Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Girl Effect

I found the Girl Effect site through a friend working in DC for the semester.  It’s a nonprofit that targets 12-year-old girls before they can fall victim to forced marriages, prostitution, and drug use.  They seek to provide education and work opportunities so that girls can take charge of their lives and avoid lives of destitution and crime.

What struck me about this site in relation to Maggie was point that in the eyes of many cultures and communities, a 15-year-old girl is considered an adult woman.  Old enough for marriage and childbirth, old enough to support a family.  I look back on myself as a 15-year-old and am horrified by the thought of this.

It was interesting though, to see how Maggie tried to put on the pretenses of being an adult woman.  We discussed the “nesting” tendencies made impossible by the tenements that she attempted anyways with her wall decoration.  Amidst her brother’s violence and mother’s disorderly drunkenness, she seems the only organized and possibly parental figure in the picture.  However, in her incredibly naive approach to Pete, we see that she is indeed just a girl and nowhere near mature enough to handle her situation.  I feel like this contrast of the expectations placed on her and the reality of her abilities only adds to the overall sense of tragedy.

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