Monday, November 17, 2008

Girls' Voices

This week my fourteen-year-old cousin, Mary, came down from Michigan to stay with me. Some of you had the pleasure of meeting her :). I would definitely have to say that although we spend a significant amount of time together throughout the year, this week of being together 24-7 really taught me a lot about girlhood and reminded me of how life was when I was fourteen. One thing I was reminded of is that sometimes girls just plain don’t want to talk. They may have a problem they need to address but don’t want to chat about it. Instead, they must get their feelings across in other ways.

I think that it is really important for girls to be able to express themselves in many different formats and outlets. Cultural productions like New Moon really give girls a place to speak their minds about issues in a different way than everyway life. Sometimes girls have a lot of things on their mind, but they don’t want to talk about them. Sometimes they would rather write or draw to express themselves. I know that this is true for my “Little Sister” in YWLP. She has told me before that when she gets upset she does art to get out all of her frustrations. I think New Moon is great because someone like my Little Sister can share her feelings to other girls through a different medium other than just talking.

My cousin doesn’t do art like my Little Sister, but instead is a writer. She often writes short stories. I truly believe that when she creates different characters and scenarios, she is actually expressing problems she has in her own life. Being able to write a story about someone with a different name but then sharing it with others eliminates any embarrassment young girls may have about their own problem or situation. Plus, she can write a story that begins in a way her own life begins, but then she has the creative ability to change the end of the story. Maybe this means in her real life she cannot solve her problems because they are out of her control, but in her stories she can make her own Happily Ever After. I think having this kind of control and power makes girls feel strong and positive. With this kind of positive attitude it is possible that girls with have the self-esteem to start solving problems and overcoming adversity.

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