Hesse, M. (2009, October 13). At Girl's Summit, an Image Betwixt and Be Tween. The Washington Post. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/12/AR2009101202869.html
Moffit, D. (2009, October 14). What do Tweens Want to Tell the World? Shaping Youth. Retrieved from http://www.shapingyouth.org/?p=8764
As I am taking my Materials for Tweens class I am really trying to get a good grasp on tweens; who they are, their likes/dislikes, etc. I'm reading books written for them and I'm reading books and articles about them. At the same time I'm really trying to think back to my tween years about what I was like: things I liked, things I hated, what were my main concerns at that time, how did I feel about myself, etc. After reading these two articles about the First National Tween Girl Summit, it appears that I am not the only one trying to figure out more about tweens.
I’m a little bewildered after reading these articles. On the one hand it was incredible to read the insightful remarks from the tweens during their breakout groups and nice to see that the summit had female athletes and nonprofit organizers in attendance. On the other hand, I was appalled at the mention of games such as Dream Phone and Charm Girls Club and representatives from the Junior Miss Pageant being present at a summit for girl tweens. Here is a chance to get rid of all of the junk being pushed at them and find out what it is they really are about and they have exhibitors pushing this stuff? It seems that the organizers were less interested in finding out about tweens and instead pushing their own ideas of what they should be into. I'm not saying that these girls can't have fun. But, having such a positive event and then pushing a game where girls can find out whether a fictitious boy likes them? Talk about giving a mixed message.
The Wall Street article focused more on the deficiencies of the summit, while the Shaping Youth article focused on the positive aspects and the wonderful things said by tweens in attendance. But both hit on the same point, tweens are not the boycrazed sexting maniacs they are made out to be. They are not like their counterparts on Teen Nick or Disney either. Instead they are just starting to become aware of things beyond them in the world. Many of these girls were aware of major issues they face as Americans and many were concerned about people suffering in other countries. They are just starting to get their footing on these issues. Their developing minds are taking them places they've never been before, including, but definitely not limited to boys.