Teen Girls: Ready For A Rebel Yell? SPARK Change Now!

Sept. 7, 2010 Girls, are you tired of being wrapped up, marketed and sold like a slab of meat? Having the media tell the world what your priorities are? Sick of slimy innuendos aimed at toddlers, tweens, and your little sister?

Hey, we’re not afraid to name names. Cough, cough…

Sony’s “Still A Virgin?” (we can remedy that) sophomoric slam positioning virginity as a prankster  power tool…

Kmart & AlloyTV’s First Day episodic telling teens their school looks set up their mate and date appeal for life (how archaic to even utter spinster/die alone crapola in the 21st century, talk about out of touch!)

Not to mention bottom feeders like  American Apparel’s “Best Bottom” contests, Urban Outfitter “Eat Less” shirts, and Daddy’s girl-as-property cues and Candie’s tween thongs at Kohl’s and Diesel’s “Be Stupid” ads. Can it get any more toxic?

YOU, teen girls, can elevate the conversation and take back your own voice. Uplift, inspire, sound off and get the story straight with backtalk to a global audience ready to hear and take action before the spiral of downward momentum winds its way into the media cesspool of sludge…Teen tribes throughout the nation are being asked to ignite a SPARK for change.

Nominate yourself or other girl leaders to join the SPARK summit team (details on some of the SPARK orgs and allies on the HGHW blog here, Shaping Youth is featured Aug. 26!)

Become an official blogger, activist or spokesteen with access to some of the nation’s strongest proponents of healthy sexuality pushing back against the packaging of girlhood as vapid vixens, sexualized boy toys and finely furnished décor in media’s wacky gender portrayal of who they think girls are. (Details after the jump)

SPARK stands for:

Sexualization Protest: Action, Resistance, Knowledge.

Teens named it. Voted it.

And now have the chance to LEAD it and have some fun yanking the chain of the powers that be…

What’s in it for you, besides expert media training, meeting some of the nation’s leading activists and actionists championing change?

How about a free pass to one of the coolest events in NYC this fall? (10-22-10 at Hunter College) Not to mention some hilariously fun guerrilla marketing counter-missiles lobbed into the retail arena….which will no doubt make some media waves.

We (the initial 10-22-10 convening team of orgs) have extended the SPARK girl activist application deadline to Sept. 15th because we’ve heard from girls who are just back from summer vacation, starting school, hoping to apply.

We know you’re busy, so I’ll post the nomination form right here so you can pop it into the media mix pronto and spread the word to other girls’ organizations to rally their leaders for representation on the SPARK summit guest panels, special events and blog.

It’s your day, your way.

Whether you grab a group of gal pals to attend en masse, or nominate your leaders to serve on the SPARK teen team by Sept 15, we need to hear your voices LOUD and CLEAR. Can’t wait to see you all there…

Shaping Youth will be teaming with an entire classroom team of special correspondents in NYC, spearheaded by Professor Ileana Jiminez (shown here with former student Alexandra Garza) for topics of interest and coverage leading up to the summit, plus video work in a variety of media areas pertaining to girls rights (including the amazing GEMS, girls educational & mentoring services)

Teens? Let’s hear your voices shoutout in “Network” style…Adults, tell all the teens in your lives, let girls in your organizations know and urge them to apply!

Tell us what’s REALLY on your minds, who YOU are, and how YOU plan to make change to the media and marketing machine. Hollywood? Industry? It’s time to pay attention. This is one SPARK that just might burn down the house and flame the stereotypes of girls presented once and for all!

Feel free to snag this post and use it on your own website/Facebook/Twitter —with my full permission beyond just the usual Creative Commons open source attribution & links. In other words, give yourself a blog holiday and feel free to scrape it, save it. Cut-n-paste it. Lift it verbatim if you want.

Just tell all the teens NOW, ‘cause the clock’s ticking!

Call for Nominations: SPARK Teen Team

Submit by September 15, 2010

SPARK is a day to speak out, push back on the sexualization of girls in media, and have fun while igniting a movement for girls’ rights to healthy sexuality.

SPARK: Sexualization Protest: Action, Resistance, Knowledge is a day to speak out, push back on the sexualization of girls, and have fun while igniting a movement for girls’ rights to healthy sexuality.  SPARK Summit will jumpstart a movement for change.

SPARK Summit will launch an intergenerational movement to support and stand with girls. In response to the American Psychological Association’s Task Force Report on the Sexualization of Girls (72pp pdf here) the most downloaded documented in the history of the APA’s website, the SPARK Summit will engage girls to be part of the solution rather than to protect them from the problem.  (see PBG Facebook page: “Powered By Girl”)

The Summit will give girls the tools they need to become activists, organizers, researchers, policy influencers, and media makers, so they can push back against the increasingly sexualized images of girlhood in the media and create room for whole girls.

The SPARK Summit will jumpstart community building and organizing that will continue on- and off-line to challenge the belief that “it’s just the way things are” and demonstrate what the alternatives can be.

Who we’re looking for:

Activist Panelists

SPARK is looking for 6-8 girls and young women who have done significant activist campaigns, projects, petitions, girlcotts, or protests specifically related to the sexualization or objectification of girls and women and/or the promotion of girls’ sexual rights and healthy sexuality. Selected activists will present their story and how it can inform the SPARK movement in a large plenary session.

Panelists should be 14-22 years old and comfortable speaking to a large audience of girls and adults.

SPARK Bloggers

SPARK is looking for 10 girls and young women to hone their writing skills to blog for the SPARK Summit and Movement.  Bloggers should have an interest in challenging the sexualization and objectification of women and girls and/or promoting girls’ sexual rights and healthy sexuality.

Bloggers will work with writers from Feministing to generate blog content for a variety of outlets including Feministing.com, SparkSummit.com, PoweredbyGirl.org, and other SPARK partner sites.

Bloggers should be 14-22 years old and have strong writing and communication skills.

SPARK SpeakTeam
SPARK is looking for 8 girls and young women who have strong, interesting stories to tell about the role of sexualization, objectification and media on their lives and their responses to these pressures to be our spokespeople for the Summit and Movement.

SpeakTeam members should have an interest in challenging the sexualization and objectification of women and girls and/or promoting girls’ sexual rights and healthy sexuality.  SpeakTeam members will be available for a blog tour, media requests and interviews from mid-September through the SPARK Summit and afterward to comment on the purpose, need, and desired outcomes for the SPARK Summit and Movement.

SpeakTeam members should be 14-22 years old and have strong presentation and public speaking skills.

Nominator (if applicable)___________________________Email_____________________

Name_________________________________________________________

Mailing Address___________________________________City___________

State ______Zip_____________Phone Number________________________

Email Address__________________________________________________

Age________ School & Grade (if applicable)___________________________

Race/Ethnicity_________________________________________________

Are you able to be present at an October 21, 2010  pre-Summit media training and the SPARK Summit on October 22, 2010 in New York City?  Y / N

References (Please list two references who are not family members but who have knowledge of your interest in and/or work related to activism, sexualization, and or media literacy)

Reference #1

Name______________________________Relationship___________________

Phone Number________________________Email _______________________

Address_________________________________________________________

Reference #2

Name______________________________Relationship___________________

Phone Number________________________Email _______________________

Address_________________________________________________________

To apply to be a SPARK Activist Panelist

Submit this form and attach a response to the following prompt:

Tell us about your activism, the impact it has had on the conversation around sexualization and/or girls’ sexual rights, and what message you want to send to other girls and women.  (400 word limit)

To apply to be a SPARK Blogger

Submit this form and attach a response to the following prompt:

Pick an image that sexualizes girls and/or women and write a critique of that image in 400 words or less.  Please attach image to your submission.

To apply to be a SPARK SpeakTeam

Submit this form and attach a response to the following prompt:

Tell us your story, how it relates to the sexualization of girls in the media, and why you think it’s important that others hear it.  Submit your story via written or video format in no more than 400 words or 2 minutes.

SPARK is committed to diversity and is especially interested in girls and young women of color, varying body-types, abilities, sexual orientation, and gender identity expression.

Please submit all materials by September 15, 2010 to Hardy Girls Healthy Women: [email protected] PO Box 821 • Waterville, ME 04903-0821 For questions, please call: (207) 861-8131 or email [email protected]

Hardy Girls Healthy Women: Create a world where girls have no limits  http://www.hghw.org
PBG: This Revolution is Powered By Girl   http://www.facebook.com/PBG
SPARK Summit:  Challenging the Sexualization of Girls   http://www.facebook.com/SPARKsummit

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Comments

  1. Amy, this is AWESOME! I have huge admiration for the teens who will take this on! It takes an extremely self-confident, independent person to not only resist peer pressure — and NOT buy into the media sleaze — but to actually have the guts to stand up against it. I know my daughter is doing the former. Honestly don’t know if she’s cut out to do the latter… But I’m going to ask her!
    janetlansbury recently posted..Toddler Testing – 3 Steps To End The NightmareMy Profile

  2. Well, Janet, we’re in the same boat. My daughter would rather play volleyball than start a firestorm, though I suppose that’s her way of burning off some heat from the media pressure and behavioral cues too…

    To each his/her own and I figure identity separation=healthy but agree w/you, there’s irony in a ‘cobbler kids/no shoes’ kind of way 😉 She actually is in dire need of the SPARKsummit exposure, even though she lives with media literacy 24/7…I’m a firm believer in peer to peer edu; as it lands on teens in a whole diff way…am hoping to bring her to NYC, if it doesn’t conflict w/the VB finals! sigh.
    Amy Jussel recently posted..Raising Authentic Girls- Rachel Simmons’ “Be You! The Real Girl Tour”My Profile

  3. I think that is an interesting point, it made me think a bit. Thanks for sparking my thinking cap.Shaping Youth » Teen Girls: Ready For A Rebel Yell? SPARK Change Now! was a wonderful read.

  4. Amy, this is AWESOME! I have huge admiration for the teens who will take this on! It takes an extremely self-confident, independent person to not only resist peer pressure — and NOT buy into the media sleaze — but to actually have the guts to stand up against it. I know my daughter is doing the former. Honestly don’t know if she’s cut out to do the latter… But I’m going to ask her!

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