Reclaim “Girl” as a Power Word

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Lyn Mikel Brown, founder of Hardy Girls Healthy Women, is doing the work in the world, isn’t she?  I have seen this talk a few times now and I really want you to see it.  The way that she describes moving from the image of girl power that the media has co-opted to actually supporting girls to be powerful is the some of the most important work we can do.  Girls are often playing roles: “I’m a good girl.  I’m not a mean girl…like her.”  “I like being a bitch…it’s fun!”  “All that girl stuff is stupid.  I’m a tomboy.”  Girls are playing these roles because they are the only roles they have been given.  Being confined to these labels can have a negative effect on our girls’ relationships because they don’t leave any room for mistakes, learning, and growth.  “A mean girl will always be a mean girl and no matter what I say or do, she will always be mean to me.”  “If I am a tomboy, I can justify making fun of other girls for the colors they wear and the toys the like to play with. ” 

In Brown’s TED talk, she talks about the importance of all of us reclaiming girl as a power word.  When we do this, we can start to breakdown these pre-approved roles and make space for girls to use their actual power.  She highlights 5 steps in making this happen:

  1. Talk to girls and give girls space to talk to each in real ways.
  2. Ask girls curious questions about their feelings and their experiences with these roles.
  3. Move from believing that there is a girl problem  that we have to solve and understand that girls are part of the solution.
  4. Support girls with the tools and resources to be these agents of change.
  5. Get out of the way and let girls do their thing.

This post is #7 of 25 Tips to Teach Your Daughter to Respect Herself, Command Respect, and Respect Others.  Wanna make sure you get all 25 Tips for Bullying Awareness Month?  CLICK HERE and we’ll send ‘em right to your email!
For more incredible Go Girls! resources for helping your girl stay safe, happy, and healthy in her relationships, check out Kidpower and get your copy of Starring Celia.