A Smart Girl's Manifesto – Let's Get Thinking

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Perhaps they don’t realize what a Nobel Peace Prize means (essentially that you have made a contribution to society which has impacted the whole of humanity). Also did you know there is a monetary prize of upwards of one-million dollars attached to becoming a Nobel laureate? But alas, this is what our society has become: one which teaches young girls that beauty, above all else, is to be acquired, slaved over and never let go. Pardon my Français, but that is bulls**t. You, young lady, are a sea of knowledge waiting to be explored, your potential is truly unlimited and the second you believe your beauty is more valuable than your mind, they’ve won.

So what can we do? How can we combat the disease that is preying upon our young girls? How do we change the status quo of millennia of male rule? Do we overthrow the “kings”, burning our bras and our mascara on our way up the ladder of success? Must we give up our desire to be pretty and cute in order to be game changers of a modern era? No. You make the rules of your own success. There is nothing inherently wrong with wearing nice clothes, loving nail art or a little celebrity gossip every now and then. However, when these things comprise 99% of who you are, well then, “Houston, we have a problem”. In order to make our way to the top and shed society of its constant surprise at our being able to accomplish anything, we must first ensure we are women of great substance.

Do you know what’s going on in the world? Could you participate in a discussion about Syria, Mali, climate change, nuclear warfare, global poverty, sex trafficking or even what is going on in your local neighborhood? I bet you could have an entire conversation about Lindsay Lohan’s future or Ryan Gosling’s latest meme, I know I could, and again I’m not saying these things are inherently evil. But if you can’t speak on the former, than you certainly shouldn’t know anything about the latter. So get going girl, there is a world out there to conquer, waiting for someone like you to be the catalyst of change. I believe in you, I know you can do it! So in the name of womankind, and for the sake of all mankind, get smart and get going!

Below are some resources you can use to start the smart. Good luck!

  • Coursera– free online classes from the best universities around the world
  • TED– talks from the world’s brightest on every issue under the sun
  • BBC– a leading news source in world news which provides a basic background and answer to FAQs on virtually any major world issue
  • The New York Times– do you need an explanation? Start reading.
  • Smart Girls At The Party– Amy Poehler’s new YouTube channel helping young girls to change the world
  • Flipboard– a handy app that congregates your news sources from around the web, easily allowing you to read through the day’s headlines in just a few minutes

Featured image via Saturday Night Live

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=76200829 Jessica Jeffers

    I love this. Love, love, love.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1262241421 Eugenia Sendzuk

    such a wonderful article!
    how nice of you it is to point out in such an elegant way that we, women, can do almost everything yet sometimes knowledge is what we need. as well as the ability to use it right for our own good.
    i truly believe that women are smarter than they are as i’m sure that a woman stands behind every distinguished project!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=581703234 Jillian Wilson

    Really fantastic article! I’m in the computer art and animation field, and have very big dreams of working for Dreamworks or Pixar someday. This is a field dominated by men, if I get to break into it, I don’t plan on them pointing fingers because I’m a woman!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004183688884 Krystal Moore

    So true!!! I love the bit about half of us throwing her a parade and the other half of us criticizing the shit out of her. That is our nature isn’t it? As women, we all have differing points of view on the role of a woman, the nature of a woman and what is best for women everywhere. That makes it rather complicated to come together. The thing I think we need to realize as women, is that there are no boxes made for us to fit in, only the boxes we make for ourselves, outside of these boxes we are all (men and women) just people, and that is just as it should be. The first step is accepting ourselves the next others, as is! With that in our arsenal there are no limits to what we as people, and more specifically we as women can do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=510443063 Jaime Hammer

    This is great! And so true. I can’t count the number of times I’ve read or seen something about the first woman to do this or the first African-American woman to do that (the separation of ethnicity/skin color bothers me almost as much as does gender). Physical appearance or ancient ideas of how certain groups of people should behave or what they can accomplish should not dictate what members of said groups feel they can accomplish. And no one should be as shocked as they usually are when a woman or person of color does accomplish something. I learned in my Human Growth and Development class recently that women actually tend to perform better than men in school, and women are more likely to complete their undergrad degree and continue on to get their graduate degree. I’m not saying that that makes us better in some way, but maybe that helps to show that women actually aren’t less smart than men like people still think.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000696827285 Jade Tayla Bate

    Thank-you so much. I loved this article. You have expressed how I have always felt about how society treats and depicts women. Its okay to call yourself a feminist and still love men and things that are deemed “girly”, but kindness and intelligence are the most empowering traits a woman can have. ♥♥♥♥

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=513791729 Christina Konze

    I love this article. I go to a women’s college, and while our accomplishments as women are lauded, it is also just a place where we can all be great and what we do, because no one distinguishes gender in every accomplishment when 90% of the student population is female. I enjoy that dynamic very much.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=686662920 Hannah Corcoran

    This article is just so freaking good. Catches the “go women” without turning into some icky ‘feminism is good but feminists are weirdos’ type thing. Kudos. I will hold onto these thoughts for a long time to come.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=551645856 Sascha Alexandra

    This is beyond awesome. I adored this article – and was shocked to learn about the 25% of women! THIS is what feminism should be about, not whether to shave your armpits or not. Great work, Ashley, I’m sharing this everywhere!

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