23 December 2011

girls + toys

toys are for girls or boys playing

23 November 2011


Unbreakable is a very power art project that portrays rape survivors' strength after sexual abuse, aimed to break the silense surrounding rape and to shed light on the issue, and to remind to those whose innocence was stolen that they are never alone.There are "photo days" in US and Grace absolutely accepts submissions!

21 November 2011

Media & Body Image

Although this is a Dove corporate responsibility add, it still makes a relevant point about where do our mental images of the perfect body come from...

As an additional reading, Real Women Have... Bodies by Hugo Schwyzer

Girls vs women in the workplace..

Caroline Drucker of SoundCloud offers a simple but empowering solution for getting more women in tech in her Ignite NYC 13 talk, How to Get More Women in Tech in Under a Minute. She suggest that by not using the word ‘girls’ to refer to ‘women’ that “there will be a lot more women (in tech) when we get rid of the "girls”.

06 November 2011

Inspirational Characters: Tiffany Aching

Picture by Krewcia
...If it came to that, the book never gave you the evidence of anything. It talked about ‘a handsome prince’ . . . was he really, or was it just because he was a prince that people called him handsome? As for ‘a girl who was as beautiful as the day was long’ . . . well, which day? In midwinter it hardly ever got light! The stories didn’t want you to think, they just wanted you to believe what you were told...
. . .
Anyway, she preferred the witches to the smug handsome princes and especially to the stupid smirking princesses, who didn’t have the sense of a beetle. They had lovely golden hair, too, and Tiffany didn’t. Her hair was brown, plain brown. Her mother called it chestnut, or sometimes auburn, but Tiffany knew it was brown, brown, brown, just like her eyes. Brown as earth. And did the book have any adventures for people who had brown eyes and brown hair? No, no, no . . . it was the blond people with blue eyes and the redheads with green eyes who got the stories. If you had brown hair you were probably just a servant or a woodcutter or something. Or a dairymaid. Well, that was not going to happen, even if she was good at cheese. She couldn’t be the prince, and she’d never be a princess, and she didn’t want to be a woodcutter, so she’d be the witch and know things, just like Granny Aching—
The Wee Free Men by Sir Terry Pratchett

Tiffany Aching is a fictional character in Terry Pratchett's satirical Discworld series of fantasy novels. She is the protagonist in 4 of his books in which she grows from nine-year old to a girl of sixteen in the last published book. Her stories often parallel mythic heroes' quests, but also deal with Tiffany's difficulties as a young girl maturing into a responsible woman. During the course of the series Tiffany grows to be a witch, however her powers are rather cognitive than magical. She possesses First Sight, the ability to see 'what is really there' (as opposed to Second sight, which shows people what they think ought to be there) and Second Thoughts, which are defined as 'the thoughts you think about the way you think'. As a witch and a young woman, she often faces stereotypes, prejudice and social pressure but always keeps determined to stand her ground and fight injustice.

20 October 2011

14 October 2011

New data on the rise of women...

Hanna Rosin reviews startling new data that shows women actually surpassing men in several important measures, such as college graduation rates. Do these trends, both US-centric and global, signal the "end of men"? Probably not -- but they point toward an important societal shift worth deep discussion.

26 September 2011

Call for stories for I ♥ Being a Girl E-book

I ♥ Being a Girl stories

I ♥ Being a Girl a project by and for girls, aiming to inspire and empower young women by offering them a place where they can freely share and exchange experience, personal views and ideas.

As part of the second stage of the I ♥ Being a Girl project, YSAFE aims to enrich its inventory by collecting short stories and creating an e-book dedicated to girls, their hopes and dreams, the challenges they faced and the victories they have conquered.

By sharing your story you can rise above the stereotype and paint the true colours of a girl’s life, your life: exiting, challenging, unique.

What is the topic of the e-book?

The topic of the e-book is Overcoming Challenges. Every person faces obstacles and hardships in their life. Those challenges are unfortunately sometimes related to gender and equality. Both girls and boys have to fight with prejudice, stereotypes and sometimes discrimination when it comes to their sexuality, job aspirations, freedom of expression or sometimes just feeling comfortable in a relationship. Challenging as they are, they can help you grow stronger, gain confidence and hopefully help you fight injustice and bring about positive change for good. That is why as part of the I ♥ Being a Girl we ask you to share your experience, express thoughts and feelings and talk about what helped you overcome difficulties and reach your goals. We are all equal in our diversity and the more we talk about our differences the more common grounds we find and embrace true freedom and equality.

How should I write the story?

There is no set frame or structure for the short stories as we hope all written pieces to be as genuine and honest as possible. You can choose any tense, narrative, chain of events or view point you like. You can use you real name or an alias. Pictures or graphics accompanying the story are welcome but not compulsory.

First, decide which event in your life was most challenging, memorable, inspiring or just helped you grow most. Make a list of the main events and the most important points you want to make and think about the structure of your story. Do not stress about language or style as no one expects you to be a professional writer. Remember that the true value of your story is in your true and unique self.

The stories should be:
• Written or at least translated in English
• Not more than 2000 words
• Written in doc./ pdf. or any other commonly used format.

Please note, any offencive, discriminatory or inappropriate language will not be tolerated. While writing your story, think how it can affect others and their feelings.

What will happen to my story?

Your story will be included in our e-book and as part of the I ♥ Being a Girl project will be distributed vie our blog, on our main events and via the e-mail. Its distribution will be free for everyone and no profits will be made out of it. Hopefully, it will inspire and give strength to another young girl around the globe.

For assistance or any free advice do not hesitate to contact us at

Best regards,
YSAFE - Youth Sexual Awarness for Europe

28 August 2011

The time of the month

Menstruation, a taboo or blessing? A story told by women, their parners and communities from all over the world

More stories on society, gender, growing up, love, culture, steriotypes and many more on Metropolis website

18 August 2011

Love Your Vagina Song

Love Your Vagina song brought to you by Mooncup. In this case it's not about what you think of the Mooncup, we just find the song inspirational and hilarious!

07 August 2011

Inspirational movies: Evening (2007)

Evening (2007) is a more than your usual chick flick... Set paralelly in 1950s US and nowadays it explores the mother-daughter relationships, female friendship, making important life choices and living with them afterwards, pursuing your dreams and trying to do what you feel like even if the spirit of your time or rational reasoning do not seem to support you.

Perfect for an august evening!

28 July 2011

Aquadettes, my heroines (Luize)

"That's pretty much how I wanna feel in fifty years. And when facing all things harsh that hit you inexpectedly...
Resilient, active... and maybe a little high. And remembering to do things I love to do"

26 July 2011

I ♥ Being a Girl Tea party !!!

Dear friends,

Because we had such a blast at our own I♥BG tea party at the Regional Council, we would like to invite you to organize your own. So here it is, our official invitation:

We, YSAFE, would like to invite you to participate in the “I ♥ being a girl” and to encourage you to organize your own IHBG Tea parties where you could spark positive discussion around a gender transformative approach, girl empowerment, as well as a broad range of SRHR related discussion topics to help lead the discussions, including discussion on sex and pregnancy.

Before the Tea party, please see the „I ♥ Being a Girl movie", our Youtube fanpage, and explore the blog. We are sure it will give you some good ideas or raise a good discussion.

If you want to organise your own event, please contact me, Renata, at this email address renata.daunoraviciute@gmail.com . I will send you everything you need to know about organising your own tea-party and I can answer any questions you may have.

We would be grateful if you could let us know who will be contact person for your I ♥ Being a Girl Tea party, and when are you planning to make it. Special surprises are waiting for those who decides to support the project and get involved.

Hope to hear from you very soon!


25 July 2011

Talking about.. sex (Chloe)

Miranda is a British sitcom co-written and starring comedienne Miranda Hart. Met with much critical acclaim, the show looks at the life of middle class Miranda and her profuse social awkwardness- an example being her propensity to burst into random song mid-interview.

This episode sees Miranda dealing with her inability to talk openly about sex and relationships, taking a stance that is ‘too British’ and conservative. Her behavior is hilarious; she explains how she was given little sex education at school, which has inhibited her ability to talk about it in later life. She satirizes perfectly the feeling that some girls can have when talking about such issues. We, as girls, should feel comfortable in sharing our experiences so as to end any stigma surrounding sex and to give a feeling of empowerment and confidence.

Also of note, is Hart’s success in the comedy world, an otherwise male dominated profession. She shows how women can be hugely successful in any line of work.

20 July 2011

Courtney Martin on reinventing feminism

Courtney Martin on actual, the generation(s) after ways of feministing
+ a lecture on how to succeed in activism in general

...you can get more of her at feministing.com

11 July 2011

Who runs the social media? Girls, really?

Mari-Claire Price, the Executive Coordinator of the European Youth SRHR Network, YouAct, recently has raised a handful of really valid questions at Conversations for a Better World about the presence of girls in social media and the effectiveness of the social media campaigns among girls:
"I recently read an interesting article discussing the demographics of Facebook users across the world. To my surprise (and delight) the article stated that ‘women rule social networks’ with 64% of Twitter users, 58% of facebook users and 57% of Myspace users being female. A women ruled Facebook! DJ please, a request! Beyonce- Girls Run the World!

But looking closer at this study, we can see that the claim that ‘women rule social networks’ is nearly as questionable as the lyrics of that song…. do girls really run the world and do they really run social networks?"

You can read the whole thing here!

09 July 2011

SRHR: activism and Academia (Daryo)

"Oh wow, had one of my courses on gender today and was wearing the I ♥ being a girl t-shirt, of which a student at the end asked me what was written on it, resulting in me explaining what it meant to me... both YSAFE/SRHR-wise as well as, whilst being consiered 'male', wearing a shirt like that, focusing on the whole gender and biological essentialism thing.

Anyway, point I want to make here: learned that the teacher, who was participating in the dialogue as well, turned out not to know anything about SRHR [sexual and reproductive health and rights] at all! Felt pretty strange to discover that this teacher, whilst she knows a lot about many scientific relations to gender from a lot of different angles, had never heard of these concepts, not even when fully pronouncing the names.

In other words: she knows a lot about gender history, epistemology, discourses (!), biological essentialism, social constructivism, different forms of sexualitites and identities, paradigms and you name it, but seems to be stuck in this 'scientific field'. Conclusion for today: there is more need for SRHR in universities, or it should at least be mentioned!

Not that any of you can do anything with this kind of information, but did seem like a thing to share; after all, it started with the I ♥ being a girl t-shirt."

03 July 2011

Inspirational movies: Towelhead (2007)

Towelhead (2007) is a movie on what happens when you, being 13, are forced to deal with multiple discrimination (gender + age + race/etnicity) and puberty at the same time.

And the fact that, if everybody around you seem to be crazy and somehow wrong... it might actually be so, although it may occur to them to blame you for your body, your desires, for who you are.

24 June 2011

If I should have a daughter ... (Smaranda)

"I found this video absolutely inspirational, if for no other reason, than the passionate honesty it portrays. In essence, it's all about having the power and courage of transforming something you are passionate about, into something that can help others, while staying true to yourself."

Sarah Kay has been writing and performing spoken word poetry since she was 14. Now 23, Sarah is a successful spoken word poet and co-directs Project V.O.I.C.E. (Vocal Outreach Into Creative Expression) which encourages people, particularly young people, to use spoken word as a tool for understanding the world and self, and a medium for vital expression. It encourages them to engage and explore the world around them to better understand their culture, their society, and ultimately themselves.

05 June 2011

Inspirational movies: Orlando (1992)

Orlando (1992, Sally Potter) is based on a novel by Virginia Woolf.

A tale about a young nobleman who doesn't grow old and who, after a long sleep, wakes up to find out that he has metamorphosed into a woman...

A tale on how gender might and might not be important... and how it's importance has changed since XVI century.

(Mind that Orlando throughout the movie and despite the sex change is played by Tilda Swinton and Queen Elizabeth I - by Quentin Crisp...)

27 May 2011

Inspirational movies: Juno (2007)

This movie is about Juno who is a funny, confident girl that "beats to her own drummer" and isn't bothered by what others may think of her. She has sex with a boy, becomes pregnant and goes through the process of weighing her options as to whether she should keep or terminate the pregnancy.

25 May 2011

Inspirational movies: Persepolis (2007)

If you haven't seen Persepolis (2007), leave whatever you are doing and run looking for it!

It's an autobiographic story about a girl coming-of-age during the Islamic Revolution in Iran, written and illustrated by Marjane Satrapi.

It's hilarious, funny and Marjane will become your hero, plus you will certainly tell you more about how it is to grow up being a girl in place where women are not that popular, really... and what cultural clashes you can get when getting to know the European ways of life.

As a teaser, here you can find a short fragment of the movie where Marjane tells how did it feel to go through the puberty.

24 May 2011

When Beyoncé says that girls run the world...


Amber expressing her outrage about Beyoncé's song "Run the World" in her Youtube channel Nineteen Percent, a piece that could be perceived as empowering...


...if you manage to ignore all the fair (and well researched) points Amber is making.

If you have no clue what is it all about, here you can see the Beyoncé's video.

20 May 2011

What it feels like for a girl...(Maya)

Girls can wear jeans
And cut their hair short
Wear shirts and boots
'Cause it's OK to be a boy
But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading
'Cause you think that being a girl is degrading
But secretly you'd love to know what it's like
Wouldn't you
What it feels like for a girl
(The Cement Garden)

Waking up in the morning, making a coffee and dressing up is the part of my daily ritual that helps me brighten up, gather my thoughts and think of what the day would bring. Between sleep craving and plans, I rarely think of what everyday life would be without the comfy jeans I am slipping on. Do you?
Women wearing trousers is often considered the greatest fashion revolution in the 20th century. Despite the fact that women had been wearing trousers long before that due to numerous reasons such as work and weather, it wasn’t till the middle of the century that they actually became a fashionable item. After years of struggle, today a woman wearing trousers or any other men’s accessory such as a tie is rarely considered scandalous in most parts of the world. However, I was surprised to discover it was as late as 2010 that the trouser ban for women was considered for de-legislation, after a number of unsuccessful attempts to overthrow it:Article. And this is happening in Paris- one of the major fashion centers???
The controversies of modern society sometimes show us we are not as liberated and free-minded as we consider ourselves. The quoted text from the book by Ian McEwan and the similarly titled movie also featured in the song What it feels like for a girl by Madonna and made me reflect upon equality and style in the 21st century. Though trousers are worn by women due to comfort and ease of movement they have also been viewed as a sign of power and equality, especially in the early days. However, as much as we consider ourselves equal, girls can wear “men’s” clothes but how often do you see a man wearing a skirt? (And I can surely say there is nothing better that a good free skirt in a hot summer day!) While trousers are usually described just as a garment skirts are exclusively clothes for girls. And this prompts the question: who does actually have more freedom of choice and expression?
No matter whether coming from struggle for equality, desire for comport or power, changes in fashion brought up a change in the image of women. Thanks to that, girls can experiment and find their style and identity while having fun. So express you self, be casual, formal, sporty or sexy depending on the day and your mood or why not try and mix them up a bit. Show what if feels like for a girl!

14 May 2011

Inspirational movies: Precious (2009)

Here, in I ♥ Being a Girl, we always try to look on the bright side of being a girl. Nevertheless, Precious, our first movie suggestion in section Inspirational movies, is not rosy at all.

It's harsh and it will take you to experiences you wish nobody would ever live. Imagine being a illiterate, overweight teen in Harlem, phisically and sexually abused who is pregnant with her second child... and, despite all that, she is trying to get out of the misery.

Quoting the tagline of the movie, "Life is hard. Life is short. Life is painful. Life is rich. Life is... Precious".

This is by no means your popcorn-night romantic comedy, it will touch you deeply, it will hurt and that's the way it's supposed to be.

13 May 2011

Girls & Fashion (Luīze)

"I’ve made a decision.

I’m getting rid of my heels*.

Not that I wouldn’t like them or wouldn’t want to wear them anymore.
Actually, I’ve never been wearing them for real. I am just not able to move the way I am used to, move as fast as I’m used to.

Nevertheless, both too long and too short dresses stay, as well as all the pompous headbands, flowers and heavy earrings.

Here’s the trick - think it works the same way for boys and for girls just that girls tend to need reminders on this – if something you add to your body makes you feel better, great; if it restricts you, it has to go!"

* Read: giving them away to a second hand / vintage shop in Riga.

01 April 2011


"On 8th of March I was deeply touched by Equals video featuring Daniel Craig and Dame Judi Dench. And thought about posting it here.
But then again, this video you find above (Brothersport by Animal Collective) is so much more about the direction we wish to go: equality, playfulness about the rest of the drag and sheer enjoyment of life regardless gender"

30 March 2011

Heroines (Ada)

This is an example of how we are capable to do many things at any age no matter how hard it may seem. It also shows the importance of having a mentor.

One day I would like to be a 91 year old just like Olga.

07 March 2011

International Women's Day (live blog has arrived!)

I ♥ Being a Girl (together with our #GirlsDecide family, women's rights family and SRHR family) is proud to be part of the TrustLaw Women, Thomson Reuters and Reuters LIVE BLOG dedicated to the International Women's Day and the centenary since it was celebrated for the first time!

You can do your reading on the subject
here, and...


13 January 2011

I ♥ Being a Girl (summer memories!)

I ♥ Being a Girl being in present in the demonstration during the International AIDS Conference 2010 in Vienna