Girls on the Run (GOTR) is a nationwide program that is for girls and led by women. It matches up third to fifth grade age girls with an adult female mentor. At the end of the 10-week program, the girls run a 5k (3.1 miles) with their mentor by their side the whole way. While the end goal is to cross the finish line of the 5K, that is not the whole purpose behind GOTR. GOTR is a way to help build girls confidence and empower them. “Our mission is to inspire girls to be happy, joyful and confident using running, using running for a 5K to teach them life skills,” said Moore (from the video). In this video about GOTR and Josefina Sunlight and Shadows, the keyword Gender plays a large role in the activities done and the purpose of those activities.
The keywords essay talks about how gender is performative, meaning it is what we do and how we act (Hateley 86-92). The whole purpose of GOTR is to teach girls how to overcome some of the barriers that come with having the gender of a girl. In this video, Moore talks about how confidence is often thought of as external which gives other people the power to take away confidence. Moore wants to teach these girls to have internal confidence so they can always act confident and never have it taken away from them. Furthermore, in the discussion of the gender keywords essay, stereotypical gender roles came up. GOTR is an interesting way to look at stereotypical gender roles. There aren’t any large and well known programs for boys like GOTR. This raises the question, why do girls have a need for a program like this, but not boys? Is it because gender norms are changing, but society doesn’t see them as changing? Do boys actually have a need for a program like this but no one is stepping up and saying that?
Gender also plays a large role in the Josefina story. Once her mom dies, Josefina and her sisters are expected to take on the chores and role of her mom. When her Tia Dolores came, they were taught more proper ways to be women and what their jobs were as a female in 1824. While GOTR isn’t teaching these girls how to be stereotypical women, it is teaching these girls traits they see necessary to be a successful and healthy girl. Would Josefina and her sisters would have benefited from a program like GOTR or if Tia Dolores was teaching them what they would have gotten from a GOTR program back in the 1820s? If there was a GOTR program in the 1820s, what types of things would the girls be learning through running? Would they even be working out or learning through other activities?