Monday, December 1, 2008

Better late than never ; )

When I tell people about Girls Studies the class, a lot of womyn respond, 'O so basically we all should have had that class during middle school.' It's pretty messed up that girls are purposely cut off from a lot of the information we got to ingest this semester. A lot of the authors in our texts would talk about girls' sexuality and comment that in our culture, or in most cultures, girls supposedly have no sexuality. I caught myself feeling a little uncomfortable about thinking about the fact that twelve-year-old are sexual people, even though I've been really aware of my own sexuality since preschool, no joke.

I'm grateful for late night sleepover conversations when my middle school friends and I talked about taboo topics, but it would have understood myself and been so much more confident if I had been able to talk about sexuality openly. I really appreciate the research that contributors to our texts did on girls' perceptions of sexuality in media and in their lives. Also, discussing the sexual stereotypes that are placed on girls has been really useful to me. From my experience growing up, most of the time I felt that I belonged to one category of girl: the good girl. The reputation followed me, so I either upheld it or every now and then fought to break it down.

For me, doing theatre was an important place where I could step outside of the stereotype that I lived, and be a person who was proud and loud about sexuality. From our readings and online assignments, it seems like a lot of girls find the internet as a place where they can explore who they are and who they want to be and discuss with other girls.

I notice that I still find my self stepping in and out of the good girl stereotype in my head. When I begin to discuss sexuality with people I knew growing up, I catch myself thinking, is it OK for me (a good girl) to be talking about this? I have to remind myself that I'm a woman and I'm allowed to have a sexuality. So I guess I'm still internalizing lessons I picked up from this class. A girl doesn't need to become a woman to claim her right to sexual independence. Our society's rules for girls behavior are harmful, and I would like us to all have the opportunity to learn to ignore them. Also, I'm sad that this class is over.

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