Posts Tagged Girls

A summer camp of one’s own


Who among us hasn’t heard the oft repeated quotation from Mahatma Gandi: “Be the change you wish to see in the world”?

Well, as I was sitting in front of 80 high school aged-girls last week talking about body image, media activism, gender, feminism, and so much more, it occurred to me that a spin off that deserves popularizing is, “Be the culture you wish to be a part of in the world.” It’s happening at the Girls Leadership Institute (GLI)–a training institute and summer camp fostering authentic leadership in girls. It’s happening at Feministing. It’s happening in all kinds of feminist organizations and friend circles–formal and informal. We make change by creating subcultures where our values–about equality and ...


Who among us hasn’t heard the oft repeated quotation from Mahatma Gandi: “Be the change you wish to see in the world”?

Well, as I was sitting in front of 80 high school aged-girls last week talking ...

You go (shy) girl!

“I think it’s important for shy girls to be able to be seen as leaders too,” said the, no doubt, shy girl sitting among a circle of 20 or so middle schoolers at a girls’ leadership summer camp. We were brainstorming a list of leadership qualities that we–not the media, not parents, not teachers, not even friends–deemed critical.

I thought this point was not only brave, but very astute. As I make the rounds of girls’ leadership development programs and camps this summer (I’m thrilled to be headed to The Girls Leadership Institute next month, co founded by one of my favorite human beings, Rachel Simmons), I’ve been thinking a lot about the kind of leadership model we are ...

“I think it’s important for shy girls to be able to be seen as leaders too,” said the, no doubt, shy girl sitting among a circle of 20 or so middle schoolers at a girls’ leadership summer ...

Little girls and big systemic cultural problems

Good Morning America recently ran a segment on what I would term early-onset body image issues – girls as young as 5 and 6 are picking up on the cultural imperative for thinness, and the result is that girls are worrying about their weight before they’re out of the third grade. We’ve known for some time that little girls worry about this stuff, and that girls are starting to diet at younger and younger ages. GMA put together a panel of girls between the ages of 5 and 8 to ask them about diet, exercise, and how they felt about their bodies.

The adult women in these girls’ lives are seemingly all on diets – their mothers, their teacher – ...

Good Morning America recently ran a segment on what I would term early-onset body image issues – girls as young as 5 and 6 are picking up on the cultural imperative for thinness, and the result ...

The personal is political: princess parties

As we wound round and round in circles, nice little breaks from the monotony of the chicken dance, my goddaughter, R., stared up at the “real live princess” with big, serious eyes. Every move the princess made–whether twisting a pink balloon into a phallic sword for her male cousin, or painting a butterfly on her tiny hand, R. studied.

Yesterday was my goddaughter’s sixth birthday. She loves princesses and her favorite color is pink. She alternated between a princess dress and a swimming suit with princesses on it. Even her stuffed animal kitty was dressed up like a princess, tiara and all. There was a princess pinata. You can imagine the ways in which these realities provoked some major gender analysis ...

As we wound round and round in circles, nice little breaks from the monotony of the chicken dance, my goddaughter, R., stared up at the “real live princess” with big, serious eyes. Every move the princess made–whether ...

Hey Shorty! A Guide to Combating Sexual Harassment and Violence in Schools and on the Streets

If you don’t know about Girls for Gender Equity, you should. GGE is a grassroots organization in New York that aims to help girls develop into psychologically, emotionally and physically strong women. Hey, Shorty! is the story of how ending sexual harassment in New York City high schools became part of of GGE’s mission, and it’s also a model for how to involve students in changing the culture at the schools they go to and on the streets they walk.

As an example of how grassroots activism actually gets done, this book is highly useful. How do you recruit community members to work on a project? How do you get past bureaucratic obstacles, or deal with changing political tides ...

If you don’t know about Girls for Gender Equity, you should. GGE is a grassroots organization in New York that aims to help girls develop into psychologically, emotionally and physically strong women. Hey, Shorty! is ...

The Feministing Five: Rachel Lloyd

Rachel Lloyd is the founder and director of Girls Education and Mentoring Services (GEMS), an organization that helps girls and young women who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking to exit the sex industry, and provides them with the skills and knowledge to move on with their lives. GEMS, which is the largest organization of its kind in the US, was the subject of the gripping documentary Very Young Girls. Lloyd founded GEMS in 1998, “on her kitchen table,” she says, and has since grown it into an essential and influential organization.

Lloyd is a former sex worker herself, and she believes that women who work or have worked in the sex industry should be on ...

Rachel Lloyd is the founder and director of Girls Education and Mentoring Services (GEMS), an organization that helps girls and young women who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking to exit the sex industry, ...

The Feministing Five: Peggy Orenstein

Peggy Orenstein is the author of the New York Times bestselling book Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture. Orenstein’s book (her fourth – she also wrote the bestseller Schoolgirls: Young Women, Self Esteem and the Confidence Gap) is an exploration of our cultural fixation on pink and princesses and everything else we associated with girliness. Orenstein is herself the mother of a seven-year-old girl, and it was when her daughter went off to pre-school that Orenstein first became aware of how pervasive the princess obsession is, and just how aggressively it is marketed to very young girls.

What Orenstein found, when she began researching the reach and power of princess culture, and when she ...

Peggy Orenstein is the author of the New York Times bestselling book Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture. Orenstein’s book (her fourth – she also wrote the bestseller Schoolgirls: Young ...

Film on portrayal of women and girls in the media up for Sundance award

Holy Must-See Movie.

Between what looks like a great round-up of commentators in the film (hi Jenn!) and the call for the use of media activism as a tool to combat the negative portrayals of women and girls in media, this looks like a very powerful documentary. And imagine if it won Sundance?

h/t to Jessica! Transcript after the jump.

Holy Must-See Movie.

Between what looks like a great round-up of commentators in the film (hi Jenn!) and the call for the use of media activism as a tool to combat the ...

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