Sunday, September 7, 2008
Girls, Girls, Girls
Girls Studies to me, is the studying of young girls in society and the affect that the media has on them. Also, taking our experiences that we had through our girlhood and relating them to the girls today. By understanding Girls Studies we can help the generations under us by allowing them to know that they are not alone, and that they do not have to conform to what the media and society try to teach them. As feminists I feel that it is our duty to help and guide these girls similar to how Second Wave influenced us, but even more so. Second Wave Feminists did not fully prepare us for the multiple outlets of advertising and influence that is made available in our lives today. The generation under us is so overwhelmed with what society is throwing at them, and they are not even prepared for it. For Third Wavers we were eased into the internet phenomenon as an outlet, but the generation after us has been born into it. By understanding Girl Studies and taking on some responsibility, we can help to raise up a brand new wave of powerful women.
I really enjoyed All About The Girl, because as I was reading this book, I completely identified with it. I know all through my childhood (and even now) there was such a pressure to be a certain way. One of my favorite parts was the paragraph that referred to Reviving Ophelia and to a "girl-poisoning culture" and it says, '"...Girls today are much more oppressed. They are coming of age in a more dangerous, sexualized, and media-saturated culture. They face incredible pressures to be beautiful and sophisticated, which in junior high means using chemicals and being sexual. As they navigate a more dangerous world, girls are less protected (17)."' Unfortunately in our world, this is so true. Growing up I remember looking through magazines and watching tv and wanting so badly to look like the beautiful women that were being portrayed. Being exposed to t.v., the internet, magazines, radio, etc. there is that constant force of how women are supposed to be, and how to be the girl that will get the guy. As a young girl living in our world today it is difficult to separate what kind of woman they should look up to, or aspire to be like. It is intimidating as a girl, or even a young woman, to find exactly where you would like to see yourself. Whether you should be passive, aggressive, modest or free. Seeing these unrealistic images of what women are supposed to look and be like are disgusting for all women, especially the adolescent.
We also need to keep in mind "how addressing girls' needs also served explicitly feminist ends, as the literature defined work with girls as a form of collective resistance to patriarchy" (Harris 23). We are not just saving the youth from the world, we are also saving ourselves, and the mission that our previous sisters have worked so hard for.
Posted by Andrea L.A. at 11:40 PM