Stacey is my favorite character to read about… I feel very worried for her in many ways. Not her health. She takes great care of her diabetes. Not her baby-sitting. She’s impressively put together for a 13 year old when it comes to caring for other children. All the girls are. What I worry about is this “boy craziness” we all write off as just typical Stacey.

Stacey may be more mature and more sophisticated than the other girls just because she’s from New York,  but that doesn’t change the fact that she’s a 13 year old girl plain and simple. Her near constant crushes worry me. Our society forces young women to think they NEED a man to be sexually, emotionally, and personally gratified. I was so naive growing up. I had crushes on men I had no business having crushes on just like Stacey. (See Boy Crazy Stacey where she gets obsessed with a much older life guard; see also Stacey’s Big Crush where she gets obsessed with her student teacher from the local college.) I let boyfriends become TOO much a part of my life. (See Stacey’s Lie, Stacey Vs the BSC and continuing books where she lets her relationship with Robert ruin the BSC’s trust in her.) Eventually I ended up meeting a guy who abused me emotionally, sexually, and occasionally physically. I put up with this, even thought I deserved it because OMG he loved me SO MUCH and none of my friends could possibly understand how much I NEEDED him. Maybe I’m reading way too much into the BSC, but I worry about all little girls who get so obsessed with having a boyfriend, and with having to keep that boyfriend. It scares me. I want to save every little girl from going through what I went through, from being made to feel so worthless and unloved by the person that in our mind loves us most. The numbers of women who are beaten and raped every year are astounding. I worry about Stacey becoming one of those statistics. Her obsession with her looks and with being with someone are very typical signs of her folding to the pressures of our patriarchal society. (Pardon my feminist ranting. Also, Claudia is a little obsessed with her looks and boys, too, but she has other healthy interests in art and reading.)

One thing I must give mad props to Ann M. Martin about – STACEY LOVES MATH! We’re living in a culture where people think “girls can’t do math.” I’m not sure where this attitude came from. I’ll get back to you about it after that chapter in this semesters Psychology of Women class. I really can’t do math but that has less to do with my gender and more to do with my reading numbers backwards. Stacey not only does math really well, she loves doing it. And science! She doesn’t dumb herself down to find a guy either which is very encouraging.

What I HOPE for Stacey McGill’s future: I hope she gets the boy craziness out of her system soon and very soon. I hope she goes to college and majors in molecular biology. I hope she is a respected woman of science and joins the FMLA at her school. I hope she learns to stand on her own two feet and that relationships with men should be beautiful and healthy and make her feel good, not bad. Those male relationships should fit like a glove with the rest of her friendly relationships because they are part of her life instead of the whole thing. I hope she helps discover the cure for diabetes and she stays friends with Claudia forever, though if she doesn’t she’ll be ok since she survived losing Laine. I hope that even when she goes to a college known for the sciences and Claudia goes for the arts, Stacey will still ask Claudia to be her Maid of Honor when she has her perfect wedding to the perfect man who treats like the intelligent, beautiful woman she is.

And that’s my take on Anastasia McGill, who’s handwriting is cute as a button.