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Beholding Ourselves

Black Girls as Creators, Subjects, and Witnesses

Erin M. Stephens and Jamaica Gilmer

The bus was full of excited chatter as it pulled up in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (known universally as The Met) on Fifth Avenue on a cold morning in January. Thirteen girls, along with invited loved ones, had traveled for nine-and-a-half hours from Durham, NC, to view their art displayed in the exhibit, “Pens, Lens, and Soul: The Story of The Beautiful Project” (hereafter, “Pens, Lens, and Soul”). First, the girls filed off the bus to take a photograph on the steps of The Met. As their family and friends waited to disembark, they laughed and shivered while posing for numerous photographs and videos on the cold steps. As they stood at the bottom of the steps of the grand prestigious museum, the impressiveness of their accomplishment was just beginning to dawn on many of them. As she walked around the exhibit one of the artists would comment, “I feel surprised because I didn't realize it was this big of a thing and I was here and it's a thing, it's a big thing … we are capable of doing anything.”

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Beyond Representation

Technofeminisms and the Promise of Computing for Girls

Amélie Lemieux

Kristine Blair. 2019. Technofeminist Storiographies: Women, Information Technology, and Cultural Representation. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.

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Anne Watson, Michael Kehler, and Joseph Derrick Nelson

Scholes, Laura. 2018. Boys, Masculinities and Reading: Gender Identity and Literacy as Social Practice. New York: Routledge.

Villavicencio, A. (2021). Am I My Brother's Keeper? Educational Opportunities and Outcomes for Black and Brown Boys. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.

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Breaching Flowery Borders

Early Twentieth Century Girls Scrapbooking Their Lives

Leslie Midkiff DeBauche

The American high school seniors I discuss in this article graduated between 1915 and 1922, tumultuous years that included World War I, the influenza pandemic of 1918 to 1919, and the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. During such extraordinary times, these girls did a most ordinary thing; they made scrapbooks to commemorate their high school years.

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The Discourse of Drama

Regulating Girls in an Icelandic School

Bergljót Thrastardóttir, Steinunn Helga Lárusdóttir, and Ingólfur Ásgeir Jóhannesson

Abstract

In this article, we consider how girls are positioned in school by what we have chosen to call the discourse of drama. The widely held notion that Nordic girls have it all along with this drama discourse are seen to be the key narratives that reinforce a hegemonic form of girlhood. This ethnographic study focuses on the relations of students between the ages of 13 and 15 in the light of uninformed school staff-member practices. Our findings suggest that girls, despite living in what is seen to be a country that upholds gender equality, are silenced through this discourse of drama. We suggest that teacher education should lead to the facilitation of a gender-inclusive school environment free of stereotypical ideas of gender as a fixed binary.

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Michael R.M. Ward

I took over as editor of BHS in January 2019. In that time, we have put out three regular issues, which have contained a large variety of work focusing on gender issues concerning boys and young men, and three special issues on more specific topics, such as boyhood and belonging and the work of one of the leading masculinities scholars of the past 30 years, Raewyn Connell. These two recent special issues (13.2 and 14.1) contained work from established and emerging scholars focusing on the twentieth anniversary of Connell's seminal text, The Men and the Boys. Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, they have been very well received, and articles in this collection are among the most read in the journal's history.

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The End of the Tunnel

Girls’ Marked Bodies in the Canadian Transcarceral Pipeline

Sandrina de Finney and Mandeep Kaur Mucina

Abstract

In settler states, Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) girls and young women are targeted for specific kinds of social service interventions embedded in the gendered genocidal logics of colonial ideologies. Interlocking forms of violent carceral capture operate across settler institutions such as child welfare, immigration, and justice systems that are tasked with policing and criminalizing nonwhite girls. Conceptualizing these interconnected systems as a transcarceral pipeline, we examine their inner workings and impacts on Indigenous girls and BIPOC refugee girls in Canada through two sites of inquiry: child welfare systems targeting Indigenous girls and young mothers; and the immigration-child-welfare pipeline for refugee girls of color. Our analysis stresses the urgency of anticolonial systems of care grounded in sovereignty-making collective relations.

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Shailendra Kumar Singh

Abstract

In this article, I examine the discursive portrayals of gendered experience and subject positions through Sarjita Jain's “Girliyapa,” an online entertainment channel (on YouTube) for female-oriented content in India. I demonstrate how the question of female pleasure that the channel repeatedly foregrounds by way of introducing relatively censored topics of discussion (such as girls buying condoms or articulating their orientation toward same-sex love) is inextricably intertwined with a gender politics that never turns a blind eye to the existing conventions, stereotypes, or structural inequalities that precipitate gender-based violence and discrimination throughout the country. The widespread prevalence of marital rape, color prejudice, and workplace sexism which, in turn, does not allow for a straightforward valorization of girl power is thus satirically interrogated by “Girliyapa.”

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Shara Crookston and Monica Klonowski

Abstract

In this article, we argue that Teen Vogue has evolved to encompass aspects of intersectional, feminist activism that is particularly evident in the 2017 “Voices” section of the magazine. This evolution challenges previous research that has found that, historically, teen magazines focus heavily on heteronormativity, ideals of beauty, and consumerism. Our analysis of the content of this section of Teen Vogue in 2017 demonstrates that teen magazines can be reimagined as legitimate sources of intersectional activist feminist information for readers. Despite these positive changes, however, Teen Vogue continues to advertise clothing brands that many adolescent girl readers are likely unable to afford, thereby reinforcing superficial postfeminist notions of empowerment.

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“Isn't That a Girl Problem?”

Boys, Bodies, and the Discourse of Denial

Michael Kehler and Chris Borduas

Abstract

Revisions to Health and Physical Education (HPE) curriculums across Canada have prompted a conservative response denouncing the explicit and robust language used to address sexualities and young bodies. In this paper, we question the (in)visibility of male bodies and a prevailing discourse of denial, while situating the discussion alongside an evolving Canadian curriculum. Drawing on a national study, we examine narratives of adolescent boys to demonstrate how they make sense of locker-room interactions and bodily negotiations among their male peers. We introduce a discourse of denial to illustrate the ways in which adolescent male bodies and body image issues specifically have been misunderstood as a “girl problem” in schools. We argue that a limiting narrative of male bodies ignores the marginalization of boys facing shaming and homophobia in schools. We conclude by calling for a (re)consideration of male bodily practices while proposing changes that would more fully acknowledge adolescent male bodies in schools.