Sunday, February 10, 2008

Girls Just Want To Have Fun

I was looking around the New York Time's website and it had an article entitled "Girls will be girls." The article was about the double standards presented to women in society and focused in on Hilary Clinton. I am less interested in talking about Hilary (it is a pretty covered topic) but my curiosity was drawn to the title of the article. When a journalist chooses a title for their piece, it holds a great amount of symbolism mixed with a certain edge so as to entice people to click on in. It is interesting that this journalist chose something like girls will be girls, which is an obvious transformation from boys will be boys.

The phrase "Boys will be boys" connotes not only that boys are curious beings, but that it is not their fault- it is written in their DNA that they will get up to some mischief, so they are not to be blamed. On the other hand, "Girls just want to have fun." That connotes a certain negativity to it- it seems as if girls will do anything to have a good time, and whatever it may be is the wrong thing to do. It also says that the girls may not be having the fun, but they yearn for it, which is also the wrong thing to think. The phrase relates to the Lowell factory girls in the sense that they are "locked up", away from their families, and under harsh conditions, and all they want to do is have a little fun, which would be wrong by the standards of the factory supervisors.

1 comment:

Doc OC said...


Great post here! I like the way you play with the phrase(s) in question. The "boys" quote further suggests boys are rugged and adventurous and the word "girls" connotes (at least in the popular imagination) something like fragility and triviality -- you know: silly little things. Both are dangerous.

I really like the way you link the discussion to the Lowell girls, too.