Girls Resist!: A Guide to Activism, Leadership, and Starting a Revolution

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9781683690597: Girls Resist!: A Guide to Activism, Leadership, and Starting a Revolution
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An activism handbook for teen girls ready to fight for change, social justice, and equality.

Take on the world and make some serious change with this handbook to everything activism, social justice, and resistance. With in-depth guides to everything from picking a cause, planning a protest, and raising money to running dispute-free meetings, promoting awareness on social media, and being an effective ally, Girls Resist! will show you how to go from “mad as heck about the way the world is going” to “effective leader who gets stuff done.” Veteran feminist organizer KaeLyn Rich shares tons of expertise that’ll inspire you as much as it teaches you the ropes. Plus, quotes and tips from fellow teen girl activists show how they stood up for change in their communities. Grab this handbook to crush inequality, start a revolution, and resist!

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About the Author:

KaeLyn Rich is a staff writer for the popular queer women's website Autostraddle.com. A queer feminist, direct action organizer, nonprofit leader, and sexuality educator, she is the Assistant Advocacy Director of the ACLU of New York, the former community affairs coordinator for Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York. She lives with her spouse, their new baby, and a house full of furkids.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

This book is for girls.

This book is for girls who have something to say, for girls who have something to get off their chests, for girls who are ready to use their voices to slash through injustice.

This book is for girls who want to live boldly, who have a red-hot fire deep down in their gut, who are smart enough to be mad and bold enough to demand change.

This book is for girls who have had enough of inequity, who believe in a world where all people are treated fairly, who care deeply about their own rights and the rights of others.

This book is for girls who are loud, who are quiet, who are shy, who are outgoing, who are book-smart, who are street-smart, who are funny, who are serious, and who are a little bit of all of the above.

I wrote this book for girls—for you—because I was once a girl, because I’m the parent of a girl, because I truly believe girls can change the world, and because girl activists have changed the world. The girl revolution began long ago and continues today.
     Girls Resist! is a guidebook, a launching pad, if you’re ready to start taking action right now. You’ll find everything from starting a campaign and organizing an online petition to fundraising for a cause and talking to the press. You’ll find stories of real girl activists who have altered the course of history or are doing so today. You’ll find a roadmap to making change happen, whether you choose to start with your hometown, your school, your country, or the whole world.
     Girls’ activism matters because girls are often told they don’t matter. But this harmful judgment is not always so visible as someone saying: You don’t matter. It can be much more subtle and hidden. 
     Yes, girls are doing a lot better now compared to decades past. More than ever, girls are participating in every sport and excelling in STEAM fields (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics), though girls are still way underrepresented compared to boys. More young women than men are enrolling in medical and law schools and graduating from college. So why do I think that girls are told they don’t matter?
     Because I remember feeling like I had to look pretty, thin, and white. I remember thinking that being attractive (to boys) was the most important thing. I remember being in the closet about my bisexuality, being a Korean girl in a mostly white school, being fat, and being afraid to be myself. I remember feeling powerless to stand up to the things that made me feel small and all the things that
seemed unfair about my world.
     I also remember when I realized that I had a voice I could use to speak up for others and for myself. I remember when I came to understand that I could be beautiful without changing a thing about myself. I remember knowing in my gut when something was wrong and wanting to change it for the better. I remember turning my early passions for volunteering and helping people into a crusade for social justice. I am still that girl. I am that woman today.
    There have been a lot of changes, but girls today are still up against a lot of biases and misperceptions. From a young age, girls are taught through popular media and toys that their worth is linked to their appearance and what others think of them. By contrast, boys are taught that their worth is based on their accomplishments and abilities. Society makes girls feel like they have to change themselves to be accepted, that the surface is more important than the depth.
     These messed-up notions are part of a chain reaction of inequity that results in girls and women being more likely to experience depression and loss of confidence. Girls and women also more likely to earn less money and live in poverty. We have fewer powerful female role models to look up to, less access to resources, and reduced rights under the law. That’s just wrong.
     When girls choose to speak out, we’re demanding to be taken seriously. When girls care about issues, we show that we are vital members of society. When girls fight back against discrimination and harassment, we send the message that we’ll stand up for ourselves no matter the consequences. When girls fight on behalf of others, we make it clear that we won’t stand for injustice anywhere. The world needs girls’ voices rising in protest. It needs girls organizing the girl resistance.

The world needs you!

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