We are living in a time with unprecedented levels of rapid communication and instantaneous interaction. Therefore, it is not surprising to wake up one day and see a hashtag advocating for a specific issue or exposing a hidden truth flood the global web. Stories are highlighted, experiences are defined, and information is shared amongst people from every walk of life in every corner of the globe. Often times, this interaction is heightened with the rise of controversial social justice resistance movements. #MeToo and #TimesUp have mobilized national conversations about sexual assault protections and accountability. #BlackLivesMatter has stimulated new policies for police accountability and debates over persisting racist policies. Millions of people have allied themselves in solidarity with social justice issues, but despite the unity created through these hashtags, popular movements often find themselves in question over debates of application, concerns over inclusivity, and more. The Resistance is GirlTalk’s 9th issue, exploring the complications behind popular resistance movements. Articles tackle a wide variety of issues, from highlighting dance companies such as “Contratiempo” which utilize dance as a resistance medium against colonization and gender roles to discussing radicalizing the #MeToo movement to become more inclusive of marginalized minorities. The Women’s March is analyzed, with articles about its debate over antisemitism and how the women’s march in America can translate to other movements in countries such as the Netherlands. The Resistance aims to unpack nuances of the motivations and mobilization behind different social justice movements gripping the world today.
In such a technologically advanced and interconnected world, the influence of the media monumentally shapes our everyday lives. The news we receive, the Instagram posts we view, the magazine articles we scroll through, and all the other media we consume and put forward shift our perceptions and enlighten our perspectives.
Media’s growing influence has sprung forward the rise of important movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp, illuminating survivor stories and sparking an international discussion on important gender & sexuality topics such as sexual assault and intersectional feminism. However, with unrealistically photoshopped models populating social media sites and increasingly inappropriate, hurtful comments being directed towards women, it’s clear the quick consumption of media is not so easy, nor so simple.
GirlTalk’s 8th issue is an attempt to unpack these complications. Drawing from a wide variety of experiences and voices, this issue contains important discussions from middle and high schoolers around the world discussing their experiences navigating body image within social media, sensuality in a gendered world, the weight loss fantasy promoted by the media, and more. Interviews include reflections from Bella Glanville: former Miss Universe Great Britain, international model & nonprofit founder, and Melissa Clarke: a businesswoman pushing for the rise of women leaders in the male-dominated industry. This issue also features a powerful testimony of a sexual assault survivor discussing her reaction to Kavanaugh, and her hope for a more politically active, impactful future.
Navigating body image, sexuality, and identity, especially in this digitally scrutinizing age, isn’t easy. But we hope that through reading through this latest issue, you can find pieces of hope and beauty, and gain more clarity or possibly leave with more questions to explore these ever-evolving, important topics. The increasing influence of media is inevitable and undeniable. So the question is, how will you consume it?
May 2018 was the GirlTalk Magazine’s one year anniversary! To celebrate, we wanted to dedicate an issue with the theme of “love and culture”, which we figured summer would be a perfect time for. However, though summer brings excitement and relaxation, the pressures of “summer flings,” bikini bodies, and body image dominate our culture. Last summer’s Body Issue examined the physical expectations of women and its effects on our relationships. This year’s summer issue “Love and Culture” focuses on the different ways emotional elements of romantic and sexual relationships also affects our relationships, both with ourselves and others.
Before we give a preview of this month’s content, we want to say thank you to everyone who reads and supports the GirlTalk Magazine. Whether you’ve read all six issues or this is your first time reading our magazine, it is your support that motivates us to continue empowering middle and high school students to invest themselves in the struggle towards gender equity. We are immensely grateful to our writers for their thoughtful, hard work, and to everyone who’s given us kind feedback which continues to remind us of our goal: giving girls around the world a platform to voice their ideas about gender in a in an ever confusing and contradicting world.
Various ideas of what relationships are supposed to look like are among the messages being thrown at us from all angles, and this issue discusses these messages being thrown at people of all ages, nationalities, religions, and cultures. Through a high school lense, we examine “hookup culture”, relationships, and cultural influences on marriages in different religions and cultures, such as in the Latinx the Asian community. We also discuss feminism within orthodox judaism, the media’s portrayal of love, and virginity.
We hope everyone is having incredible summers. Enjoy this fun, entertaining and thoughtful issue!
-A Multi-Generational Issue-
Young girls often hear the phrase “the future is female”, echoing inspiration for a future that is more gender equitable with an increased number of female leaders. However, throughout this trailblazing quest for the future, it is also important to reflect on and recognize the distinct gender obstacles different generations have experienced. In this issue, we highlight the voices of females from all generations: younger teens, adolescents, adults, and seniors to start a conversation about the different experiences of women across the globe throughout history.
The May Issue of the GirlTalk Magazine, Women throughout the Years: A MultiGenerational Issue, begins with a seventh grade girl’s reactions on the current atmosphere of name calling and objectification in her grade. We also hear the voices of current high school teens around the globe discuss their experiences as an adolescent navigating love, feminism, and politics, as well as an in depth analysis of feminism within Greek life on college campuses. In an interview, Meiko Takayama, CEO of Advancing Women Executives, gives advice to young girls on unlocking their potential as future high powered executives. Our issue concludes with a touching personal interview of grandparents’ opinions of the feminist movement throughout history and the contributions of late female activists.
Watching the rise of advocacy for gender equity has been beyond inspiring for us as feminists, editors, and teen girls in high school. Women at the forefront of these movements have all seen gender roles evolve in different ways, and this issue shines light on the individuality of each generation. As we navigate adolescence, mold our identities, and pursue different goals for future career fields, it’s important to realize that our quest for building a future of female leaders will only be strengthened by the diverse voices of female activists, executives, and seniors present in all generations throughout history.
In 1918, just above 20% of women in the US worked. Today, that number has risen to about 57%, but it has dropped since 2000. While Rosie the Riveter was the only classic symbol for working women under a century ago, today, women work in a vast range of occupations. The 5th issue of GirlTalk magazine examines women’s experiences in several different fields, from those we see on the news everyday and also those that don’t often cross our mind.
The amount of working women and the diversity in job choices for these women have increased significantly. What do these number look like in real life, though? What does an average day look like for a working woman as opposed to a man? How do the obstacles faced by a female doctor differ (and relate) to those faced by women in entertainment? What does the word “compliment” really mean? These are some of the questions that our passionate, talented writers sought to answer. This issue includes interviews with women in the Israeli military, academia, and more, along with articles discussing sexual harassment prevalent in the olympics, entertainment, retail, and more.
But before you enjoy this issue’s thought-provoking articles about women in the workforce, also pay attention to the global questionnaire we decided to re-run from the first issue, Women in Entertainment, where girls from across the globe talked told us what they aspire to be when they grow up. They inspire us to keep pushing for gender parity in the workforce, and remind us that, to quote Oprah, “a new day is on the horizon.”
Especially today, the media devotes a significant amount of time discussing women and their bodies. Advertising promotes the idea that women are expected to adhere to a perfectly crafted body and beauty standard with defined facial features and often unnatural hair color. Imagery that narrowly define womanhood occupy our TV and computer screens.
But despite the media’s shortcomings in restricting women, one of the most powerful conversations that have emerged from the media has been the #MeToo movement as a reaction to Harvey Weinstein’s accusers coming forward with an abundance of allegations reporting sexual harassment and assault. Many of these cases had been kept secret for decades, despite the fact that “everyone knew they were occurring.”
GirlTalk Magazine’s second issue, The Body Issue, addressed body image on a personal level, uncovering its role in our lives, and its effects on the way we perceive ourselves. While Redefining Womanhood still contains personal self reflections, the GIRLTALK Magazine’s 4th issue focuses on the issue of women’s bodies and the role they play in interactions between individuals, communities, and nations with a more global perspective.
Along with pieces about consumerism shaping society, school health classes, reproductive rights, and more, this issue contains special interviews from women who are making marks on the world each day. Our conversations with Emine Bozkurt, advisor for the IDEA organization and former parliamentary member, reproductive justice activist Brittany Brathwaite, and a woman who witnessed the daily wrath of Harvey Weinstein at Miramax, enhances our understanding of the complexity of womanhood in a rapidly changing world
This jam-packed issue begins with girls from all over the world expressing gratitude for women they are grateful for. With the approaching Thanksgiving, season filled with giving, GirlTalk recognizes the countless women who deserve appreciation every day.
For this issue, we decided to do something different. Rather than have articles and artwork revolve around a specific theme, we opened this issue for any submission relating to gender, sexuality, and feminism, whether that be through a political or personal perspective. This open issue presents a diverse range of articles that tackle important issues such as political unity, female monuments, gender fluidity, reproductive justice, and more.
From international voices from the Netherlands, India, and America, this issue is a special compilation of feminist discussions. It reveals deeply personal thoughts and opinions, and comments on gendered conflicts occurring in Palestine and other countries around the world. Welcoming both liberal and conservative opinions from both sides of the aisle, we hear from those who dislike the feminist movement’s agenda and others who feel as if the feminist movement has been unfairly characterized.
The phrase “what a time to be alive” perfectly describes today’s day in age. Inflammatory words are being thrown out from people with all sorts of ideologies, and it’s becoming difficult to keep track of what exactly is going on in our country, and even more so in the world. For such rapidly changing times, the only way for girls to continue to remain an influential part in society is to constantly engage in discussion. Through GirlTalk Magazine, we hope to provide a feminist forum for people to try to piece together the words and events circulated around the world daily.
"The Body Issue” centers around the female body, with articles featuring personal stories about sexual assault and eating disorders, critical discussions about the future of pornography and consent, the glorification of Victoria’s Secret models, critiques of one size fits all policies, and more. Visual interpretations of the female body, ranging from paintings to mosaics, are displayed in this special issue. As a warning, some articles in “The Body Issue” contain sensitive and potentially triggering material, including testimonies of sexual assault depictions and violence against women. As an organization who strives to honestly tackle a wide range of gender topics, our second issue does not shy away from controversial, yet extremely important discussions about female sexuality and gender. Lifting different voices, the GirlTalk Magazine brings forward the diversity of female experiences around the globe. We hope that as readers you will keep an open mind, and invest your time in GirlTalk Magazine as a space to be educated, inspired, and challenged.
“Women in the Media” explores the different portrayals of women in the spotlight. It critically discusses and personally reflects on issues such as colorism, media sexualization, and Hollywood sexism. A special interview features Kim Raver, actress Teddy on Grey’s Anatomy, who speaks about what it means to be a woman in Hollywood and how to create a powerful generation of female leaders. High school girls around the world from Guatemala, China, and the US, voice their perspectives in GirlTalk’s first issue “Women in the Media.”