Experiences from #IGSA2016

If you follow our Twitter feed at all, you might have noticed a lot of live blogging last week with the hashtag #IGSA2016. That’s because Sarah Jackson, Girl Museum’s Communications Officer, was my co-presenter at the International Girls Studies Association‘s inaugural conference, and we both really wanted to share all the amazing panels and women at the conference (there were also a handful of amazing men). It was so incredible to spend three days surrounded by over 100 amazing women, all working or interested in the field of girls studies. The conference had 33 panels, a...

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Girl Museum at the first International Girl Studies Association conference!

We’re so excited that Girl Museum’s own Sarah Jackson (Communications Officer) and Katie Weidmann (Social Media Manager) will be presenting at the inaugural International Girl Studies Association conference! Held at the University of East Anglia, in Norwich, England from 7-9 April, we’ll be presenting on the final day. We’re thrilled to be a part, and looking forward to meeting all the amazing people working in the field of girl studies. We’re particularly excited to meet so many members of our advisory board, including keynote speakers Catherine Driscoll and...

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Mythological Girls: Medusa

Medusa is one of the most famous monsters in Greek mythology, with snakes for hair and eyes that can turn onlookers to stone. But there’s more to her story than being a mere monster for the hero to defeat. Medusa was one of three Gorgons, three sisters born from the union of two ancient marine gods: Phorcys and his sister Ceto. All three had hair made of venomous snakes and terrifying visages that turned all who met their gaze to stone. Stheno and Euryale were immortal; their sister, Medusa was not. It’s not surprising then that Medusa is most famous for her death–she was beheaded by the...

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Literary Girls: Matilda Wormwood (Matilda)

If you were a kid growing up in Britain in the late 80s/early 90s, you almost certainly read a lot of Roald Dahl’s children’s stories. I can’t think of anyone who didn’t like at least one of his stories, let alone never read them. His stories and characters were imaginative, completely bonkers and show that he had an innate understanding of children, both their joys and their dark sides. Dahl’s stories never shied away from bad things – children were mistreated, sometimes appallingly, by the adults in their lives, but they always found a way to strike back. Many of us probably forget...

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A Girl in the Industrial Revolution

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Great Britain underwent a major social chance as new manufacturing processes (such as steam and water power and the development of machine tools) began to replace hand production methods. Almost every aspect of daily life was influenced in some way. The country’s economy grew at an unprecedented rate but this did not improve the quality of life for everyone – especially the working classes. At the start of the Industrial Revolution, there was no legislation about the working conditions in factories and mills – there had been no need before. As...

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Memories of Girlhood: The Toy Library

Like most kids, I had an almost insatiable appetite for toys as a little girl. I have clear memories of our spare room, which doubled as a playroom for me and my sister – completely carpeted with scattered toys. We weren’t hung up on having the newest and shiniest toys, but there was definitely no such thing as too many. My favourite, however, was an action figure of my childhood heroine: She-Ra, Princess of Power. Both my sister and I had a figure – mine had a broken hand so she couldn’t hold her sword properly, had lost her skirt and cloak, and rather than the sleek blonde hair...

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A Girl in Viking Society

As with many ancient cultures, little remains to tell us about what it was really like to be a Viking girl. We do however know that they were married between the ages of 12 and 15. Once married, they were expected to run the household, so it’s likely that their childhood would have been spent helping their own mothers run the home, and learning how to do so themselves. Girls had little to say about their marriage, which was agreed between families as an alliance and not a love match. Girls and women were vital to Viking life. They were responsible for looking after farm animals and cooking...

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Paper and ink big sisters: teen mags

Last month, like Sugar and More before it, Bliss magazine published its last issue. I remember reading all three as a teen girl growing up in 1990s Britain. Girl’s magazines were one of those things that were incredibly important when I was growing up; I just didn’t realise it at the time. As Daisy Buchanon, a former writer for Bliss explains, magazines like Bliss were places “readers could go when they felt they couldn’t talk to their parents, and their friends might not necessarily have the right answers”. But did teen girl magazines really have the right answer? I was in equal measure...

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Memories of Girlhood: Flute Lessons

#200213917-001 / gettyimages.com It’s a rite of passage that many of us go through as children: learning to play a musical instrument. Many parents love the idea of music lessons because they teach children the importance of discipline, of practicing and working towards something out of school–even, I suppose, of interacting with another adult who isn’t family or a teacher from school. My mother is herself a musician and teacher, mostly playing the piano. Neither me nor my sister learned to play the piano, though–my sister took up the oboe and I the flute, although I can’t remember the...

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A Girl in the English Civil War

The English Civil War (1642-1651) was one of the most important conflicts in English history. Although it devastated the country, it also established the precedent that an English monarch cannot govern without Parliament’s consent. It was the first step in a long road to democracy, a process that was not completed until the end of World War One with the introduction of universal suffrage. The role of women in World War One is often credited as being a reason why suffrage was finally granted to women. By taking over the roles that men had left behind to go to war, women had proven that they...

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