Friday, November 05, 2010

Alternative rolemodels

Some interesting things going on in the area of alternative role models for women and girls.

And I know we need them. I've just witnessed a display from a local dance school at a local fete. I asked the name of the school because it is time to write to the governing associations for dance schools to ask them what on earth they think they're doing. The girls who would have been aged about 10 - 12 were dressed in small shorts, a top that tied in the front, exposing much flesh in the midriff (unflattering for most of the girls), shiny tights and long socks. The dances were all to r'n'b rap music - I couldn't tell if the music was actually about anything - and the moves were all shaking and thrusts ending with the usual strutty poses of Las Vegas showgirls. All the dances were the same. They need to start thinking about what they are doing, and using some creativity!

Here are some ideas promoting alternatives.

There is a website to highlight the various ways women can succeed in the world, without being pink and girly. Pinkstinks is the site. They run campaigns, name and shame, present worthy role models, and share alternatives to the pink culture for girls.

And a story about it in the Guardian

Also, have a look at this magazine for girls, determinedly feminist, and anti the usual message to girls delivered in mainstream mags. It is called New Moon, and encourages girls' creativity. You can check it out here.

This alternative I find a little disturbing, although it probably isn't surprising that women have a found a way to move away from the fashion of raunch culture. Lolita fashion is women dressing as Victorian dolls. I find it disturbing because I find it infantalising and fetishising. What do you think?

The last alternative is also disturbing. The Tea Party as a women's movement. I know I keep saying that women and mothers should be political, and while I don't share their politics, at least it is showing women in the media, and women with power, in a light that moves away from the Paris Hilton stereotype. There is a discussion here from ABC radio.

Do you have any alternative role models, or know of any groups that take action against the stereotyping of girls, you'd like to share?

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