Our book club has been abuzz for the past couple of weeks as we read our advance copies of The Underground Girls of Kabul by investigative journalist Jenny Nordberg. Today, on the book’s release date, we can finally share our discussion of this thought provoking look into a well-known secret practice in Afghanistan: families with no sons who raise their young daughters as boys.
Nordberg interviews and follow several girls (and their families) to further understand this practice of pacha posh, but also digs deep into gender roles in Afghanistan and in western society. I found this book utter fascinating and other From Left to Write members did as well. Head over to their blogs to read their essays inspired by The Underground Girls of Kabul.
- Kate from Kate’s Point of View ponders about gender definitions and their implications.
- Savvy Working Gal considers why she needs to continue making women count.
- The Baddest Mother Ever asks if you ever “passed” in order to deal with an unfair system?
- Christina Yother from from christinayother.com shares her thoughts on how society defines being a girl.
- Jennifer of Mamawolfe knows that her daughter is growing up learning how to harness her girl power.
- Erin at Read-at-Home Mama is frustrated that Afghan men feel that women who don’t bear sons are “fundamentally flawed.”
- Julie of A Good Joe isn’t convinced that women are the weaker sex.
- NJ from A Cookie Before Dinner struggles with letting her pink loving preschool boy wear his pink pajamas out of the house.
- Alison Abbott at Green With Renvy has second thoughts about the complicated issue of gender identity.
- Casey from Salted Plates remembers why she is lucky to be a woman in her world today.
- Jane T. discussed gendered toys for kids and more at live like it’s shark week.
- Emily Stephens from Nap Time is My Time discusses gender stereotypes and parenting.
- Morninglight mama reminisces back to her own first pregnancy fourteen years ago on her blog my thoughts exactly.
- Kelly writes about how raising boys can be a double standard at Cupcake Kelly’s.
- Alicia S of the blog Titere con Bonete discovers the world at her fingertips and a whole new way for her to enjoy books.
- Tasha at Frozen OJ wishes she was born a man, but for different reasons.
- As a young teacher, Brandi from Mama Knows It All discovers what makes children special has little to do with gender.
- Laura from the gluten-free treadmill explores what it means to be female.
- Melanie of tales from the crib considers freedom and gender identity
- Melissa at Life with Sophia is glad to have a girl.
- Lisa from Hannemaniacs writes about raising her girl after two boys.
- Thien-Kim of I’m Not the Nanny knew her family was complete at two kids, regardless of gender.
- Char at I (Don’t) Know Mommy considers nurture over nature in her daughters.
- Melanie RG from The Seeds of 3 explores gender bias through fabric colors
Seriously, buy a copy of The Underground Girls of Kabul by Jenny Nordberg and one for a friend. You’ll want to discuss it with someone once you’re done. Whether you’re reading the book solo or with your book club, download the Reader’s Guide to Underground Girls of Kabul.