The question why I would LET Willow cut her hair, first the LET must be challenged. This is a world where women, girls are constantly reminded that they don’t belong to themselves; that their bodies are not their own, nor their power or self determination. I made a promise to endow my little girl with the power to always know that her body, spirit and her mind are HER domain…It’s also a statement that claims that even little girls have the RIGHT to own themselves and should not be a slave to even their mother’s deepest insecurities, hopes and desires.
Originally published at Bitch Flicks.
When I grow up, I want to be Leslie Knope. It’s no secret I love Parks and Rec. A female-fronted series with a hilarious ensemble cast that’s the most feminist show on TV? C’mon, how could I not? It’s easy to write off Parks and Rec as a quirky and brilliant comedy. Yet it’s so much more than that. It broke ground revealing the highs and lows of political office and showing an intelligent, upbeat, passionate woman can not only run for office but win.
Yesterday, I discovered something horrifying. In October, a children’s book will be released called Maggie Goes on a Diet. Yep, a diet book. For kids. Lovely. We need that like I need a hole in my head. With media swarming around us telling women and girls to be thinner, prettier and sexier, the last thing we need is a book telling girls to equate self-worth and self-esteem with losing weight.
“…about a 14 year old girl who goes on a diet and is transformed from being extremely overweight and insecure to a normal sized girl who becomes the school soccer star. Through time, exercise and hard work, Maggie becomes more and more confident and develops a positive self image.”
If this is the kind of crap children’s authors are writing, then our society is doomed…
There are about a million things I need to say about the issue of sex trafficking statistics with regards to the most recent round, Village Voice vs Ashton Kutcher. And I’ll get to that.
But let me say this, for starters - words are important. Specifically, the word “girls.”
If you’re an adult working in the sex industry and you work with women, its likely that at some point you’ve referred to your coworkers, women you know, and women you can’t stand as “girls” - it’s a word in pretty common usage in many different areas of the sex industry. But I just want to insert a reality check here: when we say “girls” to the civilian world and when the rescue industry hears that word coming out of our mouths, they may think/read/understand us to be saying “under 18.” And that’s a problem, because it feeds the ill-informed machine.
I’m not a promoter of censorship, but I don think its important to know your audience or potential audiences. Think about this the next time you are about to say or write “girls” when you mean adult women.