Monday, June 25, 2007

Girls in the News

Now this is what I am talking about! Last week girls were featured in the New York Times and the Village Voice for good stuff, not rises in girl violence, or girls gone wild. Instead these two articles are positively focused on girl power-- friendships that get girls through high school, and girls taking action on street harassment. Congrats to both the girls on their achievements AND to the New York Times and the Village Voice for running the stories. Check them out!

The June 24th New York Times article "The High School Kinship of Crystal and Queen" focuses on the friendship that develops between two teen girls that beat the odds and graduate ON TIME in a New York City High School (like 50% of their peers).

The Dominican boys in the back of the freshman English class at the high school in Washington Heights were making fun of the timid African-American girl, Queen Bond. One of the boys got down on one knee in front of her as if he were Romeo — they had been studying “Romeo and Juliet” — and delivered the final crushing insult.
“He was saying something about that I smelled,” recalled Queen, now 17. “I just put my head down. I started crying.”

Then something remarkable happened, she said: “Cristal stood up.” Cool, streetwise, 4-foot-11-inch Cristal Pimentel.

“This short, like, two-foot-tall person is standing up to these guys who are up to the ceiling,” Queen said. “She’s screaming, getting angry, waving her arms. She stood up, she defended me. No one ever stood up for me in that way.

“I’m, like, ‘Wow, this girl is the most beautiful person.’ ”

Read more about Crystal and Queen HERE

On June 19th the Villiage Voice printed 'Ayo, shorty!' Brooklyn girls are fighting back against the boys who harass them, detailing the work of teen girls at Girls for Gender Equity.

Even a poster declaring "Street Harassment is a Crime!" in bold letters didn't deter a group of guys standing on a Brooklyn corner from ogling 17-year-old LaTosha Belton. She was wearing knee-length shorts, a tank top, a short-sleeved sweater and she was carrying a stack of anti–sexual harassment posters.
"Read this!" she challenged, responding to their hisses and come-ons.

"What? I can't tell you, you look nice?" one man asked puzzled.

"What does this say?" she asked while pointing to the poster. "You are harassing me and I don't like it."

Read more about the teen girls stopping street harassment here

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