Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

When We Encounter Challenges

 My entry today is inspired by Hugo Schwyzer's article, “One Mistake Won’t Ruin Your Life. Remember That.” The piece, which can be found at the link pasted below, discusses how society often teaches young girls that their adolescent years are no more than a series of potential failures and traps to be avoided. These failures encompass a wide variety of what seem to me to be quite typical behaviors which include among other things losing your virginity and breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend. Frighteningly, however, the mind manipulation does not stop there.  When girls end up encountering these situations, as many of them will realistically do, they are told that their lives are now forever ruined, filled with more disappointing behavior and nagging regret.
To me, this trend is problematic for several reasons. Not only does it seem to foster feelings of extreme guilt and shame in girls who  “fail” in this way, but it also fosters a kind of learned helplessness in young girls as well as teenage and adults women. Being constantly reminded of how incapable we are of recovering from the challenging and hurtful experiences that most human beings do tend to encounter strips us of the confidence, hope, and resilience that we need to do just that, to recover successfully.

While I have no magic cure for changing all of this, I think that a crucial first step is to spread awareness to the girls and women around you. Let them know that not only are these experiences perfectly normal, but more importantly, that they can  act as great opportunities to develop an invaluable of self confidence and strength that will come in handy throughout their lives.  

If you have any thoughts or ideas about this topic, please feel free to share below in the comments. 

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