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In Defense of the Teenaged Girl

Technically, I still am a teenaged girl, even if I have spent a little over a year being an 'adult', going to college, having a job, etc. And even if I am technically an adult, I still feel more of an affinity with the other young women of my age group. So maybe that's why it really fucking irritates me to see teenaged girls constantly represented in media and everything else as petty, catty, and otherwise evil people. Even people who are willing to concede that adult women aren't like this will always say "But those teenagers? Total bitches." Except for them at that age of course.

What I'm here to tell you, in case you weren't ever a teenaged girl, or somehow went through high school thinking all other teen girls were like this, is that it's patently untrue. Now, maybe it's just where I went to school. My high school was pretty unusual in that everyone pretty much got along with each other. Even the 'popular' girls were nice to everyone, even me, because *gasp* that's how you get popular! And I'm pretty sure this is the case at most high schools, at least from what I've heard from other people.

And even if girls are kind of mean or unpleasant at times, I want you to think for five seconds about the pressure we put on young women these days. (Or really, period.) The girls I knew not only maintained excellent GPAs, but they were often disproportionately involved with extracurricular activities compared to the boys, including volunteer-service type things. They of course had to keep up a perfect appearance, buying the latest fashions, having perfect, hair, perfect makeup, perfect bodies. And on top of that, most girls I knew had pretty wide social networks, and maintained good relationships with their female friends. It was the boys they had trouble with.

Consider, also, what we let our boys get away with. Now, I'm not gonna turn this into a rant against teenaged boys, although, believe me, I kind of want to. And I'm not saying they don't face a lot of pressures as well. But I do know that, statistically, boys have lower GPA's in high school than girls, and, while they are involved in more sports, they tend to be involved in other activities less. And they don't even have to really worry about what they wear. Yet boys are the ones who we see getting into trouble more, they're the ones who get caught drinking, smoking pot, or whatever else it is kids are doing these days. And when they do get in trouble, what do we say? "Boys will be boys."

I work with teenaged girls. Maybe it's where I work, but the girls I work with are some of the sweetest, funniest, most pleasant people I have ever met, and I think it's a shame they're shortchanged by popular opinion like this. So people, think twice about making a blanket statement like "Teenaged girls are such catty bitches!"


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jun. 14th, 2010 10:53 pm (UTC)
I don't make such blanket statements, but in general teenagers tend to be less mature than people who are past adolescence, both sexes implied. ...Which is a no-duh sort of statement, right? XD;; People with more experience tend to have more wisdom than people with less. And yet I personally have interacted with people who defy that stereotype in both the good way and the bad way. 9_9

I understand this post is in reaction to the teenage girl stereotype; there are bad stereotypes on people of all ages and all walks of life. I wouldn't even know what issues teenage boys have in their life, I am not one and I have no male family member with whom to relate; but you know, the stereotype that males get lower GPAs and that they get away with more things, that they have MORE things to get away with than girls do...that's a stereotype too. And actually boys DO have to worry about what they wear. They can't really wear anything but a T-shirt and jeans unless they want to be accused of being gay or something. And that T-shirt had better be "tough-looking" or not anything that doesn't look reasonably masculine. And, it is immensely taboo for boys to express affection for non-romantic-friends in public, while girls can do so without discrimination. Guys need emotional support too, but society makes it so unacceptable for them to even hint that they need it.

*sigh* Well, I guess I'm in another community where the average age is around the teenage high school age, and I'm getting reminded that a lot of those people are still not mature enough as to be so insecure that they can't be frankly criticized without getting uncivilly hostile. I went to a high school where the teenagers were pretty driven and responsible, but I'm learning as I go around to other places that I was a bit lucky as to where I grew up ^^;;
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )