Girls - what can we do to help them help themselves?

(17 Posts)
delightfuldaisy19 Fri 09-Apr-21 14:15:25

So I've posted on a few of the toxic masculinity/DC threads but I have been thinking more and more about the problem. I'm still very much of the opinion that the problem is with men/boys and their attitudes absolutely need to change. Society, parents and schools need to tackle it.

However, I am increasingly worried girls and their own increasing obsession with sexuality and their looks. I think we can partly blame on the patriarchal society etc but I also think a discussion about girls and social media etc needs to be had.

1. Girls from the age of about 11 posting mirror selfies in underwear/almost underwear in the hope that they will get likes and comments telling them that they are hot/shaggable/'gawjus'

2. Only Fans and similar - I just don't get it. Slightly older girls thinking that selling nudes/semi-nudes is a perfectly acceptable career option.

3. Connected to the above - the desperate desire to be an influencer. This will often involve posting highly filtered images of themselves.

As well as having a conversation with boys about respect, attitudes, how they behave, I think we also need to talk to girls about the above and why they do this/want this. I really hope there is a backlash against all of this soon as it's pretty grim becoming a woman with all of this in the background.

OP’s posts: |
Thelnebriati Fri 09-Apr-21 14:19:31

I told my DC's that misogyny is a form of bullying. They shouldn't do it and they don't have to go along with it. There's a lot of anti bullying stuff in schools and it was an attempt to help them relate; it mostly seems to have worked.

334bu Fri 09-Apr-21 14:24:30

Doesn't help when all magazines targeting young girls are hypersexualised. Magazines like Teen Vogue for example. Girls are exposed to this everywhere sn therefore see these behaviours as the norm.

TheFleegleHasLanded Fri 09-Apr-21 14:26:56

That reminds me, there is a call for evidence on 'Influencer Culture' by the DCMS Committee. Closes 7th May

How would you define ‘influencers’ and ‘influencer culture’? Is this a new phenomenon?
Has ‘influencing’ impacted popular culture? If so, how has society and/or culture changed because of this side of social media?
Is it right that influencers are predominantly associated with advertising and consumerism, and if not, what other roles to influencers fulfil online?
How are tech companies encouraging or disrupting the activities of influencing?
How aware are users of the arrangements between influencers and advertisers? Should policymakers, tech companies and influencers and advertisers themselves do more to ensure these arrangements are transparent?

[[https://committees.parliament.uk/call-for-evidence/428/influencer-culture/

TheFleegleHasLanded Fri 09-Apr-21 14:27:36

Link fail
committees.parliament.uk/call-for-evidence/428/influencer-culture/

ErrolTheDragon Fri 09-Apr-21 14:28:35

Parents need to take more proactive control over SM usage - no way should 11yos be able to do that sort of stuff.

Ideally the tech companies would implement solutions too.

Trixie78 Fri 09-Apr-21 14:32:43

However, I am increasingly worried girls and their own increasing obsession with sexuality and their looks.

Gosh women and girls really are blamed for everything aren't they! I don't think it's the girls obsessions which is causing problems but the messages they are constantly fed. If the only message they are getting is that they must look and act a certain way to be accepted it can't come as a surprise surely when they start obsessing about conforming. Look at the root cause of this behaviour, not the effects.

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Thelnebriati Fri 09-Apr-21 15:01:59

Some girls do seem to be more or less vulnerable to social pressure than others. It would be interesting to know more about that.
It seems pretty clear to me that you can only be a radical feminist when you've accepted it won't make you popular.

Beowulfa Fri 09-Apr-21 15:10:39

Any kind of hobby/sport that involves the phone being turned off.

Volunteering, especially something outdoorsy, where you meet people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.

Regular examples of people having fun and meeting new people without the need to take pictures of themselves doing it.

This applies to boys and girls, and adults.

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 09-Apr-21 15:20:13

However, I am increasingly worried girls and their own increasing obsession with sexuality and their looks.

I remember an enlightening conversation with SIL when my niece was about 10. All about her son's sports and clubs and blah blah blah. I then turned to my niece and said, "what do you do?" and got a blank stare. Nothing had been encouraged. There were no 5am drives to pools for her. She used to shop and go to Starbucks. That was it. All very much encouraged by her parents. SIL wanted a mini-me and that's what she prioritised. BIL wanted an extension of himself and that's what he got.

Girls need to have their interests encouraged. Mine has the most bizarre set of hobbies but all have been encouraged and we learn about them and ask questions. I mean just think how the school play areas are taken over by football. 90% of the space (and importance) for 50% of the humans.

YouNoob Fri 09-Apr-21 15:24:38

I agree with Errol. Tech companies are the ones who could make the biggest impact. However, it's not their priority as they like to catch their consumers young, don't they, when they haven't grasped how tech companies work to hook them in.

MissingLinker Fri 09-Apr-21 15:30:08

Agree with restricting social media and internet access. This should apply to all children really, not just girls.

Some sort of sport or physical activity, especially during puberty. I did swimming throughout my childhood but stopped when I hit puberty (at a standard enough age but developed very rapidly) because I was incredibly self conscious. I put on quite a lot of weight over the next year or so which only made it worse really. I started running at 15 and it's one of the best decisions I've ever made. Not only was I physically and mentally healthier, but I was able to value my body for the fact that it was strong and could run miles, rather than just having the potential to be attractive.

PotholeHellhole Fri 09-Apr-21 15:49:01

Not only was I physically and mentally healthier, but I was able to value my body for the fact that it was strong and could run miles, rather than just having the potential to be attractive.

Echoing this. At about the same way, I took up an allied activity, and it had the same effect on me. I think it changed my whole relationship with my body for the better, and the effects have lasted for the rest of my life.

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 09-Apr-21 15:49:29

Agree with restricting social media and internet access. This should apply to all children really, not just girls.

Interestingly, I'd like to argue a different point. MSM was full of male groups with one female in them, all the way from the Smurfs to Paw Patrol. Experts were male. On YouTube DD found women and girls doing cool things with their friends. Now it helps that mine is a nerd so it was girl gamers and girl animal lovers. But it is far more accessible to women than MSM. You have to police it and discuss it.

ErrolTheDragon Fri 09-Apr-21 19:29:18

Beowulfa

Any kind of hobby/sport that involves the phone being turned off.

Volunteering, especially something outdoorsy, where you meet people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.

Regular examples of people having fun and meeting new people without the need to take pictures of themselves doing it.

This applies to boys and girls, and adults.


Sailing and windsurfing are ideal... no teenager wants to drown their phone.
And they get strong!
Good old DofE can help with putting some of the other parts together. DD was highly amused by the shocked looks when they were told no personal phone, just the emergency 'brick' on the expeditions. Someone had to take an actual camera for group pics ... which leads me to a terrible thought: perhaps if children (of either sex) are doing stupid things with the camera on their phone, then there should be some way to disable it. I'm assuming there's no such thing as a phone (other than basic brick) which doesn't have a camera...seriously, it shouldn't be deemed a necessity of life for a child to have a camera integrated to a communications device.

Scepticaltank Fri 09-Apr-21 19:43:24

Sailing changed my life as a girl. Make up and clothes are irrelevant to it, apart from kit that keeps you warm and dry.

If I had my time again I would push the boat out and be a tug captain. I really wanted to be pulling that ship out of the Suez Canal last month.

IDontOnlyLikeJazzFunk Fri 09-Apr-21 21:05:17

ErrolTheDragon

Parents need to take more proactive control over SM usage - no way should 11yos be able to do that sort of stuff.

Ideally the tech companies would implement solutions too.

Absolutely. We've yammered on to our kids (male and female) that under absolutely no circumstances do they a) send any communication or image that they wouldn't be happy showing their grandmother (a lovely lady who is quite proper) or b) pay any attention to sm crap - all images are doctored - question everything you read - only communicate with people you know personally (know their name, know them irl etc - we live in a close knit community).

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