I normally try to blog on Wednesdays to be consistent and to hold myself to a schedule. Yet this week we’ll call “Bonus Extra Blog Week” because I am starting to feel very annoyed with the world as it is.
I want to start first with the term “girls.” I recently posted the following link to my facebook The Sexualization of Girls. And while the whole video is great, I have been thinking a lot about her comment that when we were in college, we wanted to be called “women” and now young adult women want to be called “girls.” Then I had a work discussion with some male students who could not understand why I felt that showing three videos of drunk women on reality shows was inappropriate for orientation. I was trying to explain it wasn’t “balanced.” They didn’t get it.
I’m normally an optimistic person. Anyone who knows me would attest to that, however, all the political fervor against women in terms of reproductive rights, birth control, and equal pay seems to connect too succinctly with not only the way women are represented in television (particularly the horrible reality shows so many of our women and men watch) but also the lack of awareness many young people seem to have of these issues. For example, why it is important to be called a woman when you are over 18. No one seems to think it’s weird that we don’t call men boys. Girls and guys. Or just guys. One administrator recently spoke to the new students and called everyone guys. That’s a whole other issue to save for another date.
I believe college is a place to learn about things outside yourself. It’s a place to have your old belief system challenged. I wrongly expect that student leaders who are representing our university should be MORE aware than the average student. And yes, I’m annoyed that in 2012 I now have to spend time trying to “prove” why a certain representation seems to be sexist or racist. And defending the importance of calling women, women.
Even the recent HBO, supposedly feminist TV series, Girls has a young female creator who would rather be called girl than woman. The power of language seems to escape many young people today and I am not so positive I have the will or the energy to fix it. Maybe if the sun ever comes out I feel less grim.