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The Girlhood Project

Pivoting our Model with Girls During COVID-19

Cheryl Weiner, Kathryn Van Demark, Sarah Doyle, Jocelyn Martinez, Fia Walklet, and Amy Rutstein-Riley

Abstract

The Girlhood Project (TGP) is a community based, service-learning/research program that is part of the undergraduate course at Lesley University called “Girlhood, Identity and Girl Culture.” TGP works with community partners to bring middle and high school girls to Lesley's campus for nine weeks as part of intergenerational girls’ groups that are co-facilitated by Lesley students (also referred to as TGP students). TGP fosters the development of feminist leadership, critical consciousness, voice, and community action, and activism in all participants. In this article, we describe how we adapted TGP's model to a virtual and synchronous platform for students during COVID-19 and supported their learning competencies. We reflect critically on this experience by centering the voices and perspectives of girls, students, and professors.

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Jennifer A. Thompson, Sarah L. Fraser, Rocio Macabena Perez, Charlotte Paquette, and Katherine L. Frohlich

Abstract

In this article, we feature photographs and cellphilms produced by 13 girls and young women (aged 13 to 19) from urban, rural, and Indigenous areas of Quebec, Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. Framed within girls’ studies, we present girls’ and young women's creations and co-analysis about wellbeing during a period of lockdown. We explore how girls and young women restructured their routines at home as well as negotiated motivation and the pressure to be productive. We note that girls had more time than usual for creative activities and self-discovery and that they engaged with the politics of the pandemic and advocated for collective forms of wellbeing. Importantly, girls reported that participating in this research improved their wellbeing during this lockdown.

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Girls, Homelessness, and COVID-19

The Urgent Need for Research and Action

Kaitlin Schwan, Erin Dej, and Alicia Versteegh

Abstract

Equitable access to adequate housing has increasingly been recognized as a matter of life and death during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, there has been limited gendered analysis of how COVID-19 has shaped girls’ access to housing. In this article we analyze how the socio-economic exclusion of girls who are homeless is likely to increase during the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada. We suggest that three structural inequities will deepen this exclusion: the disproportionate burden of poverty faced by women; the inequitible childcare responsibilities women bear; and the proliferation of violence against women. We argue for the development of a research agenda that can address the structural conditions that foster pathways into homelessness for low-income and marginalized girls in the context of COVID-19 and beyond.

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Intersectional Pandemics in Bangladesh

The Effects of COVID-19 on Girls

Nasrin Siddiqa

Girls and women are the first victims of any calamity, pandemic, or disaster in developing countries like Bangladesh. As it is, they are very often denied health care, are forced to endure child marriage and early motherhood, and are frequently subjected to violence. Given this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic they are now suffering immensely. COVID-19 threatens girls’ rights in countries around the world and will have far-reaching impacts on their health and wellbeing, education, and protection. Self-isolation has increased the rates of gender-based violence. Early marriage and pregnancy are among the drastic effects of school closures and many parents have married off their underage daughters or sold them off to rich families as domestic workers to reduce their economic burden.

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Kokums to the Iskwêsisisak

COVID-19 and Urban Métis Girls and Young Women

Carly Jones, Renée Monchalin, Cheryllee Bourgeois, and Janet Smylie

Abstract

The national COVID-19 pandemic response presents a sharp contrast to the matrilineal social kinship and knowledge exchange systems that Métis women and girls rely on for safety, security, and wellbeing. In this article, we demonstrate that while Métis women and girls have been left out of the national pandemic response, they continue to carry intergenerational healing knowledges that have been passed down from the kokums (grandmas) to the iskwêsisisak (girls). We show how urban Métis girls and women are both managing and tackling COVID-19 through innovative and community-based initiatives like Well Living House and the Call Auntie Hotline.

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Left Behind by COVID-19

Experiences of “Left-Behind” Girls in Rural China

Jue Wang

Abstract

“Left-behind” children in rural China are those whose parents seek work in urban areas and leave them behind in their hometowns. In this article, I focus on the experiences of five young “left-behind” girls who were socially isolated because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the Chinese authorities’ instruction to schools to “Stop classes, but don't stop learning,” I examine micro-level data on the tensions and challenges experienced by these girls during the COVID-19 lockdown. I look at how the pandemic has affected these girls in relation to school and family life and suggest that it has exposed and magnified gender inequalities, particularly those related to the maltreatment exerted by their guardians and/or brothers, that have left them even further behind.

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Leisuring Masculinities in British Indian Childhoods

Explorations at the Intersection of Gender Order and Generational Order

Utsa Mukherjee

Abstract

In this article, I draw upon a qualitative study with 11- to 12-year-old middle-class British Indian boys and their parents to unpack the ways notions of young masculinities are negotiated within the context of children's leisure. Taking a relational approach, I argue that leisure-based masculinities of children are simultaneously generationed and gendered. By interrogating the intersection of what Raewyn Connell theorizes as “gender order” and what childhood sociologists call the “generational order,” I demonstrate that leisure-based young masculinities are forged within children's inter- (parent-child) and intra- (child-child) generational relationships around leisure. I conclude with a call for greater engagement with intersectional frameworks in the study of boys’ masculinity that simultaneously recognizes the gender and the generational structures of children's everyday lives.

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Claudia Mitchell and Ann Smith

As with Zika, Ebola, HIV and AIDS, and other pandemics in recent history, girls and young women are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 socially and emotionally if not medically. Some observers have referred to the current crisis as a tale of two pandemics in reference to both the obvious health issues and the pervasive gender inequalities that have become exacerbated, and others have referred to it as “the shadow pandemic” (UN Women 2020: n.p.) in highlighting the negative impact that physical distancing and social isolation are having on already vulnerable girls and young women experiencing sex- and gender-based violence. All over the world girls and young women are facing increasing levels of precariousness as a direct result of the health measures being taken to curb the global transmission of COVID-19. The increasing lack of privacy in the home furthers the practice of cultural forms of patriarchy that lead to violence.

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Raewyn Connell

Abstract

This essay discusses the intellectual and political context in which The Men and the Boys was written, the author's research trajectory leading to the book, its concern with practical issues of change in masculinities and gender relations, the new directions in its intellectual offerings, and the way it dealt with boyhood as a field of studies.

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Men and Masculinities the Journal

Raewyn Connell's Influence on its New Vision

Joseph D. Nelson, Tristan Bridges, and Kristen Barber

Abstract

In this reflective piece, the new editors of the historic journal Men and Masculinities explicate how key tenets of Raewyn Connell's scholarship informed their expanded vision of the journal. It begins with a meta-analysis of empirical research published in the journal for the last 20 years, and highlights its emphasis on contemporary scholarship from various disciplines and fields. Each facet of the journal's new vision is relayed thereafter, including its feminist perspective, international focus, and interdisciplinarity. It concludes with efforts by the editors to actualize their vision in the service of broadening the field of gender, boyhood, and masculinity studies.