YWCA Hamilton: Voices

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Too much, too soon.

Our sister YWCA in Montreal and the National Film Board of Canada produced an excellent documentary about the hypersexualization of teen and tween girls. At YWCA Hamilton we’ve hosted facilitated screenings of the film for both social service providers and the public. It’s an eye awakening documentary about the extreme pressure on young girls to be “sexy”. The documentary looks at ways in which the media spurs on this idea of sexiness and girlhood and today I stumbled across this article via feministing.com about a “sexy” child spread in French Vogue. This is inappropriate on so many levels. Children have become objects.

The website appears to be down for Vogue Paris but when it’s up and running again I will post the address in case you’re interested in writing a letter expressing your concern. While this issue is happening on the other side of the world the impacts are still felt here at home. The way the media depicts girls is become a global phenomenon. Instead of posing children in “come hither” poses, let’s instead teach them to be confident, to be strong and independent girls, to be generous and adventurous.

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Some Sites for Young Feminists

YWCA Hamilton has an mandate to pour into and empower young women. YWCA Hamilton has a wide array of excellent girls’ programming designed to build confidence, self-esteem and skills in young women. The internet can be a scary place for girls-with media saturation about what it means to be pretty or perhaps more importantly how to be “hot”.

Here’s few links to some excellent resources for teens and young women that focus on creating strong, independent and intelligent young women.

Changing what Beauty means one post-it at at time. PS- Caitlin is writing a new book aimed at teens and tweens!

Love this magazine!

GirlSpace– a safe online community for young women with LOADS of important info!

How cool is this? Helping young girls find their speed while encouraging physical activity and confidence!

Young feminists interested in women’s rights and development? Young Feminist Wire is the place for you!

The young feminists in Hamilton are at YWCA Girl’s Programs!

The RebELLES are having their 2nd pan-feminist gathering in Winnipeg in May!

Beyond Nancy Drew– An annotated list of books written for girls in the last 200 years

Brain Cake- this web site promotes math and science by creating an online community where girls can interact with their peers about current science topics, solve science mysteries, and discuss careers with young women scientists and engineers

This list of INCREDIBLE resources for girls is too huge to link…definitely worth checking out the whole list.

(image source)

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News and Views

Happy thanksgiving!

Here’s a round up of news and tidbits

Need more information about how to vote in the upcoming municipal election? Check out this great resource.

Love this powerful image.

Are you a young woman interested in politics? Your experience counts!

See Denise Doyle’s response to this critical question.

It may get better, but is that enough? This has been a horrific week for LBGTQ youth in the U.S. with at least 5 reported suicides after bullying.

LBGTQ in Hamilton? Check out the Well.

At the YWCA we believe that teen girls can change the world too. Our girls programs teach girls healthy relationships, self-esteem and lots of leadership building~

On hope and raisins.

Some love for your spine.


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Operation Beautiful


Three small words, written on a Post-It note by Caitlin, a woman from Orlando, Florida, started a huge phenomenon called Operation Beautiful. The purpose of this movement is to get women to accept themselves and to end, as Caitlin calls it, fat talk.

Since we already wrote about Operation Beautiful a month ago on our blog, I’ll just skip to the newest update from the Operation Beautiful blog and announce the release of their own, new book; Operation Beautiful: Transforming the Way You See Yourself One Post-It Note at a Time.

Just because the movement is THAT awesome and THAT inspirational, they’ve brought their idea into print.

You can order your copy of the book, here, today.

(photo of book cover via)

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Women Who Make a Difference

On March 11th at the Hamilton Club, YWCA Hamilton proudly announced the nominees for the 2010 Women of Distinction Gala. These 48 women have truly made a difference in our community. Whether it’s in business, through volunteerism or social action, each of the nominees has an inspiring story.

Check out the Spectator coverage here!

The Women of Distinction Gala is on May 4th, 2010 at the Hamilton Convention Centre.

For more information visit our website or call 905 522-9922 x111

[photo credit: Jan Lukas]