Monday, 30 September 2013

Mighty Girls

Recently I came across a website that I see as an incredibly valuable resource. It's called A Mighty Girl and they strive to provide resources for young girls, to show that girls can be more than damsels in distress. The founders state:

After years of seeking out empowering and inspirational books for our four young nieces, we decided to create A Mighty Girl as a resource site to help others equally interested in supporting and celebrating girls. The site was founded on the belief that all children should have the opportunity to read books, play with toys, listen to music, and watch movies that offer positive messages about girls and honor their diverse capabilities.
The biblical narrative grows out of a patriarchal culture, and much of Christian history does as well. There are some great stories of women in the Bible, but seriously, not enough. And while many of our girls in Canada grow up in fairly equitable circumstances, there are still rather insidious messages out there for our girls, telling them that they are indeed damsels in distress, princesses waiting for rescue, valuable only for their bodies and their beauty. I have struggled mightily to find books with female protagonists and books that bring energy and light to the life of young girls, particularly from a variety of cultures (authors are diverse as well!) and this website has the most comprehensive collection of books and other media that I have found.

What I particularly love about this site is that they are rooted in celebration. This isn't a space that seeks to portray boys as lesser than, or as enemies. The books, for the most part, simply come from a girls perspective and celebrate all that is good and vibrant and life giving for all of us. Much of what is there would be incredibly valuable for boys as well. Many of the toys are simply gender neutral and leave space for self-discovery.  And there are tons of resources for every age and skill level, as well as for parents and Aunties!

Whenever I see mighty girls slowly evolving (devolving?) into damsels in distress, my heart aches. I can't help but think that they were created for so much more. Our churches and communities are filled with mighty girls. Girls who are filled with life. Girls with gifts to share. Girls who can change our world. Let's make sure they have the resources they need to make it happen!

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