Recently my good mate Nadia, whose passport says she's Pakistani though in fact she grew up all over the world, asked me to educate her about Australian girls, since she's going to be living here awhile (yay!), having just scored a scholarship to do her PhD on....something. Her exact questions were: 'What's it like here? What kind of stuff do girls here have to grow up with? What's the 'moral' climate like? What's expected here? What assumptions are made? What's the history?!?!? I know exactly NOTHING about Australian women. What should I be reading? What should I be watching? Is there something you read at some point that made a difference to you?'
I had a go at answering. The first book that came to mind was Puberty Blues. It might be outdated but it's also just not. For a historical perspective I suggested (off the top of my head) The Drover's Wife by Henry Lawson (hmm...probably worth tracking down some of the responses to that story Nadia, like Murray Baille's) and The Chosen Vessel by Barbara Boynton (google 'em up babies, they're both online for your reading pleasure), which I've always found chilling. I also edumacated her about the frigid test - that mean anything to anyone? Do I have to "please explain".
Does anyone else have any suggestions for Nadia? What should she be reading? What should she be watching?
I am deep with the curiosity about your answers.