The Girl Revolution: Empowering Girls Instead of Consuming Them

Shaping Youth writes extensively about the need for a massive media mindshift away from the sexualization and commodification of girls, so it’s with great pride and ‘atta girl’ go-power that that we announce one of our own honorees in our All Things Girl round-up is seizing the headway and momentum to launch her renamed site The Girl Revolution!

Chock full of fun freebies and contests to pay it forward for young girls everywhere, Tracee Sioux formerly blogging at Empowering Girls: So Sioux Me has a tell-all domain tale that captures the gist of why her new site is necessary. Tracee tried to buy the domain name EmpoweringGirls dot com only to find pornographers already owned it…

Similarly, I bought 56 domain names with the word “Shaping and Youth” in them to ensure our site wasn’t rerouted to the toxic cesspool of pornification and diminishment of girls’ self worth! (72pp APA study here) But for perspective, on a global scale, there’s no doubt The Girl Revolution takes on an entirely different, even MORE profound context…

Jin In, Founder of can no doubt attest to this, since she’s just returned from dodging bullets in Pakistan in an effort to ensure girl hope and promise of empowerment and change…

To the issue of a “GLocal” need for a Girls Revolution…look no further than this BBC News report about a local Taliban commander ordering parents to stop sending their daughters to school by Thursday, Jan. 15, 2009 or risk being blown up for attending!

Militants attacks in 2008 already destroyed 130 schools in the region, leaving 17,000 students without an education in the Swat valley region of NW Pakistan.

Jin In is also a Hardy Girls, Healthy Women board advisor and fellow GWLN gal pal with Simi and Sarah, two of my other GWLN ’07 colleagues working with youth in Pakistan, so I’m anxious to get an update from her soon, since she no doubt saw our friends while she was over there making her own headway to champion change for girls. sigh) I guess my point is this…

The Girl Revolution as a CONCEPT takes on many perspectives, nuances, and profoundities…far beyond Tracee’s advocacy blog.

From Sejal’s Girls Helping Girls at (Empower A to Patti’s grassroots Canadian Tween Club and our own advisor, Michealene Cristini Risley’s Tapestries of Hope documentary telling the poignant stories of the Girl Child Network in Zimbabwe (premiering at Sundance soon, and recently awarded in my own hometown of Honolulu via the Aloha Accolade Award for Excellence in Filmmaking!) —It’s ALL important work…It’s ALL relevant…and it’s all worthy of a Girl Revolution.

And…Shaping Youth would like to also see a Boy Revolution right along side of it…

It’s no surprise to me that there’s universal need, appeal (and entire books and lesson plans) written in backlash style to reclaim girlhood’s meaning, like the ‘Good Girl Revolution’ (at left, by Wendy Shalit)

But what about the boys?

I consistently witness the pressures and stresses of young boys-to-men given mixed messages and culture cues that are equally soul-eroding and damaging during preteen years and adolescent preoccupation with ‘buffed boy’ syndrome…

…Yet their voice is rarely heard; often stuffed in bravado and machismo of ‘shoulds and coulds’ that do their own headtrip on these kids, too!

Our entire documentary film in development, Body Blitz: Media, Shaping Youth is about this phenomenon, as it holds a camera up to the K-5 playgrounds to capture the behavioral shifts taking place with VERY young kids of BOTH genders in the hopes that we can reverse this “KGOY” (kids getting older younger) effect before we erase childhood altogether.

Similarly, our advisory board member’s site, Packaging Girlhood (Dr. Sharon Lamb and Dr. Lyn Mikel Brown cover ‘pink think’ in depth) are also addressing the other side of this coin, coming out with a new book in 2009 called Packaging Boyhood once their research is complete…

So congratulations to The Girl Revolution…

You’ve got your work cut out for you Tracee, and we’re backing you at Shaping Youth!

By the way, those last two photo frames on the right are my OWN dear daughter in her revolving masthead above! 😉 Tracee did a great job of ‘crowdsourcing’ readers’ photos by asking for shots of our own kids! You can still get in on it if you want…

Here’s her post about it if you’d like your own ‘posterchild’ to be empowered among her peers—Quite a difference from ‘pin-up girls’ of the other sort, yes?

And here’s The Girl Revolution store too in case you’d like to support her efforts in style…Good luck, Tracee! I long for the day when the words ‘shaping and youth’ don’t have my Akismet Spam filter jammed with the sheer quantity of over 700,000 spammy porn auto-bots trolling for drek and sludge in the peekaboo coarseness of our societal slippery slide…

Our global youth deserves better. Our girls. AND our boys.

The Girl Contests and Links to Launch Giveaways:

(Shaping Youth is donating three hardback copies of Packaging Girlhood to the effort…)

  1. TGR Launch Contest #1 – TGR Fit Girl Shirt
  2. TGR Launch Party #4 – You’re Amazing!
  3. TGR Launch Contest #3 – I Deserve
  4. TGR Launch Contest #2 – Precious Girls Club
  5. The Girl Revolution Webazine
  6. Visit The Girl Revolution Store

For more youth empowerment sites and agents of change, see this great list at Junior Youth that we’re proud to be included on, among other orgs “Empowering youth to change the world.”

  1. Get Global
  2. Free the Children
  3. The United Nations for Kids, Youth and Educators
  4. Shaping Youth
  5. Girls for a Change
  6. GlobalEducation
  7. Girls Scouts’ Challenge and Change
  8. Empowering Youth
  9. Cool planet
  10. Youth Empowerment Project
  11. Youth Empowerment Alliance
  12. Youth Empowerment Scheme (YES)
  13. YouThink!…but do you know?
  14. Neo
  15. Hopeworks
  16. ruMAD? also Tasmanian Centre for Global Learning
  17. OneWorld
  18. Teaching Tolerance
  19. Learn and Serve Clearinghouse
  20. National Service-Learning partnership

I’d obviously add the links I’ve included above in this piece, along with some other youth empowerment links like:

Decision Education Foundation: Improving the lives of young people by teaching them how to make better decisions

Youth Assets: Connecting the World’s Most Vulnerable Youth

YouthNoise: and also YouthRadio (both on our sidebar)

Network for Good and Netsquared (remixing the web for social change)

And Shaping Youth’s All Things Girl Recap of Worthy Sites

A Tee Party Kicks Off All Things Girl Week on Shaping Youth

Veteran’s Day: Women in the Military: MyVetwork Launches

Interview with Girl Mogul Founder Andrea Stein

New Moon Girl Media Officially Launches

S.Y.’s Body Image Expert Dr. Robyn Silverman On Dove Forum

Global Women’s Leadership Network Hosts Young Leaders Worldwide

GWLN Delegate Carrie Ellett on Girls For a Change

Motrin Media Mamas & Twitter Tirades; Marcom Blunders Redux

Twilight Teens, GirlChild Press (Growing Up Girl) and Read Kiddo, Read!

Fem 2.0: Feminine Feminism & the Mother of All Conversations: Feb. 2, 2009

GLTR Girls: Girls Learn to Ride (wakeboards, snow/ski/skate/surf & more)

Doctor Jenn for Girls: Pajama Parties, Neuroscience & ‘Girls You Just Don’t Get It!’

What’s On Tweens’ Minds: Meet Denise Restauri of AllyKatzz

Girls Prescription for Self-Worth: Respect Rx

The Girl Effect: A World Changing Media Message

Smart Girls at the Party.TV: SNL’s Amy Poehler

Media Musts to Wrap Up All Things Girl Week Part One

Seven Sensational Blogs About Girls: All Things Girl Week Part Two, Finale!



  1. Thank you so much for all the kind words Amy and all the link love. I appreciate what you do here and I appreciate your support. Yes, The Girl Revolution is broad and global and it’s catching on. I agree a boy blog is also needed – heck we need to train them not to consume, but how to have intimate satisfying relationships too. Give a bit to get the girl site going and I’ll see what I can do. 🙂

  2. That’s the spirit, Tracee!!! 🙂

    My Chinese NY fortune cookie for the event I attended Saturday said, “You will always go beyond what others say is not possible.” Fitting words indeed.

    I think Dr. Jenn for Girls is doing a great job of this holistic view of both genders, for even though she’s empowering girls, (trying to undo some damage done) she’s using the data from guys about what they REALLY want vs. the perceptions of same to cut through the emotional clutter and appeal at the heart.

    I’m working on a way we can all team/hub into one ning social network focus with our own organization’s pages detailing the way we’re tackling these issues. Cool, eh? Start thinking of a name to unite us all! 🙂

  3. Tracee and Amy,
    I’m thankful to have found both of your sites. Congratulations to both of you! I have so much hope and passion for our cause as a mom of two powerful little girls.
    Thank you!

  4. Hi Amy!

    Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting! I’m also glad you liked it enough to pass it along to Girls Horse Club. To me, this is one of those videos where the more people who see it, the better! 🙂

    It is amazing the strength that people can summon against all odds. Watching aging parents’ health decline is very emotional. (I too wept at that video — for many reasons). It often amazes me just how much pain a person can tolerate without losing his/her positive attitude, compassion for others, and thoughtfulness. I have met so very many people through blogging that exemplify inner strength, peace, grace, and gratitude.

    Like you, I have a mom who is like the Energizer Bunny. I worry about her sometimes because she pushes her body so very hard despite some severe illnesses. I worry about her hurting herself.

    While I write about many different chronic illnesses, you may have noticed on my blog that endometriosis awareness has a special place in my heart!

    You see, my endometriosis symptoms began at age 13. I was finally diagnosed at age 23 by my first (of many) laparoscopic surgeries. I’m now 40.


    One thing that could have “shaped my youth” in a very positive way (!) would have been to be properly diagnosed and treated much earlier — for a severe chronic illness that struck me as a child and has affected me my entire adult life. This illness affects SO many girls and women. (It also has a large genetic component).

    I am so passionate about the need to create awareness about endo. Some estimates put the prevalence of endo at 7 million women & girls in the U.S. alone.

    Estimates are that there are ** 89 MILLION ** women and girls worldwide (!!) suffering this condition!

    In the meantime, sadly, many people have never even heard of endometriosis! (With the possible exception of hearing misinformation on it this last season of Dancing with the Stars, when 2 dancers were diagnosed through unaccepted means).

    Pediatricians should be trained about endometriosis. Women like me shouldn’t have to wait 10 years for a proper diagnosis! Sadly, 9.9 YEARS is the average lag from onset of endometriosis symptoms to diagnosis of endo.

    Even the typical gynecologist is inadequately trained (if at all) on treating endo. It’s no wonder it takes 9.9 years, on average, for diagnosis. (It generally takes trial & error with many different GYNs and specialists for someone to find a doctor who can effectively diagnoses & treat their endo). At this time, the method for diagnosing endo is via an outpatient surgery called a laparoscopy.

    Far too many womens’ and girls’ symptoms are marginalized, dismissed, or even ridiculed by healthcare professionals who, to date, are typically not properly trained about this common condition.

    To add salt to the wounds, most women who have endo wind up with a constellation of other serious illnesses (!) that research studies have correlated to endo [i.e. fibromyalgia, interstitial cystitis, multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Reynaud’s Disease, and others].

    Funding for research on these illnesses is historically very underfunded… in large part to the fact that most (not all) patients with these illneses are women.

    I just pulled up your blog to take a peek after you left your kind comment on mine. It’s a small world because I see you have Tracee Sioux’s blog “The Girl Revolution” fetured here. (Tracee gave me tips when I first got started blogging — and her blog just had a great makeover. It looks fantastic)!

    Anyway, I wanted to thank you for visiting my blog. I’m really glad you liked the video! I love that video so much that I posted it a few months back, just posted it again for good measure, and I have it in my “YouTube slideshow” of videoclips in my blog’s sidebar.

    On a serious note (since my blog is about chronic illnesses… most of them “invisible illnesses”), I thought I’d include here some stats that really caught my attention during a large blogging event of many health bloggers uniting last fall for a week of awareness, seminars, etc. It’s an annual event but this past year was my first time particpiating since it was my first year blogging.

    The stats below are mind-boggling to me. They may be hard for some to believe in because they are so stark. However, based on my blog’s traffic and readers’ comments on my blog, I have no doubt that these stats are accurate.

    There are far more chronically ill people out there than I ever realized. The video that I pulled these stats from is very well done. (I generally don’t post links in comment fields so I just plucked some stats out of the video — but if you are interested in viewing the video clip itself, it’s on my blog post from: September 7, 2008).

    Here are the alarming stats…

    According to a National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week video clip:

    * Nearly 1 in 2 Americans has a chronic illness.
    * 96% of all illness is invisible.
    * About 1 in 4 adults suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder each year.
    * 9 million people are cancer survivors who cope with side effects daily.
    * 75% of marriages end in divorce when one or both people have a chronic illness.
    * Physical pain is a cause of up to 70% of suicides.

    I don’t post this info to be a “downer” in any way — but because I feel it’s important for people to understand that the numbers of chronically ill patients keep climbing and climbing at staggering rates.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by my blog and leave a comment. I really appreciate it!!

    Jeanne 🙂

    Jeanne’s last blog post..VIDEO: ‘Jeanne’s Endo Blog’ — Any Patient Or Caregiver Who Deals With Chronic Conditions Can Probably Appreciate This Fantastic Video!

  5. Hi Jeanne, what a wealth of information!!! Yes, I FOUND you on Tracee’s blog, because I’m the one offering the Packaging Girlhood hardback books for her blog relaunch! 😉

    Your stats and your endo focus would be VERY relevant for teen girls particularly…so please consider doing a guest piece for us on ‘what to know before you go’ in terms of girls advocating for themselves at the ob-gyn, especially those with severe cramping and adolescents with complications that are as you rightfully say, often MISdiagnosed!

    I’d love to hear a Q&A style ‘tips’ piece from you on this matter…and I’ll carry the info with me to the Fem2.0 Washington D.C. summit on health/policy/issues etc. on 2-2!!

    I also have been thinking that a youth/cancer culture (YCC) piece (or chronic situation w/teens of any kind) would be inspirational after having read the recent Ypulse guest editorial by Matthew Zachary here:

    Also thought if you aren’t on it already, you should be a health blogger on Wellsphere, about firsthand experiential knowledge with given conditions…Just a thought! Check ’em out! Thanks for taking the time to comment…come back soon, ‘k!?

  6. Amy,

    Wow! You’re fast! I can’t believe you already posted a reply. 🙂

    I kind of wondered if you found me through Tracee. 🙂 I was the one who introduced Tracee to Cassie Germsheid (who redesigned Tracee’s site and will be redesigning mine so that I can finally achieve my WordPress dreams). 🙂

    I am absolutely thrilled that you are so receptive about increasing awareness about endometriosis for GIRLS and not just women!! The vast majority of people I know who have endo had their symptoms start when they were girls!

    With participating in local in-person endo support groups since 1992 (when I got diagnosed w/endo), with starting an endo group where I now live (in 2001), and with writing my blog since last June… I have met (in-person or online) SO many endometriosis patients. It’s just incredible!

    I would be thrilled to do a guest piece on “what to know before you go”, as you described. Too many girls don’t know what questions to ask, what to expect, or how to advocate for themselves in a healthcare setting (especially in a GYN setting which may be awkward for girls who are not familiar with pelvic exams and such).

    Would you like it to be targeted at girls going to the GYN for their first exams, creating awareness so that parents/pediatricians/internists can be more more proactive in advocating for younger girls, or both? I’d be happy to write a piece on each if that would help.

    Yes, endo is very often MISdiagnosed and UNDERdiagnosed. Sadly, this can increase the odds for infertility, ectopic pregnancies, and miscarriages for those who were not treated promptly. 🙁

    (The horror stories I have heard are haunting)… 🙁

    Holy cow! If you’d like something to take to Washington about endo, I would be THRILLED to write a piece! That sounds FANTASTIC!!

    I will have to check out Matthew Zachary’s piece but before I forget, let me just give you my email address so we can touch base about the Fem2.0 summit piece:

    (I’m going to write it out the long way to throw off the “robots” and minimize my email spam):

    endendo [at] frontiernet [dot] net

    Please shoot me an email. I look forward to talking with you more!! 🙂


    Jeanne’s last blog post..VIDEO: ‘Jeanne’s Endo Blog’ — Any Patient Or Caregiver Who Deals With Chronic Conditions Can Probably Appreciate This Fantastic Video!

  7. I haven’t made my airplane/hotel plans for D.C. yet, but am juggling as we speak…I’d just like to debrief a bit to be more knowledgable on various issues impacting girls/women…it looks like a very cool summit. Would love to chat further on the guest posts…will ping you now that I have my system back up and running. I’m amy at shapingyouth dot org (yes, we MUST foil the bots!) Thanks again! –AJ

  8. Amy,

    I am excited about the conference you are attending and look forward to following up with you on what we discussed offline! 🙂

    Thank you for everything you do!


    Jeanne’s last blog post..VIDEO: ‘Jeanne’s Endo Blog’ — Any Patient Or Caregiver Who Deals With Chronic Conditions Can Probably Appreciate This Fantastic Video!

  9. Amy,

    I got the prize! Thank you!!

    (Tracee Sioux notified me that I won “Packaging Girlhood”…)

    I’m excited! I have a young daughter and look forward to reading it!

    Jeanne 🙂

    P.S. I just sent you an email. I’m excited about writing the piece for your February conference. 🙂

    Jeanne’s last blog post.."Jeanne’s Endo Blog": Please Vote Using My New Poll! It Will Help Me Meet Your Needs Here Better!

  10. Jeanne, congrats. Just send me your address via email and I’ll get it right out to you. And readers, we’ve extended Tracee’s Girl Revolution contest over here, so you’re welcome to land a comment on this piece and vy for one of three copies of the Packaging Girlhood book as well! –Amy

  11. Hi Amy!

    I just sent you an email. I was very happy to open my mailbox yesterday and find “Packaging Girlhood”! It’s so refreshing when I get mail that is not a medical bill!! 🙂 I look forward to reading it. Thank you so much!!


    Jeanne’s last blog post..THANK YOU For The Blog Giveaway Prizes From ‘Twin Peas’, ‘The Girl Revolution’, and ‘Shaping Youth’!!

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