Good interview with author of "The Lolita Effect"

Iowa Independent has published a good interview T.M. Lindsey did with Gigi Durham, a journalism professor at the University of Iowa who has published a book called “The Lolita Effect.”

“A lot of very sexual products are being marketed to very young kids,” Durham said in a press release. “I’m criticizing the unhealthy and damaging representations of girls’ sexuality, and how the media present girls’ sexuality in a way that’s tied to their profit motives. The body ideals presented in the media are virtually impossible to attain, but girls don’t always realize that, and they’ll buy an awful lot of products to try to achieve those bodies. There’s endless consumerism built around that.”

Durham will read from “The Lolita Effect” at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 8, at Prairie Lights Books in Iowa City.

If anyone makes it to the reading, please put up a comment or diary afterwards to tell us about the event.

If you are concerned about the way the media and various industries sexualize young girls, occasionally publishes news and action alerts about this issue.

Another good resource is Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, a group dedicated to “reclaiming children from corporate marketers.” That organization, in collaboration with the group Dads & Daughters, launched a successful letter-writing campaign two years ago, which prompted toy company Hasbro to shelve a planned line of eroticized “Pussycat Dolls” for young girls.

A current letter-writing effort organized by Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood is urging a children’s hospital not to give naming rights to Abercrombie & Fitch, “among the worst corporate offenders” when it comes to sexualizing children.

Speaking of Lolita, since I studied Russian literature in college I want to let you in on a little secret: it’s not the best novel by Vladimir Nabokov. Seriously, I’ve never met a Russian lit professor or graduate student who thought that was Nabokov’s best work.

If you’re curious about Nabokov, read Invitation to a Beheading (a relatively early novel), The Gift (the last novel he wrote in Russian), The Real Life of Sebastian Knight (the first novel he wrote in English), Pale Fire (probably my own favorite), or Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle.

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