About

This 2015 video created by American online news source Huffington Post’s Jessica Samakow and Oliver Noble features a diverse range of girls, teens, young adults, and women delivering the kinds of subtle, often-conflicting, everyday messages women and girls hear about their bodies, emotions, minds, families, careers, and decisions throughout their lifetime. For example, some of the messages start with young girls saying, “don’t be so bossy!” and “your dad will have the chase the boys away when you’re older.” These messages are followed by the teens, young adults, and older adults saying comments such as, “you need to wax your eyebrows,” “don’t wear that to school, you’re gonna distract the boys,” “don’t be a slut,” “no guy wants to have sex with a virgin,” “how much did you have to drink that night?” “what were you wearing that night?” “why are you getting so emotional?,” “don’t be so dramatic,” “it must be that time of the month,” “stop being such an attention whore!,” “you’d be really pretty if you just made an effort,” “you’d be much prettier if you smiled,” “your biological clock is ticking,” “you’re not taking your husband’s last name?,” “you’re going to let someone else raise your kids when you go back to work?,” “your husband cooks dinner? You really have him well trained,” and ends with an older woman saying, “you must have been beautiful when you were younger.”

Discussion

What themes and common messages about gender norms and expectations do the girls, teens, young adults, and older women in the video state? How do the themes change or stay the same across the ages?

How does this video show the cumulative impact of these kinds of everyday comments and interactions on girls and women?

Do you think people who make these kinds of everyday comments are aware of their potential impact? Does intentionality matter? Why or why not?

The title of this video is “48 Things Women Hear In A Lifetime (That Men Just Don’t).” Do you agree that boys and men do not hear these kinds of messages? Why or why not? What kinds of messages do boys and men hear about being male?