The joining of women and girls lies at the heart of our research. This joining symbolizes and encouranges our belief that the future experiences of women need not be bound to the past, in a process
of endless repetition, and that psychological understanding can contribute to change.
I find it almost alarming that Girls Studies is so new. I feel like we're pretty progressive to be able to say that we've been able to study this.
In any case, I think that Girls' Studies is especially important to Women's Studies and feminism in general. We all know how much of what we do and who we are is based on our experiences during adolescence, which is definitely a very significant point in our lives.
I thought Fine's foreword in All About the Girl was pretty clever in the way that she kept talking about women's bathrooms. I kind of laughed until I realized that bathrooms are one of the few places that are women only and not negative: "In today's new gender regime, you must qualify with a badge of (dis)honor to enter a space explicitly for girls and women: battered, teen and pregnant, or anorexic." How is that other than bathrooms, the main women-centered spaces we have are for those recovering from something? Hopefully programs like YWLP will change this. (Sidenote: My friend and I are considering forming a consciousness-raising group. Anyone interested?)
To be honest, I'm a little nervous about what we will study and discuss. For the most part, I hated being kid. I didn't like elementary school, I hated middle school, and I loathed high school. I was the kind of kid that always wanted to be an adult, and I realize now that I am, I am much happier. I haven't really been able to pinpoint the reason why, but I think it has something to do with the lack of freedom that kids experience. I know that I always felt suffocated until I came to college and could finally make my own choices. I have blocked out any sort of negative memories I've had from adolescence and I realize that by taking this class, I'm forcing myself to confront the memories and the issues that I've put aside. But it will be worth it, because by December when this class is over, I'll have a better understanding of myself and where I came from, a deeper connection to girlhood, and a better understanding of feminism. All in all, I think this class will make me a more enlightened individual.
Moreover, I hope we will be able to reclaim Girl Power and focus on "fixing the culture, and not the girl" (All About the Girl, 23).
By the way, there is no wikipedia entry for "Girls Studies." I think we should collaborate on one. :)