Hailed by Sophie Grégoire Trudeau as a "call-to-action" in these highly policiticized times, Girl Positive showcases the diverse voices of girls across North America, and drawing on the wisdom of young women making positive change in their lives and communities, offer tools for families, friends and educators to assist this empowerment.
Girl Positive takes an engaging, cutting-edge view of the cultural, social and political issues facing girls today. Looking closely at topics from social media, sexual violence, hypersexuality and cyberspace identities to girls transforming the world as leaders and agents of change, Girl Positive offers stories of struggle and victory, and brings to light where today’s girls are finding new paths to empowerment. Tatiana Fraser and Caia Hagel explore these insights and challenges with depth, compassion and a sense of adventure.
The authors travelled from Montreal to Toronto, New Haven, Whitehorse, Los Angeles, Vancouver, San Francisco, Detroit and the Wemindji Cree Nation in northern Quebec, to hang out in coffee shops, dance studios, classrooms, gyms, skate parks, beaches and bedrooms, and talk with school girls, college students and young women in their early careers. Interspersed with their narratives is advice and input from experts in media, health, race and gender politics, sexuality, education and leadership. Each chapter also includes a Survival Kit, which offers tips and discussion questions for girls and the adults in their lives.
Through Fraser and Hagel’s journey readers will learn how to better equip themselves to support girls (and boys)—as parents, friends, educators, mentors and activists. Girl Positive celebrates all girls, illuminates emerging culture and fresh politics, and shows us the future in the making.
TATIANA FRASER is a writer, speaker, activist and social innovator. Co-founder and past Executive Director of Girls Action Foundation, Fraser is recognized as a Global Ashoka Fellow and was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Powerful Women by The Women’s Executive Network. Through movement building, education and innovation, her work advances the empowerment and leadership of girls and women. Fraser has served on numerous boards and advisory committees including as a delegate to the UN Commission on the Status of Women, President of The Carold Institute, Vice President of Exeko, Food Secure Canada and Actua.
CAIA HAGEL is a writer, creative director and entrepreneur. Her written work on culture and innovation has appeared in many publications from Art Papers to Vogue. Hagel is co-founding director of GuerrillaPop+MediaLab, a boutique media co-op that invented "moral offsetting" to create avant-garde media. She is also co-founding director of HungryForFortune, an all-female entrepreneurial collective whose projects pioneer new movements in technology and culture. She has been a speaker on art, design, pop and youth media at several events, including X Contemporary at Art Basel Miami and Forum D’Avignon@Paris, where her presentation on selfies contributed to a new Bill of Digital Human Rights.
“Tatiana Fraser and Caia Hagel’s Girl Positive couldn’t have come at a better time. With U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump injecting the most loathsome and retrograde attitudes into the popular discourse on what feels like an hourly basis, a book like this arrives as a corrective, indeed a righteous counter-blast. . . . The stars of this book are the girls and young women doing the talking, and it’s their voices—unguarded, touching, b.s.-free—that will stay with you.” —Montreal Gazette
“[A] diverse, in-depth take on modern girlhood and the importance of mentorship. . . . The book opens the girlhood franchise to all young women, breaking out of the white, middle-class status quo that dominates popular culture. Girl Positive . . . also serves as something of a contemporary handbook on how to encourage girls to develop a clear sense of autonomy and individuality.” —Flare
“[A] hopeful exploration of what it means to be a girl in 2016 and beyond.” —Toronto Star
“Tatiana Fraser and Caia Hagel are out to change girl culture. . . . Girl Positive . . . spotlights real-life struggles, like the crushing pressure to meet beauty standards.” —Chatelaine
“You need to read this new Trudeau-approved book about mentoring girls. Sophie Grégoire Trudeau says this new book is a ‘call to action’ and it totally is. Consider it your handbook on how to encourage girls to be strong and independent.” —Today’s Parent
“This book is about the real, sometimes awkward, essential conversation that can be a life-altering opportunity if we as parents, youth, mentors, teachers and citizens take an honest look at ourselves. In 2016, here in Canada and abroad, women still can’t walk their journey through life with the same feeling of freedom as men. The objectification of the female body, the normalization of pornography, and rape language and culture is destroying the self-esteem of our girls and is an insult to the spirit of our boys.
This inequality takes a toll on the health of women’s and men’s psyches as well. The world is paying a high price for this imbalance on economic, social and spiritual grounds. The human soul has no gender; girls and boys, women and men must come together to build a more just and peaceful society. This is a call to action. Words matter. Actions speak louder. Let’s get moving.” —Sophie Grégoire Trudeau
“I was moved to tears first at the possibility of a world where girls can grow up individual, different, free, safe and proud. A world where a female president is not an aberration, a world where little girls can be little girls and dream out loud. A world where girls have a voice and can become women without guilt or fear to shape the lives that become them best. Fraser and Hagel make a strong case for such a world. But Girl Positive is all about the girls, their voices, their particular visions and stories. It’s in their words, all together, in one voice coming in loud and clear. It’s that voice that we can no longer ignore. It’s that voice that will win in the end and when it does, we will all win.” —Agathe Snow, artist and performer
“Timely. Generous. Accessible. Provocative. I hope every teacher, health-care professional, social worker, policy maker and parent will read.” —Michael Kaufman, co-founder of the White Ribbon Campaign (the largest effort in the world of men working to end violence against women) and author of The Possibility of Dreaming on a Night Without Stars
“Equal parts smart, sassy and savage, Girl Positive will inspire girls around the world.” —Sam Maggs, author of The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy
“As exciting and candid as a late-night dorm room discussion, Girl Positive knows the issues young women face today are similar to previous generations, but on a much more complex level—like a video game’s highest difficulty setting. Anyone reading this book, no matter how alone they might feel in real life, will become totally enveloped by the community of funny, smart and inspiring young people who populate it. Best of all, Girl Positive, which treats young women with respect for their intellect and choices that is all too rare these days, proves the kids are all right—and will be, as long as they can benefit from the celebration of strength, intelligence and positivity that Tatiana Fraser and Caia Hagel know is at the core of every teenage girl navigating the world today.” —Duana Taha, author of The Name Therapist and contributor on LaineyGossip.com
“[T]he impact of Girl Positive is strong because the authors let the voices of the young women direct the analysis. Diverse role models perceptively articulate their feelings, interrogate cultural contradictions and embrace leadership opportunities. In aggregate, they render a rich portrait of the complicated cultural terrain they’re negotiating in an age of twerking. . . . A sensitive and intersectional inquiry into the complex lives of young women, Girl Positive paints a compelling picture of the authentic power girls have the capacity to wield when they are encouraged to find and use their own voices.” —Herizons