“I Volunteer as Tribute”

Out of the many Keywords essays, the one on “Girlhood” by Jacqueline Reid-Walsh stuck out the most. The word “girlhood” carries a lot of weight and has many different definitions. In the past, there was a single idea of what girlhood meant; a love for dolls and fashion and learning early on how to be a woman of the home. Today, however, there is a much different way of looking at the idea of girlhood. Our society has shifted to having a more open and diverse outlook on who a girl is and how she grows up. As we think about the old notion of girlhood, the book Kirsten Learns a Lesson portrays a perfect description of what growing up as a girl was like. With the story taking place in the mid 1800s, life for young girls was simple and straightforward. Kirsten and her cousins loved to play with dolls and were obsessed with using them in role play. They modeled their made-up stories after seeing how their mothers and other surrounding females acted. While young girls still play with dolls today, there is a much broader range of people and experiences to base the role play off of. In this day and age, there are hundreds of movies, tv shows, musicals, and songs that portray a different type of girl. One of the most empowering movies with a strong female character is The Hunger Games. Katniss Everdeen is known to be a huge role model for young girls because of her strength in survival skills and how she is determined to support and protect herself and her family. Traditionally, men are seen playing these roles both in real life and on screen. Movies like The Hunger Games show young girls that they really can be anything and there is no one stopping them from being who they want to be. Now, girls (and boys) play with dolls and create their own stories based on who they may aspire to be, who they look up to, or just make up crazy creative ideas. Our society today allows for this type of creativity and helps young girls know that there is so much out there to explore. There is more to girlhood than learning to be a house wife. Humankind has been pushing more and more towards breaking down those barriers and helping young girls understand that the world has so much to offer them.

6 thoughts on ““I Volunteer as Tribute””

  1. I love this reference to Katniss from The Hunger Games because I feel that it has a strong connection with the term girlhood. Katniss is a strong woman and I think that it is some version of displaying girlhood. I agree with the statement “There is more to girlhood than learning to be a house wife” because it it so important to empower young girls.

  2. I think you chose a very good example of the differences in girlhood! From what we’ve talked about in lecture to what we’ve read in class I think it is very important that it is clear the differences are noted. The example of Katniss in The Hunger Games solidifies the differences in girlhood overtime. In The Hunger Games, Katniss and other girls selected as tributes are forced to (in a way) grow up faster than Kirsten in her book. Great post!

  3. The Hunger Games is a great example of a girl, Katniss Everdeen, who has a very different experience of girlhood than the typical girl. Kirsten is the polar opposite of Katniss when it comes to following the path of a typical girl. Kirsten plays with dolls and acts out scenes with her dolls, unlike Katniss. Your comparisons between the two are excellent and show two very different girls as they go through girlhood.

  4. Katniss was such a strong impact on young girls throughout the country who watched this movie. I think her empowering impact can even be seen through her little sister Rue who looked up to Katniss. Rue was just a little girl while it was happening so her girlhood wasn’t necessarily playing with dolls but instead learning to survive and I think this also shows how the meaning and actual act of growing up through girlhood differs through society greatly making one who they are today.

  5. I really like the connection you made to Katniss and the Hunger Games. It is a very unique idea that you presented and I completely agree with your analysis that she is an empowering role model to young females. My friends and I always looked up to Katniss while we were growing up, and I’m sure most of the nation did as well.

  6. just the line “there is more to girlhood than learning to be a house wife” sums it up! I think without the breakdown of those gendered barriers, the world would never have become so accomplished. Katniss is a PERFECT example of manifesting the power to push past those prejudices! I agree with you about every point, we should be creating better opportunities for young women, and continue breaking down walls.

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