#ToTheGirls is trending on Twitter today, and I’m in love with it. They’re 140 character letters to young girls, or past selves, telling them things you wish you knew at their age. Some tweets are funny. Some tweets are heart-breaking. Some are just eye-opening.

And being the trend follower that I am, I have a few letters I wish I could send to my past self, and girls like me. Here’s a selection.

Dear readers, this is To The Girls.

To The Girls,

Your voice matters. You are raised to believe that you should be seen and not heard. Girls are not afforded the same rights to indulge in opinions as boys are, but that is a mistake. What you have to say is just as important, and you should never apologise for using your voice.

To The Girls,

Feminist is not a bad word. I know I was in high school when I decided I was not a feminist. A boy had called me it, and said it like he had called me a bitch. I knew my cheeks were red and stained with shame to be tarred with that brush. The media told me it was bad to be a feminist. Now I’m older, I realise I always was. Never be ashamed for believing you are equal.

To The Girls,

Other Girls are not the enemy. Somewhere in my childhood, other girls became this separate species, and one I wanted nothing to do with. Other Girls conformed to gender and therefore were stupid. They brought the entire gender down with their pink and sparkles. Now that I’m older, I realise that they are not at fault for liking those things. Don’t tear Other Girls down for your own means.

To The Girls,

Your body is not Wikipedia. People are not allowed to come up to you and suggest changes. And while we’re at it, no one is allowed to touch you without your permission. If you’re uncomfortable, make someone know. Let everyone know. Tell someone you trust, or shame the creep if you’re in public. Your body is not up for public debate.

To The Girls,

You’re allowed to like comics, and games, and sports, and everything else that you’ve been told girls shouldn’t like. Don’t let people make you feel bad about it. You’re not sacrificing your femininity, and you don’t deserve to be harassed for it.

There are so many lessons young girls aren’t taught. It’s okay to enjoy or not to enjoy sex. It’s okay to have body image issues, and there are ways to deal with them. You are not flawed, and you don’t have to be ashamed to talk about your body.

When I was in middle school, I was given a cursory sex ed lesson. One hour to explain periods and pregnancy. What I took from it was I’d bleed once a month and women can’t have sex with each other. Obviously it’s more in-depth than that, and women very much can.

I don’t know why we don’t talk to young girls. We teach them not to ask questions, and then we’re very confused as to why they’re not talking to us about their worries. I was not a happy young girl.

But I’m happy now. And I think it’s time we start protecting young girls.

A short post tonight. I’m sorry. I was inspired.

And so, dear readers, we reach the end of another post.

Let me ask you this: what would you tell your younger self? Do you think young girls today suffer through a lot? And why do we have a culture that doesn’t protect our young girls?

Let me know your thoughts.


About Stephanie Gallon

I'm an author, a blogger, and a zealot of all things written. I work as an English teacher in England, and have a PGCE PCET, a distinction in MA English studies and first class honours in BA English and Creative Writing. I have more degrees than friends
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