Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Girls Gone Wild - NOT!

When my daughter was three years old and not yet reading, I got her a subscription to a magazine. I know it may have been a little presumptuous. But the magazine I subscribed her to, New Moon Magazine ("Bringing Girls Voices To The World"), is one of those tools in my growing toolbox of "Things to combat popular culture/sexism/patriarchy and help my daughter grow into a smart, loving, creative, beautiful, badass woman - like the girl she is now."


I got the monthly email from New Moon Magazine in my mailbox today featuring their concise attempt to dispel the myth that girls are suddenly getting more "wild" these days - that they are more violent now, that the number of incidences of girl-on-girl assault is increasing in our country and that young female celebrities like Paris Hilton are encouraging that "wild" behavior. According to the Girls Study Group, convened by the U.S. Justice Department, the media's attempts to cover the issue has resulted in overblown statistics and conflated conclusions.

In fact, the idea that young female violence is on the upswing is just plain wrong:

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/pp/07028/757491.stm


Newsweek's cover story this week proclaims "The Girls Gone Wild Effect" with Paris Hilton and Britney Spears hanging on each other. The authors of the article attempt to make a case that because young celebrity women are out in public more, partying with seemingly no care in the world, young girls are feeling the "negative effects" of these "Girls Gone Wild." I have to say that the premise seems like a rehashing of the idea that women should be good little females and mind their manners in public or girls will actually get the idea that they don't have to maintain strict standards for how they behave (gasp!) when they grow up.

According to statistics, there is no cause and effect relationship between however Paris or Britney choose to spend their time and girls descent into some kind of wanton craziness or brutality.

Thank you, New Moon Magazine, for being my co-conspirator & my support as I attempt to raise a strong, smart and feisty woman in this country that seems to try and foil me at every other turn.

But my love for New Moon Magazine is multi-layered. Their magazine is filled with stories, poems, art and articles written by girls. They also focus on public policy and political action. Their web site has a section called "Letters to Congress" that highlights political and social issues affecting women and girls around the world and what you can do to impact legislative policies.

And they have a blog. And whaddya know?! I checked it out today for the first time and their newest post is about the Global Gag Rule!! If I had had something like this when I was growing up I could have saved thousands on therapy.

22 comments:

New Moon said...

Thanks, Tikvahgirl--your post made my day! It's so great to hear feedback like yours. We love you, too! :)

Tikvahgirl said...

You're very welcome! My daughter thumbs through each magazine looking at pictures & asking what each article is about. It makes a mama proud :). I'm always good for pumping my fist in the air on behalf of New Moon...

I am also a staff writer for Reproductive Health Reality Check (www.rhrealitycheck.org). When you cover reproductive health & rights issues, please include us in your press release dissemination or feel free to link to the site. This year we will start focusing more on young girls & sexual/repro health issues.

Mom said...

Well you didn't have New Moon Magazine, but you did have a very badass Grandmother and a lesser, but still badass Mom. It didn't negate the need for therapy, but frankly, you were strong, beautiful, creative and assertive child right from the beginning. In the culture you and many of your readers have grown up in, it wasn't properly encouraged and allowed to florish.

Our generation began the process of recognizing the inequities that you are all implementing into real change affecting our culture for the next generation and those girls/women to come after.

I am writing to say publically how proud I am of you and the work you have done for women all over the world.

Your Mom

New Moon said...

Ah, excellent. Thanks for the URL, and thanks for your good work!

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