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17 Lies We Need to Stop Teaching Girls About Sex

Whether it's the constant fretting over Miley Cyrus' influence on school girls or the growing (and troubling) tradition of Purity Balls, it's clear that society has a fascination with young women's sexuality — especially when it comes to controlling it. But what are we actually teaching today's girls about sex? Fueled by outdated ideals of gender roles and the sense that female sexuality is somehow shameful, there seem to be certain pernicious myths about girls and sex that just won't die. That sex education in America has gaping holes in its curriculum hasn't helped much, either; in a recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report just 6 out of 10 girls said that their schools' sex ed program included information on how to say no to sex. This lack of personal agency was reflected in a forthcoming study by sociologist Heather Hlavka at Marquette University as well, which found that many young girls think of sex simply as something that is "done to them." Knowledge is power, and we can promote a healthier relationship with sex by encouraging a more open dialogue, teaching girls to feel comfortable with their sexuality and, most importantly, emphasizing that their bodies are theirs and theirs alone.
But first, we're going to need to stop perpetuating the following 17 myths about female sexuality.
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Apr 28, 2014 - 120 comments

Girls Fighting (or Helping) Evil

Laura is super passionate about girls fighting evil, creating collages with short stories about various groups of girls fighting off demons - from radio DJs and the interns at Night Vale, to Dorothy Gale, travelers, and of course Beyonce. Sometimes the girls are helping the demons: evil counterparts to Cinderella, Belle, and Snow White, the underwater orchestra, even the underlord's admin assistant. Sometimes they fight each other; sometimes they fight themselves. Some of these fighters are real. Sometimes they'll let you borrow their style.
posted by divabat on Jan 31, 2014 - 8 comments

The ‘precious vagina’ can easily become the ‘shameful vagina’.

One thing I am going to do differently as a parent is go easy on the ‘save sex for someone special’ rhetoric with my kids – both with my daughter and my son. Feminist and mother Blue Milk on the downside of encouraging young girls to "save themselves."
posted by Kitty Stardust on Jun 5, 2012 - 82 comments

Princeless, Bayou Arcana, and more

"Princeless" is a new comic book in the self-rescuing princesses genre (more page previews here and here) - perhaps a younger-audience example of women kicking back against comic-book sexism? (previously on MeFi - wik, alsø wik, alsø alsø wik)
posted by flex on Jan 1, 2012 - 18 comments

A nice, positive post

Waking up, full of Awesome
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Sep 9, 2011 - 60 comments

"Whore-loween?"

Frustrated by the limited costume ideas out there for women? Join in the increasingly loud backlash and ridicule for the "sexy" Halloween costume, now a major stock in trade at party stores. In a time when "Goldilocks, in a snug bodice and platform heels, gives the impression she has been sleeping in everyone’s bed" and "sexually active plaid children" are celebrated cultural icons, projects like Take Back Halloween are promoting costume ideas like Frida Kahlo and Hatshepsut as alternatives to the "skank suit." Bitch magazine chimes in with suggestions like Angela Davis and Peggy Hill. Voices in the feminist blogosphere are arguing for other approaches to the holiday that's all about alternate identity. Meanwhile, the Ms. blog wonders what sexy Halloween costumes for men might look like, and Jezebel solicits photo submissions featuring your least sexy costumes. Find and share more ideas via the Twitter hashtag #feministhalloween.
posted by Miko on Oct 30, 2010 - 150 comments

The Hidden World of Girls

Hidden World of Girls: Girls and the Women they Become is NPR's collaborative year-long, ongoing series between The Kitchen Sisters, NPR and listener submissions. The series explores "stories of coming of age, rituals and rites of passage, secet identities—of women who crossed a line, blazed a trail, changed the tide." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 2, 2010 - 16 comments

Pantone pink No. 241 corona

As parents scramble to get one of the 25,000 items in the Disney Princess range, this article, What's Wrong with Cinderella?, gives perspective from a mother and feminist. [more inside]
posted by mippy on Oct 30, 2009 - 124 comments

How did that get there?

The origins of the vagina Only mammals have 'em. Why? (via markmaynard).
posted by klangklangston on Jan 23, 2007 - 36 comments

Writing "the girl"

Eight rules for writing a female comics character worth reading Karen Healey lays a cursory path for avoiding the major pitfalls of women in comics. Part of the larger Girl Wonder site (previously). Also good is Designated Sidekick's takedown of IGN.
posted by klangklangston on Jul 21, 2006 - 59 comments

What, no Malibu Stacey Barbie?

Sure, Scarlett O'Hara Barbie is lovely, and yeah, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz Barbie is cute, but for my money, it's hard to beat Marge Simpson Barbie, Medusa Barbie, or Dominatrix Barbie. The full collection, located here, clearly owes a debt to Todd Haynes, and the Barbie Liberation Army, but is still worth a chuckle.
posted by jonson on Jun 21, 2003 - 7 comments

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