This article says the show has outstanding young women but can only find mediocre bachelors. Male bashing?
Young women are expected to do it all, be perfect, as seen in advertisements featuring a beautiful woman in a suit and heels, happily striding down the sidewalk carrying a briefcase and a baby. This pressure to be attractive and achieve is part of the explanation for rising anxiety and depression levels in girls in the US. This pressure also may make girls more vulnerable to criticism on social media and from peers. Girls were three-fourths of the depressed teens in a 2016 Johns Hopkins University study of interviews with more than 172,000 teens.[i] The previous year the National Institute of Mental Health reported that about 30% of girls and 20% of boys have an anxiety disorder.[ii]
[i] “Depression on the Rise Among Teens, Especially Girls,” HUB Staff Report, November 16, 2016.
[ii] Susanna Schrobsdorff, “Teen Depression and Anxiety: Why the Kids Are Not Alright,” TIME Magazine, October 27, 2016.
Fourth Wave Feminists–What’s your observation???
Author Jennifer Baumgardner dated the Fourth Wave as starting around 2008; it “continues the legacy of the Third Wave and moves it into the tech-savvy, gender-sophisticated world of blogs, Twitter campaigns, transgenderism, male feminists, sex work and complex relationships within the media.” Baumgardner believes the Fourth Wave’s use of social media transformed politics and feminism. Because of media advances and globalization, the waves of mass change are coming faster. Some feminists define the Fourth Wave as young people’s renewed interest in women’s rights and the environmental advocacy, strongly influenced by globalization issues. Other Fourth Wave interests are ecofeminism and spirituality, which were also part of the Second Wave (see my Brave: Young Women’s Global Revolution for more about feminism). Feminism reemerged among young women in the UK and US, according to studies by Bellafante, McVeigh, Sheehy and others.[i]
Celebrities like Beyoncé and Emma Watson are making feminism cool again. Young feminist TV actor, Rowan Blanchard, 14, joined activist actor Amandla Stenberg in being awarded a feminist celerity of the year award by Ms. Magazine for her online essay about intersectional feminism.[ii] Blanchard’s essay went viral with more than 97,000 likes on Instagram.[iii] Like Emma Watson who toped the list the previous year, Blanchard spoke at the UN for gender equality. She spoke at the UN Women’s annual summit in June 2015, where she explained how gender inequality affects youth. Her speech included her experiences with sexism, saying she has been a feminist since preschool when she was told she threw a ball like a girl.[iv] She is active in HeForShe, which is led by Watson. She explained that girls her age would rather be liked than be leaders and are judged by their appearance more than their talents. She does outreach to try to change this problem. Many girls tell her they don’t feel safe at school because of harassment and their teachers don’t encourage them to study STEM subjects. Sexism is a problem for boys too, like her nine-year-old brother was disparaged for being like a girl for expressing his emotions.
[i] Tracy McVeigh, “Meet the New Wave of Activists Making Feminism Thrive in a Digital Age,” The Guardian, June 1, 2013.
Under President Bill Clinton, the State Department created the Office of Global Women’s Issues. President Barack Obama said he was what a feminist looked like and created the White House Council on Women and Girls, because, “From sports leagues to pop culture to politics, our society does not sufficiently value women. We still don’t condemn sexual assault as loudly as we should.”[i] Obama asked parents of young men to teach them respect for women as part of the 2014 campaign “It’s on Us” to prevent campus sexual assaults.[ii] . President Trump can’t say much because many women have accused him of sexual assault, including a list of women who have publically spoken up.[i]
[i] Catherine Pearson, Emma Gray, and Alanna Vagianos, “A Running List of the Women Who’ve Accused Donald Trump of Sexual Assault,” Huffington Post, October 28, 2016.
[i] Michael Shear and Elena Schneider, “Obama Unveils Push for Young People to Do More Against Campus Assaults,” New York Times, September 19, 2014.
Catherine Pearson, Emma Gray, and Alanna Vagianos, “A Running List of the Women Who’ve Accused Donald Trump of Sexual Assault,” Huffington Post, October 28, 2016.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) will announce the introduction of the Employ Young Americans Now Act—which would provide $5.5 billion in immediate funding to employ one million young Americans—at a roundtable discussion Wednesday.
- Look at Disney cartoons for examples of youth going against older tyrants as in The Lion King, Finding Nemo and Antz.
- Listen to Manal al-Sharif discuss the impact of media on her revolution from traditional to advocate for women’s right to drive in Saudi Arabia.[i]
- See Jean Kilbourne’s Killing us Softly: Advertisings Image of Women (1979), Still Killing Us Softly (1987), Spin the Bottle: Sex, Lies and Alcohol (2004), Slim Hopes: Advertising and the Obsession with Thinness (1995), and update with recent ad images. Study guides for the films and others are available online http://www.mediaed.org/assets/products/241/studyguide_241.pdf
- See Miss Representation (2011) about how media portrays women in a way that keeps them from aspiring to power positions. The Mask You Live In (2015), shows how masculinity limits and men.[ii]
- Look at films and TV shows about female superheroes. How are they portrayed differently than male superheroes? You could start with Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997 to 2003, also a 1992 film about a high school girl). Hanna (2011) is about a 14-year-old genetically bred to be a super warrior. Not only an outstanding warrior, she also has a super memory and knows many languages. She is a killer who wants to stop the killing as she travels from Finland to Morocco to Germany. The actress who played her is 18 and grew up in Ireland.
- See films about teenage girls to look for themes and changes over time: Time Square (1980), Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains (1982), Valley Girl (1983), Sixteen Candles (1984), Pretty in Pink (1986), Heathers (1988), Now and Then and Clueless (1995), She’s All That (1999) The Virgin Suicides (2000), Thirteen (2003), Mean Girls (2004), Juno (2007), Easy A (2010), the Hunger Games series (2012-2015).
- Watch Meet Corliss Archer on YouTube (a radio show from 1943 to 1956, a TV show in 1952, and a comic[iii]) and My So-Called Life, 1994 to 1995, to see how teen issues have changed from when Corliss and Angela were both 15 and starting to date.
- Freedom Writers. A true story, it answers the question “what was so great about Anne Frank’s writing?” The other theme is that seeing kids as gifted people can turn the worst racist gang members into inspired creators. The kids and the teacher started a foundation to spread her methods. 2007