August 26th is Women's Equality Day.
We have much to celebrate, but much to be concerned about, too. For example, the American Psychological Association released a series of papers, last year, documenting the mental health problems associated with the recent hyper-sexualization of very young girls. It is disturbing to know that popular culture is harming our girls (and boys) and hard to know the best ways to respond.
There is so much great information on this topic -- and a lot that is pretty bad. I've been sitting on this post for a while, because I know I can't fit it all in. Finally, I've decided to just get started and keep adding as a I can...
A Company Of Girls : A theater group and community/resiliency-building program for girls in the Portland area. They produce a women & girls film festival and several theatrical productions each year.
Girl Formation : A newsletter about girls psycho-social development and issues / resources specific to Maine
Girls, Inc. -- a national organization, with a new site in Maine. The organization helps girls build resiliency to become "Strong, Smart and Bold"
Hardy Girls, Healthy Women -- a Maine organization, with a great lending library, and fabulous programming for girls
Bookclub suggestions for middle and high school girls
Maine Women's Lobby and Maine Women's Policy Center -- Advances the rights of women in Maine -- MWPC sponsors Girls Day at the Statehouse which brings 100 middle school girls to Augusta each spring.
York County Gender Project: Resources for Turn Beauty Inside Out, Women's Leadership,
Development, media literacy, and basic information about gender socialization
The Maine Women's Fund provides grants to many more programs for girls throughout the state.
National Resources :
Amelia Bloomer Project -- feminist children's books (organized by age level)
Dads and Daughters -- Research and tips for helping dads and daughters connect and for increasing the SEL of daughters through their relationships with dads.
National Women's History Project - -curricular resources and a bookstore
See Jane - studies of representations of girls and boys in children's movies (the organization and web site are currently under construction)
For Kids :
New Moon - -a girl-edited magazine (no ads) for pre-teens
Zoeys Room -- an internet space for middle-school girls with a feminist tone