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The Women’s Media Center invites girls from all over the United States, ages 14-22, to create a 1- 5 minute Girls’ State of the Union video in response to the President’s speech. Five finalists will be highlighted on the Women’s Media Center’s YouTube channel and a group of diverse and talented celebrity and new media influencer judges will choose the winner.
Like the President’s report, the Girls’ State of the Union will sum up the condition of the country—with special emphasis on the welfare of girls—and an outline of what the President’s legislative agenda and priorities for congress should be.
The winner, along with her parents or guardians, will be flown to Washington, DC to present her State of the Union report at the National Press Club in January.
The lack of ladies in STEM (science, technology engineering and math) fields is “troubling,” reports The Washington Post’s Anna Holmes. “According to a report released last month by the Department of Commerce, although females fill almost half of the jobs in the American economy, less than 25 percent of jobs in STEM fields are held by women.” One reason ladies might shy away from geekier professions, argues Holmes, “there were no depictions of female characters involved in any sort of STEM career in children’s movies.” That’s not quite true: the study Holmes cites out of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media found three. So what exactly do these precious few role models look like?
Teach them it’s okay to be emotional and that holding feelings in is not what being a man is about.
Become media literate so that they can become aware of how gender is portrayed in terms of what they are seeing and hearing. When a boy sees an ad or a tv show in which stereotypes are present, make sure you point it out.
Teach them that there is more to a girl than what she looks like. Discuss famous women who have done and are doing important things.
Make play dates in which there are boys and girls to play with. Making friends with girls can be an important part of how they will perceive women.
Introduce them to female characters through books, movies, etc. Research shows that a majority of these characters are male, so it will be up to you to provide a variety.
As a young man:
Teach them that “feminism” means promoting women’s rights and interests.
Discuss how being a feminist does not mean women hate men or that women think men are the enemy.
Teach them that by taking a role in feminism they will be helping everyone not just women.
Teach them that because they are at the top of society’s hierarchy, they have a responsibility and an ability to be part of social change and justice for everyone.
Simply talk to them and use probing questions when teachable moments arise. Allow them to reach their own conclusions.
"I do not care if your eight year old is wearing wildly inappropriate clothing, adult men do not have the right to ogle her. I do not care if your 13 year old looks “grown up” and might be mistaken for the ripe old age of 16. She is a child and should not be touched. “Skanky little girls” (and how I detest all that implies) deserve defending with the same vigor as a nun or an asexual old woman."
1) Listen to Girls — Girls are the best people to tell you what girls need. Listening means not assuming you know all the answers or that your way is the right way. Pay close attention to what girls are saying and ask them to elaborate on their thoughts and feelings.
2) Remind Yourself There is No Typical Girl — In spite of what the media shows us every day, girls and women come in all shapes and sizes, from diverse family backgrounds and social situations, and have different needs and interests. Value these differences and encourage girls to draw on their experiences to teach one another.
3) Teach Girls (and Boys) to Be Critical Consumers of Media — Teach girls to question the narrow images (girls as sexy, diva, boy-crazy shoppers) they see on TV, in the movies, on-line, in toy stores, the mall, and in magazines. Offer them examples of real people who are not constrained by stereotypes.
4) Stop Worrying About Your Looks — Girls learn about womanhood by watching and listening to the women in their lives. When you make negative comments about your body, you’re teaching girls that women judge themselves and other women on their looks. Girls will learn to love their bodies if they see women doing the same.
5) Do Your Own Work — Before “helping” girls, women first need to work on our own stuff. We can’t help girls practice healthy conflict resolution, teach them to stand up to bullies, or expect them to create healthy relationships, if we can’t do these things ourselves.
Tinderbox Music Festival is an annual event showcasing a powerful and diverse lineup of established and emerging female artists producing innovative original music. Rooted in the vibrant New York City music scene, Tinderbox fosters community by providing opportunities to perform, collaborate, and connect. Tinderbox also donates 100% of its net proceeds to organizations involved in empowering the next generation of female artists including GIRLS WRITE NOW (http://girlswritenow.org/gwn/), an organization providing guidance and opportunities for NYC’s underserved high school girls to develop their independent voices and explore careers in professional writing, and the WILLIE MAE ROCK CAMP FOR GIRLS (http://williemaerockcamp.org/), a non- profit music and mentoring program empowering girls and women through music education and activities.