Some people like to look the other way - when it comes to politics, women's issues, kids and the Internet, dog fighting, poverty, body image, and hundreds of other topics. It's just easier to pretend none of that counts for anything. It's just easier to ignore the elephant in the room.
And then, there are people who insist on being noticed. Not only do they insist on being noticed, some people go out of their way to GET noticed. Case in point...
Writers of Red the Book. I'm blown away by this group of young women. As I mentioned in a previous post, teens dominate the net...and female teens dominate that. I think too many adults ignore the obvious when it comes to teenage girls: that they have something to say, and that they aren't afraid to say it. And that they deserve to say it - it MEANS something, not just to them, but to us. At least, it should.
Enter this site and book: Red the Book. Blatantly obvious in its attempt at grabbing your attention, and rightly so. Overwhelming in its content - written by a group of teenage girls who want the world to know... they think about a lot more than make-up, American Idol winners, and boys. They think about life. About politics. About race relations and parenting and where the world is going and how it's going to look when they can actually take charge. (one can surmise that they are in charge, now... in charge via their ability to command technology and raise their voices, collectively or singly... to stir a hornet's nest - with purpose and verve.
I recommend this Salon article by Amy Goldwasser, (editor of the book) which takes Doris Lessing to task, although Lessing was not as critical of what these young girls are doing, as she was critical of the sometimes blind way we Americans live. In the article by Lessing, she says, "where our certainties of even a few decades ago are questioned and where it is common for young men and women, who have had years of education, to know nothing of the world, to have read nothing, knowing only some speciality or other, for instance, computer." Lessing, it can be expected, does not Twitter. Else, she would not be able to say our children know nothing of the world. Specifically, via social networking, they know more of the world than I ever will.
One is, perhaps, left to wonder why today's youth should NOT "question our certainties of even a few decades ago..." One supposes that they should question even the certainties of ... yesterday. I shudder to think where the woman's vote would be had Susan B. Anthony not done so... Note this required citation to use any of Lessing's article: (© THE NOBEL FOUNDATION 2007)
Let us return to Red the Book and this post at the Huffington Post which describes the book, and the origin of the idea. Let us look at the red blogs, written by these girls on subjects that exist within and beyond the keyboard: race, politics, parenting, books, and more. Let us applaud a world society that encourages and embraces the voices of our youth... with content like this...
"Here I can remember that I'm alive, make sense of my mental and physcial circumstance and offer myself to something or someone else out there: All without having to decorate my tone or phrasing to coax some defensive, condescending, skeptic into listening..." by sami.
Or, "Something happened to me between the time I started school, way back in 1995, and now. And I think it was more than getting taller or learning math. Someone must have stole the time because some days I would swear it was just yesterday that I was sitting next to Kelsey in Mrs. Reinhold's classroom, envying the neat and perfect way her art projects tuirned out - nothing like mine, my sloppy messes." by jordynt
As Goldwasser says in her Salon article, "We're talking about 33 million Americans who are fluent in texting, e-mailing, blogging, IM'ing and constantly amending their profiles on social networking sites..."
That alone is reason to listen to them. To whit, let me leave with this quote from Elizabeth Blackwell, "If society will not admit of woman's free development, then society must be remodeled."