Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Girl's Studies...I'm Stoked.

Hello, I’m Lindsey Turnbull, a senior at UCF, double majoring in History and Anthropology. I’m also a facilitator in YWLP, which is the highlight of my week, every week. I love extreme metal music and writing my own zine. I also love my cat, my two gerbils, living alone, travelling (mostly to go to metal shows/fests, haha!) and my ipod, affectionately named Clarence. I have a penchant for trying to get people to admit when they’re wrong on online message boards…needless to say, it’s a total waste of time and usually futile…but, hey, I enjoy it and it’s great for procrastinating. (“Can’t write this essay, I’m getting lookatme22 to admit he’s completely wrong about the situation in Syria!!”) Although not artistically inclined, I like arts and crafts. I am pretty ok at photography though.
I hope that this class will help me relate to the problems and issues the YWLP Little Sisters face in order to contribute new ideas to an already great program.

Although I did not find my own “girlhood story” reflected in “Your Life as a Girl,” in my story, if an adult woman thought I was “too vicious” I generally agreed, but that never stopped my behavior. Boys sometimes taunted me for not being the best/faster/most athletic, but that never stopped me. I was lucky to have an amazing women instructor in martial arts, who always taught that it was absolutely one hundred percent ok for a woman to kick ass (pardon my language). Personally, I found it hard to identify with Anna, especially because Anna is supposed to represent the reader. However, I know women who went through similar experiences, most often, having self-worth determined by how often she was noticed by men. I agree wholeheartedly with Amanda L, who posted that Anna did not take as much control of her situation. The part that most bothered me was page 9, when Anna mentions the senior girl’s boyfriend, who beats the senior girl and “how glamorous” it sounded. Having been in a similar situation as the senior girl, I found it somewhat appalling that Sittenfield chose to use the word “glamorous” to describe this type of relationship. I have never known another woman who has witnessed or been in an abusive relationship call it anything NEAR glamorous- hell, terror, pain, betrayal, yes; glamorous, definitely not. Overall, I think Sittenfield’s story could have been inspiring, at least, had I indentified with any part of it.

The stories in Red came much closer to my girlhood experience. It seems like the Red girls took much more agency over their situations and took the time to learn things about others as well as themselves. The story I particularly liked was about the girl who sang country with her father- she learned that was something they could do together and her father did love her. To me, these stories were much more positive, uplifting and relatable. The stories in Red reminded me that all teenage girls have different outlooks on life, different struggles and different approaches to problem solving.


Merritt Johnson said...

Where did you find the reading asignment? how do we post a blog? I'm losstttt!

Lindsey said...

The reading assignment was in the Email. You post a blog by going to the dashbaord and hitting "post new blog"

~Amanda said...

Hi Lindsey,

I want to respond to your comment on the "glamorous" abuse. You wrote that you were appalled that a grown women would describe abuse as glamorous. However, Sittenfeld was describing what the girl thought at the time- a time when she was not an adult. She also goes on to explain how quickly she realized it was not "glamorous" when she experienced it (somewhat) firsthand. There are also women who remain in abusive relationships because their abuser "loves" them. This sort of thinking is not really far from the "glamorous" concept.

Finally, as a woman who used to be in an abusive relationship (as a teen), I have to confess here that part of me remained in that relationship because it made me feel grownup. From my own perspective now, I know this sounds ridculous, but that is what I felt as a teenage girl.

Thanks for reading. : )
~Amanda W.