Where girl-power went wrong

Girl Power-Power exercised by girls; spec. a self-reliant attitude among girls and young women manifested in ambition, assertiveness, and individualism. Although also used more widely (esp. as a slogan), the term has been particularly and repeatedly associated with popular music; most notably in the early 1990s with the briefly prominent ‘riot girl’ movement in the United States (cf. RIOT GIRL n.); then, in the late 1990s, with the British all-female group The Spice Girls.

Women leaders are lacking across all walks of life.  There is a very large disparity of women in high paying job positions compared to men, as well as a disparity in women in math and science fields. So the idea of empowering girls is tempting, but what if it comes with problems.

The first problem I’d like to point out is the means that the early pushers of the girl power movement were The Spice Girls and Barbie style toys.  That’s what I want.  Someone wearing next to no clothes dancing on stage telling my daughter to have girl power and/or playing with over-sexualized dolls. Sexualization of children much?

The second problem with this is that the idea of girl power is a direct contradiction to every other media message girls get.  “Don’t be smart, boys don’t want too much competition.”  “Don’t have sex, you’ll be a slut.” “Don’t be powerful, after all a woman’s place is being gentle and meek” The point is that girls receive so many damned mixed messages about the right way and the wrong way to grow up, until we rectify those mixed messages, we can’t hope to smoothly transition girls into womanhood.


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