Sunday, November 30, 2008

Remembering Grrrlhood

I have been putting off writing this blog until I could find the right words to describe our Girls' Studies class, yet it's hard to articulate such a powerful experience in a few short paragraphs. I was nervous about first beginning the class because I only knew a few other women who would be taking it, and I wasn't sure how I would relate to the other women enrolled. I was confident in my feminism yet knew I had much to learn, and this class was the perfect answer. Not only did I meet some of the most incredible, inspirational women I have ever been blessed to know, but I also learned a great deal about myself and the young girls in my life. Through the texts we read, my knowledge about feminist theory in relation to girlhood was greatly expanded upon, especially about the two main constructions of girlhood currently debated within the scholarly realm, that of the drowning Ophelia and of the consumer-driven "Girl Power!" tween. More importantly, however, I learned how no girl fits neatly into either one of these categories, and how it is imperative that we as feminist scholars recognize the individuality of every girl and her experience, and never silence her voice.

It is through the voices of girls that their experiences can be known, and the greatest lesson I learned through Girls' Studies is never to silence a girl, or to speak vicariously through her. We must also never let our own experiences and memories dictate the girlhood of our sisters. Girls are our future, and it is through their work and ours that a truly feminist world can be achieved. I was lucky enough to be able to experience their strength and power as a YWLP facilitator this semester, and it was amazing to be able to utilize what I learned through Girls' Studies while instructing middle school girls. Though we cannot use any political terminology like feminism with the YWLP girls, our lessons were all based on feminist principle, and I felt as though every week I met with the girls, I could relate Girls' Studies to our lesson, and vice versa. Through this experience, I was finally able to understand the importance of applying theory to activism, and the reality of living feminism.

I would recommend Girls' Studies to anyone with a young girl in their life, or to anyone who wishes to understand feminism on an even broader scale. It was an absolutely incredible class, and I cannot thank my professor or classmates more. You all make me proud to know you, and I cannot wait to see the grrrls of today become the women of our future!

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