An composition in the Washington Post lately declared “ a extremity in American girlhood. ” Girls in the United States are passing alarmingly advanced rates of sexual assault, internal health issues and suicidality than ever ahead.
Data collected in 2021 by the Centers for Disease Control( CDC) demonstrates how dire the circumstances of American girlhood are. Fourteen per cent of teenage girls in the United States participated that they had been forced to have coitus, and 60 per cent had endured extreme passions of sadness or forlornness. Nearly a quarter of girls had considered and planned self-murder.
While these findings are grounded onU.S. data, the story is harmonious with what girls in Canada have been saying for the once decade. In Canada, over 50 per cent of womanish scholars in Ontario have reported moderate to severe cerebral torture. One in four girls has been sexually abused by the time they turn 18.
Self-murder is the fourth leading cause of death for girls up to 14 times old, an periodic statistic that has remained fairly harmonious since 2016.
The unsexed pay envelope gap in Canada has been set up to start as beforehand as 12 times old. The situation is worse for girls who are racialized, living in poverty, impaired, or LGBTQ.
The dire state of girlhood has historically been attributed to the usual suspects unrealistic beauty norms, pressures of social media, living in a rape culture, and more lately, the COVID- 19 epidemic.
In interviews conducted by the Washington Post with girls themselves, still, they point to another, maybe unacquainted malefactor that when girls do speak up, they are n’t heeded to or taken seriously.
Why do not we hear to or take girls seriously?
I’m a former community social worker with experience working directly with girls between the periods of 10 and 18 times old. My current doctoral exploration focuses on girls between the periods of eight and 12 times old who engage in activism, exploring ways that grown-ups can more hear and support them when they tell us what they want for their lives and their worlds. I’ve heard innumerous stories from girls themselves about when they had felt dismissed by grown-ups.
This redundancy was frequently directly tied to their individualities as girls, attributed to claims that girls were just going through a phase, not directly participating what had happed or that they were being dramatic.
Put simply, when girls tell us what’s passing in their lives, we’ve a tendency not to believe them.
Dismissing the credibility of an entire group of people because of prejudices that we may have about their individualities is what champion Miranda Fricker has described as epistemic injustice.
In this type of epistemic injustice, a speaker’s credibility is dismissed because of prejudices that others have grounded on the speaker’s identity. This means that the speaker’s evidence isn’t heeded to or taken seriously because of who they are.
Grown-ups tend to misdoubt girls ’ credibility as speakers because of prejudices about girls and girlhood. These prejudices against girls are embedded in the construction of girlhood as a time of frivolousness, fun and emotionality.
Do girls just want to have fun?
For a long time, girlhood — and specifically white, middle- and upper- class, suitable- bodied girlhood has been seen as a time of essential innocence, frivolousness and fun.
Constructions of girlhood are linked to prospects we’ve about girls as children and as unsexed subjects. As children, we anticipate girls to have a kind of wide- eyed awe about the world around them. As unsexed subjects, girls are also hackneyed in ways generally associated with womanishness, similar as emotionality.
In a world that dichotomizes rationality and emotionality, with rationality being considered more believable than emotionality, girls are dismissed because of the way girlhood is viewed.
When girls tell us what’s passing in their lives, similar as when they ’ve educated sexual assault or are feeling suicidal, these views come especially dangerous.
Still, we need to first suppose critically about why we tend to dismiss and abate their enterprises, If we want to see advancements in the lives of girls in Canada and beyond. Challenging our own prejudices about the credibility of girls is a vital first step in this process.
When considering the extremity in girlhood, girls have been clear about the way forward. In my own community practice work, girls participated that they feel most supported by grown-ups while “ being heeded to and feeling like I’m being heard. ” In the Washington Post composition, girls called for grown-ups to “ stop dismissing their enterprises as drama. ”
Girls have noway just wanted to have fun. They want — and need to be heeded to and taken seriously.