Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes is a truly potent and powerful book, and one of our time, that continually inspires us here at Four Girls. Estes' voice and message is fresh and crisp.
"Within every woman there lives a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing. She is the Wild Woman, who represents the instinctual nature of women. But she is an endangered species. For though the gifts of wildish nature belong to us at birth, society’s attempt to “civilize” us into rigid roles has muffled the deep, life-giving messages of our own souls."
If you are looking for encouragement, for a mantra, for hope in the sometimes overwhelming endeavor of understanding and relating the innate female experience, this book stands out and was the catalyst for our Wild Woman, Hear Me Roar tee. It is available on Amazon and has been so well received and reviewed by some real "knowers" of our time:
To introduce myself, I’m Julie Griswold, a freshman at Unionville High School. I am honored to be the winner of the 2017 GETT T-shirt Design Contest. In my free time, I enjoy reading, writing, singing, acting, and creating artwork. If you would like to check it out, I also write a poetry blog "A Jade Teardrop".
What does it mean to have a mind of my own? In this day and age, social pressures strongly influence how we should feel, dress, act, and think. Trends are born one day, and die the next. In this busy digital world, when is there time to sit back and think about what it means to have a mind of one’s own?
When I was in seventh grade, my Nonfiction Writing teacher gave our class an assignment to end the year: a six-word memoir. She told us to describe who we were and wanted it to be in only six words. I spent a long time wondering about how to describe myself in so few words, and eventually I settled on a statement: A mind of my own. I wanted people to know that I could think for myself, and that everyone’s opinions matter.
Since I have an interest in science, I attended the 2017 GETT Expo (Girls Exploring Tomorrow’s Technology). While there, I entered the Four Girls on a Mission t-shirt design contest and felt that “A Mind of My Own” fit the theme of empowering girls in STEM. I created my t-shirt design to inspire girls to think for themselves and follow their dreams. When people buy one of my t-shirts, Four Girls on a Mission will make a donation to The Malala Fund. The Malala Fund aims for every girl in the world to be able to complete a free, safe, and quality education.
We can be anything we want to be, do anything we want to do, and go anywhere we want to go-- if we learn to think for ourselves. The people who think are the ones who make a difference, stand out, and risk being heard by the world. I hope to make a difference in the world with Four Girls on a Mission, one t-shirt at a time. I would like to think that I can do anything because I have a mind of my own.
Join Julie on her "A Mind Of My Own" mission and get your new favorite t-shirt today. SHOP NOW.
At Four Girls, we are relentlessly on a mission to go high. We seek to face adversity and injustice with positive messaging, and always with grace and grit. We do not put anyone down in order to communicate our ideas and promote girl power and feminine equality. However, there is much work to be done in continuing to change the narrative in our culture when it comes to these issues. Our positivity does not equal passivity. We stand up, loud and proud, to promote equality because it is one of the most crucial issues of our time.
One of the most dangerous ways that gender inequality affects girls and women in our culture is the vile practice of victim blaming after violent crime is perpetrated against them. Too often, in instances of domestic abuse and sexual violence, the women who are victimized are then wrongfully held culpable for her attacker's actions. We all know this narrative: "she mouthed off", "she was being aggressive", "she was dressed provocatively". Four Girls rejects this narrative. It is a sad example of how the female gender is not yet fully valued, protected, and provided for equally in our society. We are thrilled that progress has been made- thrilled that change has begun. That said, it is crucial that we acknowledge that we are not there yet.
There is so much work to be done when little girls still hear "you shouldn't play with the boys", "don't be so loud and forceful", "girls shouldn't be aggressive", "don't wear that". These seemingly benign statements, the ones that start with mothers and fathers, with teachers and religious leaders, are shaping our girls and boys to believe that it is a girl's responsibility to act in a way that keeps her safe from boys and makes everyone around her comfortable. This subliminal message communicates that she is less than, that she is not worthy and equal. Here lies the ugliness. She is not less than. And the burden of keeping her safe falls on each member of our society. "Boys will be boys" is a lie. Boys will only need an excuse for hitting a girl, violating a girl, or disrespecting a girl if he is led to believe this is is permissible. Taught within the narrative that there is never an excuse for these offenses, boys/men will honor girls/women the was they innately deserve.
Sexism is an insidious disease that has not yet been eradicated in our culture. Many wish to say it has been dealt with and resolved, that we have come far enough. As long as boys are still hitting little girls when they don't back down, as long as rape victims are still questioned about their clothing, as long as wives still ask themselves "what did I do to deserve this?" after being beaten by their spouse, there is much work left to be done and much progress yet to be made. We should be Free to Be the powerful, strong, vital forces we are, all the while maintaining the basic expectation of safety. We press on in the pursuit of that right.
Free to Be,