SPARK is hiring! →
Just four days left to get your applications in to join the SPARKteam! Perks include:
- Being part of a totally rad and amazing group of girls & women working to change the world and getting results.
- Amazing opportunities—our SPARKteam members have been interviewed on radio, television & in print; spoken at international conferences; and met with execs at major companies to talk about making media a better place for girls of all stripes.
- Getting paid to write.
- Having your writing published on our website & in our extensive network (including outlets like HuffPo)
- Hanging out with your fellow teammates for an intensive activist & media training in Vermont in July (all expenses paid!)
- And MORE but I can’t tell you all the secrets!
Click through for requirements, deetz, & how to apply. Right now we’re especially looking for high school girls, girls of color, & lgbtq girls (we mean all of those letters—trans* girls are welcome & encouraged to apply!) in order to make sure our movement is truly encompassing the experiences, needs, & desires of all girls, but we welcome applications from all girls & young women 13-22. Apps are due June 4th!
"[Abstinence-only curricula] marginalize and stigmatize LGBTQ youth by teaching that sex between a woman and a man (obviously within traditional heterosexual marriage) is the only safe, healthy, “normal” behavior. Even if you want to teach your kids abstinence, you don’t have to do it this way. Any other form of sexual activity is a perversion to be avoided. There is a Federal Definition of what constitutes abstinence-only program content (on which we’ve spent $1.5 billion dollars since 1982) and it requires that students be told that heterosexual marriage is the “expected standard.” In addition, these programs regularly represent LGBTQ relationships as a form of disease and provide misleading information about HIV and other STIs. Despite the fact that abstinence-only materials were required to provide “medically accurate” information after a 2004 study revealed the persistence of these misrepresentations, the same materials continued to be used. The messages sent by these curricula not only reinforce a discriminatory environment, but cultivate it. What kind of school environment is produced when teachers are forced to provide materials supporting the idea that non-hetero kids are deviant as a matter of federally-mandated policy? No wonder LGBTQ students are five times more likely to miss school because they feel unsafe after being bullied due to their sexual orientation."
When the Disney Channel was pressed about whether they would address gay relationships on their shows, Gary Marsh, the president of Disney Channel worldwide said, “We don’t deal with sexuality on the Disney Channel in general. That’s just sort of not where our audience’s head’s at. They’re really a pre-sexual audience, for the most part, and so sexuality is not how we look to tell any kind of stories.”
What Disney Channel doesn’t realize is that by taking no stance on what they consider sexuality, they are in fact taking a stance. Disney is largely heteronormative in its portrayal of relationships, with many shows centering on them. While relationships between boys and girls become increasingly sexualized, (without the actual sex) couples of the same sex are not afforded the same treatment.
Television often promotes certain standards of sexuality and on these kid’s shows it is not acceptable to have feelings for someone of the same sex. If there are possible gay characters, there is a denial that the relationships these characters undergo or experience are sexual in any way.