The purpose of our blog is to discuss topical issues, stories, and situations, as well as to share what we are up to and new ways for you to get involved. We are always searching for possible answers to the question: Why is a girl's worth culturally and historically relative?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Girls’ Issues are Women’s Issues are World Issues

President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women Kavita N. Ramdas.

“I just have simply stopped using that term ‘women's issues’… What issues should 51% of the world check out on?”

This interview with President and Chief Executive Officer for the Global Fund for Women Kavita N. Ramdas reveals disturbing realities faced by millions of women and children in the world today. But as the leader of the largest grant making foundation in the world focused exclusively on supporting international women’s human rights, she also highlights efforts being made to improve some of these situations.

In the future, quality of life may outweigh the bottom line. By investing in women and girls, we may be able to create the flexible workplace where social needs are met & money is made & people are safe and secure. But the violent responses to any reprioritization and inclusion of girls that challenges traditional conventions may keep pushing this reality further in to the distant future.

The road is so very long and the problems are global, but change starts at home. True heroes can save the world in a much less dramatic way than our Hollywood expectations. They feed, educate, and protect their children.

Of course it seems more complicated than that.

-Ashley E. Remer
Head Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Girl Museum Boutique Opens!



We have cut the ribbon on our new Girl Museum Boutique! Along with a range of Girl Museum gifts, we are especially excited to offer original designs by artist Sara Morsey, created exclusively for us.

And don't forget our Girl Museum Amazon Book Shop as well!

Visit, shop and help ‘celebrate girlhood’ this holiday season!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Children Accused of Witchcraft Living in the Streets

History has shown that the value of a child may be culturally relative, but they universally bear the brunt of adult neuroses.

Today an estimated 14,000 children in Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo alone have been accused of witchcraft and cast into the streets--as if the devastation by HIV/AIDS, orphaning, war, and poverty were not enough.   Children are said to be witches when the stove breaks, or they are possessed by demons if they have wide eyes and a swollen belly (perhaps they are hungry?)--arbitrary accusations to warrant expelling them from their homes.  In the streets, many girls are forced to become prostitutes, further 'confirming' their outcast status.

However, this is not a spiritual crisis--it is an economic one. When there is no explanation or excuse, blaming the most vulnerable is the easy way out.


-Ashley E. Remer
Head Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Power of Women for Change


After two decades of instability and civil war, Liberia is on the mend.

The late 2005 presidential elections were the most free, fair, and peaceful elections in Liberia's history. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf defeated international soccer star George Weah 59.4% to 40.6% to become Africa's first democratically elected female president (US State Dept website). However, the remarkable story of the women who collectively ended the bloody, devastating civil war in 2003 is one that remains virtually unrecognized. Even the US State department website does not acknowledge the achievements of the Market Women and Leymah Gbowee, who led her countrywomen to action for peace.

Please watch this episode of The Bill Moyers Journal and consider these women’s lives and the strength it took to organize and stand up for their futures.

It is remarkable.

Friday, November 20, 2009

When does art become child porn?

The topic of child pornography has come up often in my thousands of hours of art historical research. I have wondered aloud how many little baby Jesus penises do you have to see when looking at Renaissance art before it is just wrong?

The history of art is chocked full of nudity--men, women, children. Yet it seems to be contemporary art that only that gets people to respond. Art, celebrity, nudity, copyright, decency laws, and public funding all played a part a recent situation at the Tate Modern in London, bringing this host of legal and moral issues to a head. Read for yourself.

The interesting point is made by Laura Cumming that the outcome may have been very different if the exhibition had taken place in America. Indeed, we are no where near being on the same page on this subject globally, and I doubt we ever will be.


-Ashley E. Remer
Head Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Power of Girls

It may be faint, but there is a wind blowing. Girls and their issues are moving closer to a stage where more people are looking and acknowledging their power and presence.

"Every girl can become a force for change," says Dr. Helene D. Gayle, president and CEO of CARE, a humanitarian organization that fights global poverty by empowering women and girls.

Read the full article about The Power of Girls initiative put forward by CARE, the Girl Scouts of the USA, Seventeen magazine and The Documentary Group.

Although I am not a huge advocate of pledges, do check out The Power of Girls. The mission is to empower girls in the USA to stand up for girls worldwide. Their goal is to collect 50,000 pledges by International Women's Day 2011–it is a mission I can believe in.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

GirlSpeak Seeks Submissions!

Girl Museum’s interactive exhibition series, GirlSpeak, is seeking submissions for two projects, ‘Girl Groups’ and ‘Play’.

‘Girl Groups’ chronicles the history and impact of girls’ social and service organizations worldwide. If you, your mother, grandmother, or aunties are or were in a girls’ group and you would like to participate, let us know. This exhibition will be comprised of photos, artwork, video, and audio interviews.

‘Play’ is an exhibition about games, songs and performances--both spontaneous and organized--that we engage in as girls. This exhibition will include photos, artwork, video, and audio.

For both of these projects, send us your ideas and we will work with you to develop your contribution.
Girl Museum encourages all girls to participate in making the GirlSpeak series successful. If you are keen to participate in a Girl Museum exhibition, contact the Head Girl at www.girlmuseum.org.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

DC Dispatch


Politics have always been a theme in my life. Born a month after Nixon left the White House, I wanted, like many American girls born in the mid 1970s, to be the 1st woman president. Although I had an unhealthy sense of personal responsibility in global affairs, somewhere between the Iran-Contra hearings and the Starr Report, I lost interest in pursuing any kind of life in that world. It seemed the message from Washington was more ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK rather than WELCOME for girls, women, and their issues.

However, being here for the first time since 1999, I thought it would be appropriate to report two things that will hopefully make an impact on the lives of girls in America. Firstly, on March 11, President Obama signed an Executive order creating the White House Council on Women and Girls. The purpose is to make each department consider the needs and effects of their policies on girls and women. It is a net cast wide, but ideologies can be changed over time--someone has to be brave enough to take the first step. We are keenly watching this space to see what they are able to accomplish.

Secondly, on October 14, H.R. 1700--‘The National Women's History Museum (NWHM) Act of 2009’ passed in the House of Representatives. This will allow the NWHM to purchase federal land at 12th and Independence to build a women’s history museum. On October 29, S. 2129 was introduced in the Senate with 19 bi-partisan co-sponsors. Send a note to your senators via the NWHM site in support of this bill.

It is an important first step towards women becoming as important as airplanes and dinosaurs on the National Mall.


-Ashley E. Remer
Head Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Launch Day!!!!!


With only a minor delay, launch day has arrived.
A big thank you to everyone who was involved and contributed their time in putting the new website and exhibition together.

Please visit us at www.girlmuseum.org.

Seeing the first stage of a dream coming true is exhilarating and terrifying. Putting your dreams out there for everyone to see and take a shot at is risky. But the important thing is to try, work through the fear and trust that as long as you stick to your vision, great things can be accomplished.
Girl Museum is the culmination of many ideas and projects I started in the past that were not yet fully formed. It takes many elements to come together at the right time for a project to really come together. For me, there were no more excuses. Creating a new institution completely online took some convincing, being trained in conventional art history and museology.

A museum without physical objects may seem weird. However, there are many museums in huge buildings entirely dedicated to ideas with no actual artifacts on display at all. Collecting only information frees us from the restrictions of borrowing objects, building cases, transporting and insuring works of art. We can do this because for the most part because Girl Museum does not use a formalist approach. This means we look at images for their meaning and content, not their brushstrokes and color palette. We are a research and exhibition venue, connecting a community of people and giving them a place to showcase their great work on girlhood.

I have traveled around the world and never saw an exhibition about girls in a museum. It wouldn’t have even occurred to most traditional curators and institutions that girls are a worthy subject--but there are exhibitions about cats, skateboards and dirt.
Rather than waiting for someone else to legitimize my ideas or make my dreams come true, I have done it myself.

-Ashley E. Remer
Head Girl
Girl Museum Inc.