Arol Gilligan In Another Voice Analysis

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arol Gilligan—influential feminist psychologist and author—is worried. Gilligan's 1982 book In Another Voice (called "the little book that started a revolution" by Harvard University Press) electrified the pundit class with its premise that girls were fundamentally misread and oppressed by American society. The advocacy programs promoting equality for girls that resulted from Gilligan's call-to-arms have had an impact few would deny. In fact, they may have worked too well, as schools generally acknowledge that girls now outshine boys in grades and high level-course enrollment (even in math and science, says the National Center for Education Statistics) and outnumber them in formerly male bastions such as honor societies, debating clubs and…show more content…
In her view, a backlash against girls is taking place, led by scholars and authors who are sometimes critical of Gilligan's research methods and conclusions. "At a point when people have started to look at girls and see their strength, suddenly this comes up," she has said. By "this," Gilligan means the explosion of "mean girl" books and movies, portraying girls as equally as—if not more—aggressive than boys, in their own conniving and manipulative way. "I don't know if I'd call it a backlash," says Marnina Gonick, Penn State education and women's studies professor, "but I would agree that the mean girl idea is troubling. I'm especially critical of the way these problematic relationships between girls are represented in the media." But what is it about the concept that has galvanized people's interest right now? "I think, in part, it's a reflection of social anxiety about girls' success," Gonick tells me. "Girls and boys both endure a lot of pressure in the times we're living in. There are fewer social programs to support kids and the cost of failing is so high. Young people are expected to maintain the same class status as their parents, and that's getting harder to
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