Wednesday, August 26, 2009

This is my first blog post ever!

Hi everyone! I’m Amanda L, an English major here at UCF. It sounds weird to say, but I’m a senior now and I’ll be graduating at the end of spring! Four years certainly went by fast, I don’t want to be a grown up! :) I’m really excited to take this class, two of my friends took it last fall and I thought it sounded really awesome and interesting, so I was so excited to see it is being offered again.

I thought Sittenfeld’s story was very all-encompassing of the different issues related to girlhood. One thing that really touched me about the piece was the obvious regression. The author really captures how it’s not just one incident or one line that suddenly changes a girl’s attitude or confidence, but it is many incidents and many words that slowly chip away at a girl’s self-reliance and self-worth.

I thought there was a huge difference between Sittenfeld’s piece and the stories written in Red though. In Your Life as a Girl I felt like the “girl” in the story, Anna, who essentially represented the reader, was defeated and had no control of her situation. It made me sad that in the end she still hadn’t seemed to find herself. However in Red, the girls seemed to take control of their circumstances, recognize them, and often confront them. I felt as if the girls in Red possessed an agency that was lacking in Your Life as a Girl. I think this difference just goes to show that no girl has the same experience as another. One piece presents a cornucopia (I tried really hard to think of a word not as silly, but I really do envision a cornucopia in my head) of different issues affecting girls and another gives us real life examples of how some choose to deal with them. Are they only way, the right way, or the most effective way? I’m sure they aren’t. Could all of these girls still use a mentor, a positive influence, or some self confidence? Absolutely. But I’m sure we could too, and we consider ourselves grown women. There is no fairy godmother way to get through girlhood, no perfect solution. I think reading these pieces together teaches us to be sensitive and cautious, knowing that even though there are similarities, no two “girlhoods” will ever be the same.

What I’m most looking forward to is really delving into the whole girlhood phenomenon. I often wish I could go back to being a girl, but with the attitude I have now. Don’t you wish you could go back to middle school and just say things like, “these glasses ARE cool,” “my mom is NOT embarrassing,” or “SO WHAT if I don’t shop at Limited Too?” I have to commend the girls from Red who have the courage to write about their struggles and triumphs however big or small. Bravo, ladies!


Lindsey said...

I remember when Limited TOO was THE place to shop for clothes. I remember dragging my mom there too, haha. That was my way to fit in...not even fit in, just to have friends at my elementary school. Glad I gave that up :)

Leila said...

I love the end of your post--YES, I would love to be able to go back and say those things, and KNOW those things. How much more pleasant middle school might have been;)

~Amanda said...

Hey Amanda,

I would NOT want to go back. I like the power and control I have over my life as an adult that I wished I could have when I was a kid. However, I think I "go back" sort of vicariously through my daughter. All the stuff I know for sure now, I try to impart on her. "Your glasses ARE cute.... Trust me when I say, you really do NOT want to be friends with a girl like that, anyway.... You look best in clothes that fit you properly.... You look good.... It's NOT a big deal...."

~Amanda W. : )