moms and dads to take a stance and start redefining girlhood even before a daughter is brought into the world.

Redefining Girly: How Parents Can Fight the Stereotyping and Sexualizing of Girlhood, from Birth to Tween is the how-to guide for parents, family members and teachers who are concerned about how to raise confident and empowered girls in today’s hypersexual culture. Offering the tips, tools and facts needed to guide girls successfully through girlhood, Wardy inspires parents to teach media literacy to girls; encourage girls to advocate for themselves; discuss body image in a healthy way; and introduce kids to creating their own media.

“This eye-opening tome is an absolute must-read.” —Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Melissa Atkins Wardy is the founder of Pigtail Pals & Ballcap Buddies, a company that sells empowering and inspirational children’s apparel and products, and runs a blog of the same name focused on gender stereotypes and sexualization in childhood. Wardy discusses these issues facing families with thousands of parents using social media and workshops. She is also the cofounder of The Brave Girls Alliance, a gender equality think tank and advocacy group dedicated to communicating with and influencing media, corporations, and retailers.

She has appeared on CNN and FOX News and in the Boston Globe, New York Daily News, Huffington Post, and the Ms. Magazine blog, which have featured her work and her campaigns against national brands and retailers that resulted in the removal of sexist ads and products. She lives in Janesville, Wisconsin, with her husband and two children.

Watch Melissa Atkins Wardy on The Morning Blend.


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