Forest Ridge Good and Pretty


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60 minute presentation delivered to the parents at Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart. What's the big problem with telling our girls to be good and pretty? What are the deep impacts of these messages from childhood through adulthood? Examine the sources of these messages, the results they can have, and what we can do to support them for full authenticity and empowerment.

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  • Gender, Bias, and Aggression 11/16/11 Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee Introduction - Who Am I? Why This Workshop? Goals and Outcomes?
  • Gender, Bias, and Aggression 11/16/11 Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee
  • Gender, Bias, and Aggression 11/16/11 Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee
  • Gender, Bias, and Aggression 11/16/11 Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee Keep in Mind - material speaks in generalities and norms. Girls, their social development, etc. can fall outside of the information given, and they are completely normal. Making blanket assumptions are dangerous, and norms do not define normal or good. Gender norms can easily become Sexism. Adolescent norms can easily become adultism.
  • Gender, Bias, and Aggression 11/16/11 Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee John Medina - Talaris Institute Watching boys and girls play. Boys play together through competition (Oh yeah? I bet I can toss the ball higher than you!) Girls play collaboratively (Can you toss the ball as high as me? Let ’s try a little higher). Mix boys and girls (G-Wanna toss the ball? B-I bet I can toss the ball higher than you! G-You must not like me… B-What happened?) Rachel Simmons - Odd Girl Out Response to danger. Boys choose “fight or flight.” Girls choose “tend and befriend.” Males see aggression as a way to control their world, females see aggression as an end to relationships. Mary Pipher - Reviving Ophelia Boys see their failure in terms of external factors and see their success in terms of their ability. Girls see their success in terms of luck and hard work and see their failure in terms of lack of ability. Power Dead Even - women/girls will do anything to bring down another woman/girl to their level
  • Gender, Bias, and Aggression 11/16/11 Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee Cannot attribute all to gender differences. Gender bias plays a huge role. We socialize kids into these behaviors. What happens when boys display behavior on left? “Boys will be boys…” What happens when girls display behavior on right? “Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice!” What happens when gender behaviors don’t match gender expectations? Boys are pushed into sports, fights, getting dirty, building things, scientific investigation by adults and pushed down by peers with words like “Sissy, girl, pussy, fag.” Girls are told to play nice, share, be ladylike, punished harsher for fighting,complimented on looks by adults and put down by peers with words like “butch, jock, bitch, dyke.” Rachel Simmons - Odd Girl Out Ideal girl according to girls = very thin, pretty, blonde, fake, stupid, tall, blue eyes, big boobs, fit, expensive clothes, un-proportional, naked, trendy, popular, boyfriends, smiling, happy, helpless, talking on the phone, superficial conflicts, looks older, girlie, dependent, impractical clothes, manipulative, sex = power, rich, good teeth/clear skin, smart, perfect, romantically attached with someone with status. Anti-girl according to girls = mean, ugly, excessively cheerful, athletic, brainy, opinionated, pushy, dark features, not skinny, imperfections, promiscuous, professional, insecure, dorky, depressed/unhappy, masculine, serious, strong, independent, gay/lesbian, artsy, PMSish, unrestrained, egocentric, not social, hard to get along with, bookish.
  • Gender, Bias, and Aggression 11/16/11 Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee
  • Gender, Bias, and Aggression 11/16/11 Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee
  • Gender, Bias, and Aggression 11/16/11 Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee You must be this to be accepted, but you cannot be too much so, because that is not acceptable. No one knows where the boundaries are, so girls walk very tentatively along this knife ’ s edge. Naomi Wolf (Promiscuities) - Common and natural sexual curiosity, infatuation, admiration, and intimacy found among adolescent girls – the building anticipation of those feelings transferring to boys. Simultaneous excitement and sadness about the loss of intimacy among girls, which is inevitable./Continuum of women ’ s sexuality. Beyond a certain point of sexual power and liberation, she is deserving of violence and dehumanization. She can be cast out and killed both physically and emotionally./The acceptable promiscuity of white middle class sub-urban sexuality – it happens, but it happens quietly, out of sight, and outside of mainstream public face, which is pristine, neat, and “ nice. ” Those who fall outside of these norms are called “ sluts. ” Magic, Supernatural Power - obsession with Ouija Boards, witchcraft, cults. Perhaps meaning of the universe can be found in these magical charms, spells, and spirits. Tolkien novels, Lloyd Alexander novels, Harry Potter series. These all deal with young people, common people, discovering the existence of ACTUAL power and learning to wield it wisely through trials and tribulations. Kids sense that they are living mundane lives without personal power, but they have a sneaking suspicion that they are unique in the universe and have great power, if only “life” would happen. Adoptees become obsessed with learning about “real” parents. Principal - dress code - kids these age need something to resist. I ’d rather give them this simple thing to resist than open up the resistence to bigger, more serious matters. A whole lot of “why”s” - why do I have to do this, why do you always, why not, etc… Joanne Deak - “ I think that the only reason we teenagers rely so much on what our friends say is because we are testing what our parents taught us, to make sure it was right. ” – Elizabeth, 17. Resiliency and Vibrancy - Stuck between not supporting our girls through emotional and/or social landmines and treating them so tenderly a la Nation of Wimps. Very few girls retain resiliency and vibrancy. You can tell who has retained vs regained her vibrancy.
  • Gender, Bias, and Aggression 11/16/11 Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee You seek relationships. You seek acceptance. You seek stability and reassurance. You want independence from adults. You seek personal power. You seek meaning and direction in your life. You experience conflict (as anyone is wont to do). You know girls who fight are supposed to be catty bitches. You know that good, nice, pretty girls are supposed to have friends. You know that friends are supposed to like you. You know that your value lies in your “niceness.” You also know that nice girls become girlfriends. Loud girls become friends who are girls. You are supposed to be attractive and desirable as a girlfriend. What do you do?
  • 1. Stereotype - A preconceived or oversimplified generalization about an entire group of people without regard for their individual differences. While often negative, stereotypes may also be complimentary. Even positive stereotypes can have a negative impact however, simply because they are broad generalizations. The stereotypes we hold form the basis of our prejudices. 2. Prejudice - A conscious or unconscious negative belief about a whole group of people and its individual members. When the person holding the prejudice also has and uses the power to deny opportunities, resources or access to a person because of their group membership, there is discrimination. 3. Discrimination - Prejudice plus the power. Discrimination can take many forms, including racism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, ageism, etc. Many acts of discrimination build up over time, perpetuated against one relatively less powerful social group by a more powerful social group, lead to a group of people being in a state of oppression. 4. Oppression - The systematic subjugation of a group of people by another group of people with access to social power, the result of which benefits one group over the other and is maintained by social beliefs and practices. Because oppression is institutionalized in our society, target group members often believe the messages and internalize the oppression. 5. Internalized Oppression - The "buying into" the elements of oppression by the target group. When target group members believe the stereotypes they are taught about themselves, they tend to act them out and thus perpetuate the stereotypes which reinforces the prejudice and keeps the cycle going.
  • Gender, Bias, and Aggression 11/16/11 Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee
  • Gender, Bias, and Aggression 11/16/11 Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee Alternative aggression defines any behavior that expresses anger in ways other than direct words or physical aggression. It has been happening for years among girls, but only recently has the literature come more into the mainstream with books like Odd Girl Out and Queen Bees and Wannabes and movies like Mean Girls.
  • Gender, Bias, and Aggression 11/16/11 Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee
  • More than 20% of teens have sex before the age of 14.
  • Gender, Bias, and Aggression 11/16/11 Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee
  • 11/16/11 Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee
  • 11/16/11 Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee
  • 11/16/11 Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee
  • 11/16/11 Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee
  • Gender, Bias, and Aggression 11/16/11 Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee
  • Gender, Bias, and Aggression 11/16/11 Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee Mary Pipher : Surface structure changes versus deep structure changes – “ can I dye my hair purple? ” = “ Will you allow me to develop as a creative person? ” “ Can I watch R rated movies? ” = “ Am I someone who can handle sexual experiences? ” “ Can I go to a different church? ” = “ Do I have the freedom to explore my own spirituality? ” “… Try to understand what their surface behavior is telling me about their deep-structure issues … try to ascertain when their behavior is connected to their true selves and when it is the result of pressure to be a false self. Which thinking should I respect and nurture? Which should I challenge? ” Rachel Simmons: Parents – turn your home into a sanctuary. Listen and love. Encourage activities where she can feel success. Role play situations. Find ways to give her breathing room (safe places to go to lunch, etc.). Encourage new friendships but with BOTH the girls ’ consent and choice. Give her an outlet to express feelings. Know your own temperature and distinguish between what you want and what child needs. Rachel Wiseman: Parents - Through non-threatening questions, have the conversation about “ social map ” of school. Ask her to share thoughts as observer of girls. Gently figure out where she is. If she is in power, help her with empathy and taking responsibility for actions. Don ’ t be fooled by smooth approach – they know they can get you off their back by placating. If she is in the middle, help her see that she ’ s not in control of what she wants by obeying the powerful girls. Do not chastise for not standing up for herself. Practice with her what she wants to communicate with the more powerful girls. If she is a target, let her talk about it at her own pace. Don ’ t freak out and threaten to call the school unless she asks for your help. If she doesn ’ t want to talk to you about it, respect her feelings. Always reassure her that you are there for her, and line up some allies that she can talk to. IN ALL CASES affirm your daughter in some way. Share personal experiences. Don ’ t tell her what to do. Describe the behavior you respect. Work with her as she comes up with a plan that describes specifically what she wants to happen differently, and how she can make that happen. Tell her she can always blame you if her friend come down on her. Your daughter will feel better just knowing you understand life in Girl World. Joanne Deak: Keep girls socially healthy and continuing to develop good social interaction skills as well as friendship options. Provide opportunity and access to groups of kids outside the school scene. School social scenes can be very hierarchical and static. Other affiliations like camps, churches/synagogues, neighborhood sports teams, and classes are far less socially complicated and far more open. Don ’ t jump in too early or too often. Conflict is good. Use judgment on when by weighing the duration and pain. Help by giving conflict resolution tools. Teeter Totter parenting – job is to balance out. Avoider = send her back into the fray with some viable verbal arsenal. Pleaser = practice how to stand ground. Bulldozer = teach verbal mediation. Pearls: 1) Discuss Baskin-Robins ice cream description of social scene. If the moment leads to playful discussion, ask if she knows “ pecan ” or “ bubble gum. ” Ask her what flavor she is 2) If she is experiencing some routine social pain, let her see the light at the end of the tunnel by letting her know about the next stage 3) Open your house to her friends as frequently as you can. 4) Practice being a listener instead of a fixer. 5) Let her friendship choices be hers. NWGC: Stay involved!   Volunteer for school and club activities.   Know their peer group.; Be patient with attitudes – they change by the hour or day!   Support the emotion in the moment, then find a time later to problem solve.; Allow some independent thought (hair and clothing styles, opinions etc.); Invite communication about topics that affect them.   Watch movies and read books together ( Odd Girl Out , Queen Bees and Wannabes ); Help with "play dates".   They made need suggestions and help taking appropriate social risks to get together outside school with peers.; Encourage extra curricular activities that don't include the same group of girls.   Expose them to a wider range of girls and relationship opportunities.; Healthy Risks!   Sports, clubs, activities (check out the resource fair!) ; Service Learning and Community Service.   This is crucial to helping this age develop self-esteem. So important for them to feel they have something to contribute.   Look for leadership opportunities!; Internet Safety and Cell Phone Rules – Stay aware, and involved!   Post by your computer: What am I about to do? What could be the consequences? Why do I want to do it? Would I want it done to me? To check computer history: < > ; < > ;
  • 11/16/11 Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee
  • Gender, Bias, and Aggression 11/16/11 Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee
  • Gender, Bias, and Aggression 11/16/11 Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee Final Tidbits: -teach first and refer to later. We have a tendency to see it happen & react with education. -there are times and places for interventions. What is important is that SOMETHING is done in the moment, and that there is ALWAYS follow-up -don ’t let girls get away with a quick “sorry.” they know how to please adults. Get authentic conversation out of them. -practice, practice, practice. The more clever, poignant, and effective language comes out on the third try :-)
  • Gender, Bias, and Aggression 11/16/11 Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee
  • Gender, Bias, and Aggression 11/16/11 Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee
  • Forest Ridge Good and Pretty

    1. 1. Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee Seattle Girls ’ School Good and Pretty: Gender Bias and What Parents Can Do About It Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    2. 2. About Seattle Girls ’ School Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    3. 3. Agenda <ul><li>Gender Differences </li></ul><ul><li>Gender Bias </li></ul><ul><li>Myth of the Good and Pretty </li></ul><ul><li>What Can We Do? </li></ul><ul><li>Discussions </li></ul><ul><li>Resources </li></ul>Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    4. 4. Disclaimers and Other Food for Thought Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    5. 5. Gender Differences Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    6. 6. <ul><li>Brash </li></ul><ul><li>Troublemaker </li></ul><ul><li>Strong </li></ul><ul><li>Competitive </li></ul><ul><li>Physical </li></ul><ul><li>Silent </li></ul><ul><li>Clever </li></ul><ul><li>Mistake-Prone </li></ul><ul><li>Belligerent </li></ul><ul><li>Intuitive </li></ul><ul><li>Well-Behaved </li></ul><ul><li>Delicate </li></ul><ul><li>Cooperative </li></ul><ul><li>Emotional </li></ul><ul><li>Verbal </li></ul><ul><li>Pretty </li></ul><ul><li>Perfect </li></ul><ul><li>Nice </li></ul>Gender Bias Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    7. 7. Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    8. 8. Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    9. 9. Special Considerations Sexy --- Slutty Powerful --- Bitchy Smart --- Bookish Cheerful --- Uncool Confident --- “All That” Athletic --- Jocky Close to Friends --- Lesbian Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    10. 10. Myth of the Good and Pretty – Where Does it Lead? Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    11. 11. Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    12. 12. The “Good Girl” in Conflict Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    13. 13. Alternative Aggression <ul><li>Relational Aggression </li></ul><ul><li>Indirect Aggression </li></ul><ul><li>Social Aggression </li></ul>Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    14. 14. Friends and Frienemies Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    15. 15. Why Girls Say They Keep Frienemies Around <ul><li>I don ’ t want to make it worse. </li></ul><ul><li>Maybe I am doing something to make them treat me this way. </li></ul><ul><li>They ’ re my connection to other friends. </li></ul><ul><li>My other friends won ’ t support me. </li></ul><ul><li>When they ’ re not being awful, they ’ re actually awesome, fun, and nice. </li></ul><ul><li>I don ’ t want to be alone. </li></ul><ul><li>There ’ s nothing I can do about it. </li></ul>Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    16. 16. Why Women Say They’ d Rather Stay in an Abusive Relationship <ul><li>I don ’ t want to make it worse. </li></ul><ul><li>Maybe I am doing something to make him treat me this way. </li></ul><ul><li>He ’ s my source of income, home, and support for our kids. </li></ul><ul><li>My family and friends tell me I should stay and work it out. </li></ul><ul><li>When he ’ s not being awful, he ’ s kind, nurturing, and wonderful. </li></ul><ul><li>I don ’ t want to be alone. </li></ul><ul><li>There ’ s nothing I can do about it. </li></ul>Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    17. 17. The “Good Girl” in the Workplace and Home Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    18. 18. Women make up almost half the working population of the United States. And yet: <ul><li>Women make 78 cents to a man ’s dollar. </li></ul><ul><li>The wage gap has been closing at a rate of less than half a penny a year. </li></ul><ul><li>If equal pay for women happened right now, across the board, women would gain $319 billion in 2008 dollars. </li></ul><ul><li>Unequal pay kicks in shortly after college graduation, when women and men should, absent discrimination, be on a level playing field. </li></ul><ul><li>Women still are segregated into &quot;pink-collar&quot; jobs that are lower skill and lower pay. For example, women make up 87% of child care workers and 86% of the health aides. </li></ul>Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    19. 19. Women and Leadership in the U.S. <ul><li>Women make up 51% of the population. </li></ul><ul><li>Women comprise 17% of Congress </li></ul><ul><li>The 2010 mid-term election was the first time women have not made gains in Congress since 1979. </li></ul><ul><li>34 women have ever served as governors (compared to 2319 men). </li></ul><ul><li>67 other countries have had female presidents and prime ministers. </li></ul><ul><li>The U.S. is 90 th in the world in terms of women in national legislatures (below Cuba, China, Iraq and Afghanistan). </li></ul>Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    20. 20. Beauty Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee ( The “Pretty Girl” on Beauty
    21. 21. “ Pretty” Scary… <ul><li>53% of 13 year old girls are unhappy with their bodies. </li></ul><ul><li>That number increases to 78% by age 17. </li></ul><ul><li>65% of women and girls have an eating disorder. </li></ul><ul><li>U.S. women spend $12,000 and $15,000 a year on beauty products and salon services. </li></ul><ul><li>The number of cosmetic surgical procedures performed on youth under age 19 more than tripled from 1997 to 2007. </li></ul><ul><li>The average facelift costs $11, 429 (enough to pay for 5 years at community college and 2 years at a state university). </li></ul>Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    22. 22. What Can We Do? Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    23. 23. What can parents do? <ul><li>Teach the difference between “good” and self sacrificing. </li></ul><ul><li>Talk about or compliment something besides her looks. </li></ul><ul><li>Value the quality of her relationships, not the quantity. </li></ul><ul><li>Help her develop strong interaction and social skills. </li></ul><ul><li>• Encourage and help her to make informed choices. </li></ul><ul><li>Engage in media with her and talk to her about it. </li></ul><ul><li>Role-Play difficult conversations with her. </li></ul><ul><li>Give her healthy outlets for her feelings. </li></ul><ul><li>Respect and nurture her true self. </li></ul><ul><li>Affirm your daughter. </li></ul><ul><li>Share your stories. </li></ul><ul><li>Model the way. </li></ul><ul><li>Stay Involved. </li></ul>Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    24. 24. Teach Media Literacy <ul><li>U.S. advertisers spent $235.6 billion in 2009 (80% of countries in the world have GDPs less than this). </li></ul><ul><li>Between 1937 and 2005, 13 animated films had female protagonists. 12 of them told the story of her pursuit of love and romance from a male character. </li></ul><ul><li>Women between 13 and 40 are 39% of the population, yet are 71% of women on TV. Women 40 and older are 47% of the population, yet are 26% of women on TV. </li></ul><ul><li>News programs focus on women politicians’ looks and emotions more than their ideas or actions. </li></ul><ul><li>Most people have a hard time thinking of a movie that has: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More than one major female character </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who have a major scene together </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Talking about something other than men or love from men </li></ul></ul>Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    25. 25. Undoing Gender Bias Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    26. 26. Questions and Answers Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    27. 27. Presenter Information <ul><li>Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee </li></ul><ul><li>6th Faculty and </li></ul><ul><li>Professional Outreach </li></ul><ul><li>Seattle Girls ’ School </li></ul><ul><li>2706 S Jackson Street </li></ul><ul><li>Seattle WA 98144 </li></ul><ul><li>(206) 805-6562 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    28. 28. Resources <ul><li>Joshua M. Aronson, Ph.D., “Improving Achievement & Narrowing the Gap,” Learning and the Brain Conference, Cambridge, MA, November 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>Allan G. Johnson, Privilege, Power, and Difference. </li></ul><ul><li>John Medina, Talaris Research Institute, various studies on theory of mind and power. </li></ul><ul><li>Miss Representation , documentary film on media and women </li></ul><ul><li>United Nations Population Fund Statistics on Gender Equality as of 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Learning to be critically literate of mass media </li></ul>Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (
    29. 29. Gender Specific Resources <ul><li>JoAnn Deak, Ph.D., Girls Will Be Girls: Raising Confident and Courageous Daughters, How Girls Thrive </li></ul><ul><li>John Medina, Talaris Research Institute, various studies on early gender differences in competition and play </li></ul><ul><li>Northwest Girls Coalition, Protective Factors for Middle School Girls - What can Parents Do? </li></ul><ul><li>Mary Pipher, Ph.D., Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls </li></ul><ul><li>Rachel Simmons, Odd Girl Out, Odd Girl Speaks Out, Curse of the Good Girl </li></ul><ul><li>Harriet R. Tenenbaum, “Gender Achievement Motivation,” Learning and the Brain Conference, Cambridge, MA, November 2003. </li></ul><ul><li>Rosalind Wiseman, Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends & Other Realities of Adolescence, Queen Bee Moms and Kingpin Dads </li></ul><ul><li>Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth. </li></ul><ul><li>Naomi Wolf, Promiscuities . </li></ul>Rosetta Eun Ryong Lee (