Saturday, September 26, 2009

Overheard at Preteen Birthday Party

Kid, about a young female character in the movie being watched: "She has no self esteem."

Girl at party: "I have no self esteem."

Another girl at party: "Like, NO girls have self-esteem. Or, barely any girls have self-esteem."

I have come to abhor the word (and some conceptualizations of) self-esteem, but that's a post for another day.

What I wonder now is,

a) Is this true?


b) If it's true, WHY is it true?


Old MD Girl said...

I think the term "low self esteem" is often thrown around as an explanation for undesirable female behaviors. Behaviors such as being mean to other girls, hooking up with "too many" boys, dieting, drinking alcohol.

It's probably sometimes true, and sometimes not. It seems to me that the term removes autonomy and / or accountability from decisions. For instance, it is quite possible that a girl might try alcohol because she wants to, even if other people don't approve. It is also possible that someone might say, "Oh, I slept with him way back then because I had no self esteem."

Just my two cents.

T. said...

Articles like this one in the NYT aren't encouraging: