The majority of what I’ve written so far has been about how women are negatively represented in the media, probably because these are the things that stand out to me the most. However, the other day I was reading about a movement called the Kind Campaign. The founders, Lauren Parsekian and Molly Thompson, started out by making a documentary addressing the issue of female bullying. Eventually, their ideas went on to creating a movement that has addressed these issues at school assemblies across the country. Unlike the other things I’ve written about, I felt that this was a positive force for girls in the media that helps to combat some of the problems they face each day.
According to their website, “Over the years, the vicious ways in which females treat each other have become societal norms, with various media outlets that mock and even glamorize the issue. What we often choose to ignore is the fact that these experiences very often lead to depression, anxiety, loss of self worth, eating disorders, drug abuse, alcoholism, attempted suicide and actual suicide in millions of girls lives.”
I thought that this program relates to our class because the way girls treat other girls is an important place to start in addressing the way women are seen within society. We often spend our time targeting the way men view women and how this has led to inequality. Even if these views originated from men, these ideas are so prevalent that women have internalized them and begin to perpetuate these ideas themselves. When women are calling other women names and viewing them negatively, it only becomes that much easier for men to continue doing the same.
The Kind Campaign works with school-age girls, which I think is important so that problems among girls can be addressed at the time as well as hopefully be prevented from happening in the future. Although I do feel like a lot of the bullying between girls that I’ve seen was in middle school and high school, I still see it happening today. All too often I hear my friends calling other girls names or making judgments about girls that they don’t even know. They may think it’s justified, but really they’re just making it easier for someone to turn around and call them that same thing, because those types of views begin to be normalized. And these are the same names that if they were themselves called these things, they would be offended and hurt. One step towards gaining equality for women is for women to have respect for themselves as well as other women.