G is for Girls

| April 12, 2014

I found the discussion contrasting the private and public natures of females in Driscoll’s chapter, “In Visible Bodies” to be relevant and true to my own feelings of being a woman. Driscoll includes a passage from Gaines, who describes girls as “insular; they mostly hang out in pairs, rarely more than trios… You have to be a best friend to get really close. Their conversations tend to be more local, personal, private” (258). This description made me think of my childhood, and the first word that comes to mind when I think of my youth is “private”. Why is that? Why is the female sex typically confined, told to be quiet, while the opposite gender is allowed to be public? And, more importantly, why does this conditioning begin when we are young? Driscoll also includes a look into the lesser known public nature of a female, in which public spaces are not really “public” at all. Females are simply less likely than males to occupy public space. Driscoll continues, “Private spaces and domestic cultures, rather than public space and subcultural styles understood as self-expression, seem to structure girls’ lives” (260). Girls utilize private spaces differently than boys do, the author states. The private space of girls may not be something negative, as I have always seen. Rather, the private can be viewed as a positive in which friendship and solidarity among females can cultivate and grow. This is a necessity in a world in which females are often pitted against one another.