Compare and Contrast: Teen Girls Talking About Gender on YouTube

Two very different videos of teenage girls airing our their grievances on YouTube have gone viral in the past two days. Here they are. Compare and contrast:

On the uplifting side, we have a 13-year-old vlogger named astrorice articulating the concepts of slut shaming and rape culture. “While I am fully aware that this is a bit of an unorthodox topic for a thirteen year old virgin to be talking about, it’s an important issue to discuss, and a great topic for girls my age to know about,” writes astrorice.

As Aaron Muszalski noted on Facebook, “This is the most inspiring thing I’ve seen this year. Seriously a must-watch. An amazing young person speaking out — eloquently and forcefully — about a topic that many people much older than her still have a hard time wrapping their heads around. Or indeed, even acknowledging its existence. Major props. As unfortunate as the issue of slut shaming is, this video and its maker give me great hope for the future.”

And on the dark side, there’s this: a 14-year-old girl calling for the boycott of Girl Scouts due towards their inclusive policy towards transgendered kids: in particular, a 7-year-old transgender child who was allowed to join Girl Scouts in Colorado. Richard Metzger writes, “From what I can make of her argument, young Taylor here seems to think that high school age boys are suddenly going to want to wear drag and join the Girl Scouts so they can rape her or something? Taylor, there are far, far easier ways for teenage boys to get laid! … Do you really want to be the Rebecca Black of intolerance? For the rest of your life?” Audrey Penven adds, “Shame on her parents for sucking so hard. Shame on her community for nurturing this kind of close-mindedness.”

These children, they are our future.

8 Responses to “Compare and Contrast: Teen Girls Talking About Gender on YouTube”

  1. Ruby Tuesday Says:

    that first video, esp. from a 13 year old – AMAZING!
    that second video – i’m kinda lucky that the screen of my netbook is still intact! *un*bearable*rage*

  2. Meredith Yayanos Says:

    The second video was typical, depressing, hateful, fearful nonsense that bounced right off my brain. (Pesky coping mechanism.) The first one, though? Oh my gosh. Hearing someone her age speak with that profound level of self-awareness, compassion, warmth, humor and intelligence? I can’t remember the last time I’ve felt this hopeful, or grateful. She’s incredible. Thanks for sharing this, Nadya.

  3. Qais Says:

    The differences in quality are also interesting. On one hand you’ve got a well edited video by a kid who’s obviously charismatic, well-spoken, and thoughtful (and totally reminds me of Zefrank), on the other you’ve got a clearly amateur video by a kid who reads a prepared speech at you robotically. If nothing else, at least the first girl has a better grasp on how to adequately drive a point home using modern media and technology.

  4. Angela Says:

    I got the gist of the second video, so forgive me for not wanting to hear it firsthand. The first, though, yes, THIS, so much!

    The internets have also begun this blog in retaliation to the second video:

    Sometimes the internets iz good.

  5. david Says:

    lol. “the rebecca black of intolerance”. that’s awesome.

  6. Albert Says:

    The first video is excellent. The girl has a lot of personality on camera and that certainly helps get her message across. That’s what should be encouraged more by parents.

    The second one has gone private now so all I could see was bits in other reports. It does sound sadly ignorant and fear heavy. However the comments against the girl for voicing her unpopular opinion aren’t exactly comforting either. I hope people engage and try to educate her on the issue vs. denouncing her outright. She’s still a kid who can be taught not bullied by the internet which will only make this worse. That’s the age one can best reach a kid no?

  7. Angela Says:

    Albert: on what age to reach kids about tolerance, it’s hard to say. At fourteen she’s probably clinging strongly to a particular identity in order to solidify her sense of self. With most kids, it’s a question of being shaped more by one’s parents or peers. Just judging from this vid, I’ll wager she’s currently most under the influence of her strongly religious conservative family and a close circle of like-minded friends and their families.

    She seems awfully smug in her belief set, and that could hang around even in the face of widespread online disapproval—some zealots are only convinced that that means they’re in the right—or maybe she’ll end up going to a university where she gets sufficiently engaged with a more diverse population to question what she was raised with.

    People can change! See also: the change of heart and politics by former Aryan pop-rockers Lamb and Lynx Gaede:

  8. Who is margo fortier? « Bienia's Research on Games Says:

    […] collective? A single individual? Interesting video on a culture of shaming. She should be speak at the TedTalk. If you like, spread:Like this:LikeBe the first to like this […]