This fall, millions of students across the United States are entering their first year of college. As a part of new student orientation, many of them will participate in workshops to help them adapt to college life that might include a session on sexual assault prevention.
My ninth grade English teacher walked into class on the first day of school, writes her name hastily on the white board, and smiles warmly. She looks at the class and says simply, “This is going to be a challenging class.”
Girlhood is unique for each generation. Today, societal pressures are amplified by social media and smartphones increasing connectedness with peers after school hours.
In many societies and cultures, men and boys are taught from an early age that showing emotions is a “sign of weakness.” Statements such as “real men don’t cry” or “stop acting like a girl” teach boys they should not express their emotions and reinforces the idea that they should be “strong,” while girls are “weak.”
During the UN Women’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), Together for Girls had the opportunity to collaborate on a CSW panel with the International Council of Jewish Women, U.S. Fund For UNICEF titled “Protect Our Girls: Sexualization, Exploitation, and the Media.”
“I say this in front of you all that her name was Jyoti Singh.”
Last December, Asha Singh named her daughter as the Delhi rape victim who had since been known as “Nirbhaya” or “One Without Fear.”