The “Sad Girl Theory”: Has feminism gone too far?

I am dedicated to the empowerment of girls and equality to men in all aspects of life, politically, socially, and emotionally. I consider myself a feminist in the respect that I believe in a flat line on which men and women both stand. It is for these reasons that I find the “Sad Girl Theory”, proposed by Audrey Wollen, extremely hard to digest. Audrey proposes that girls are being ‘set up’, if we are not overjoyed with being a girl, we are failing our empowerment. I agree when Ms. Wollen states the sadness of girls should be recognized as an act of political resistance, and that we should not be required to hide our true feelings because we fear being declassified as a “feminist”. Wollen states being a girl is one of the hardest things there is in the world right now, and our pain should not be hidden behind empowerment. But I do not feel as if I am being set up in any way. I am empowered, confident, free to make decisions on my own, and am capable of dealing with the consequences of those decisions if need be. I am allowed to feel angry, upset, or frustrated, none of which undermine my empowerment, and I recognize that others have the right to feel the same way, whatever pronoun you subscribe to. Yes, being a girl has its challenges, yet so does being a boy, or being bi- or trans-sexual, or living in an oppressed society, or growing up in a war torn country. Regardless of gender, race, or class, every human – being faces their own challenges.

The Sad Girl Theory may benefit women in areas where they are still deprived of their basic human rights, where feminism is in its early stages, and its effects are yet to influence society. I believe that we are fortunate in North America, as this level of feminism is no longer required. Of course, there are instances where women are subject to discrimination and abuse, yet the extent to which these acts occur in North America, do not compare to the extent that they occur in other countries around the world. Improving the lives of women living in such countries is what I believe we should be focusing on. We have the power to empower them, instead of wallowing in our own feelings of disenchantment, our time and energy could be spent empowering those who are yet to reach basic rights.


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