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 (Re)Evaluating and (Re)Imagining the Lives of Girls 
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On Thursday October 8th I attended the lecture by Dr. Elaine O'Quinn entitled "Not the Girl I Used to Be: (Re)Evaluating and (Re)Imagining the Lives of Girls". It is a part of the Distinguished Lecture Series on Women, Sex, and Gender organized by the Women's Studies Program.

The lecture was an eye opening account of how readily girls are overlooked in the world today; forced into the roles society feeds them from an early age. The lecture spanned a number of girl literary characters from Alice (from Alice and Wonderland) to Bella (from Twilight), with a primary focus on Nancy Drew due to her accessible and iconic nature. Where are the strong literary characters girls can follow from an early age that help them find themselves in a society that overlooks their abilities and diversities?

The lecture also brought magazines into the mix from those that portray girls, to those that target them as consumers. It was horrifying to note that over half of the content in magazines targeting girls was sexualizing them within their pages. Girls are taught beauty tips, sexy dance moves, fashion, and gossip from an early age to fit them into stereotyped role created for them by society. In many magazines the pictures portrayed of girls or young women, especially in fashion, most commonly show them with their legs spread in a seductive, subversive position.

Overall, my eyes were opened very wide to how girls are so easily passed over in their worth by societal ideals and norms. How often they must adapt themselves to what the world says they are instead of who they want to be in order to find some sense of acceptance.

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-Clayton Edwards


Sat Oct 10, 2009 12:23 pm
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In October, I attended the lecture on "Re-evaluating Girls". Dr. Elaine O'Quinn examined the changing perception of women and more specifically young girls. She spoke about the point of views of these girls and how the media skews how these girls should view themselves. It is sad to me how girls younger than me are worried about how they are perceived by males and the media. Magazines and shows on TV make girls think that they should be skinny and blonde to be attractive. The sexual implications also make females believe they should dress a certain way to be sexy and wanted. The lecture was interesting. The discussion after the lecture was compelling as well. Such subjects as "Twilight" and "Harry Potter" came up in question to discuss relations between males and females and how movies portray such relationships.

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Mallory Bendig


Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:54 am
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