Emma Annonio, ABCs of Girl Power

As a girl growing up in the 21st century I am incredibly lucky. I have been given rights that my ancestors could have never imagined. I am able to have the same jobs that my male peers have. When compared to the past, a girl in the 21st century has an extraordinary life but looking more critically at our current state in society we are still greatly disadvantaged. This project details the struggles, inequalities, acts, and thoughts that girls and woman in the 21st century may face and aims to educate tweens and teens as they grow up. The book produces stark images of the world today and may have some triggering moments, but it is necessary to educate the youth as they are the pioneers of the future. It’s not all glum, though; girls are powerful, and this book aims to show them who they are, who they can be, and that they have the power to change the world.

An ABC book is something we have all read as children when starting to learn our alphabet. Many of us will immediately think of “apple” when asked to think of a word that starts with “a.” My goal for this project is to link the familiar format of this childhood book with the difficult realities of a politically charged world today. As there are 26 letters in the alphabet, each page is dedicated to a specific issue, topic, act, term, historical figure, or modern figure that relates to being a girl in the 21st century. These concepts are presented in two ways: in a short, simple sentence that includes the definition of the word; and the basic information to understand its meaning and in a lengthier response, including factual information and real-life examples that make the reader think. The book is presented as a children’s book, using bright colors, bold words, and manipulatives to catch the eye, but contains hidden passages, flaps, and doors that lead to a world of information. For the young teen reading this book, the simple sentences for the word stand as a guide post for the harsher hidden information she will find. For the male reader, this will educate him on the aspects of life that his sister, mother, girlfriend, or friend might face. He will be able to see the changes historical woman have made and stand in the shoes of the women now who are making less money than their male colleagues for doing the same job. ABCs of Girl Power acts as a starting point for educating yourself, your friends or family, your peers, or anyone of your choosing to learn about the fight for Equal rights that women go through every day.

ABCs of Girl Power contains the information you need to teach yourself about feminism, equal rights, gender discrimination, achievements, opportunities, and so much more. The accompanying QR code will lead the reader to the ABCs of Girl Power blog, where it includes my own viewpoint and deeper journey into a select five words from the book. I found these words to stand out in my personal life, and some that can easily be ratified to make the world a safer place for all women. I offer my opinion on society, more information I have found from my research, and questions for you the reader, to see how you think. The page with these entries is titled “What do the words mean to you?” A rhetorical question, sure, but one that is worth answering. How do the words in the book affect your personal life, your daughter’s life, your mother’s life, your sister’s life, your friend’s life. . .? How can YOU make a difference in this world? How can you join the fight for equal rights? My page contains partial answers to some of these questions, but it’s up to you. ABCs of Girl Power encourages and challenges you to join the fight, to make a difference, and to educate others, and my blogposts and book are only a small part of this. To make a difference we must stand as a united front against the patriarchy countries around the world are built on; We have to be the voice for the women who have lost theirs.

Aesthetically, ABCs of Girl Power will be presented in the form of a modern ABC children’s book. Each page will have its own letter and information, but with a twist. The word, definition, and basic information will be presented on the front of the page, but hidden flaps, doors, and pull-outs will contain the factual information, and real-life examples to truly show the reader how our world operates. For its construction, the book will make use of Zine culture, incorporating watercolor, printed text, collage, and scrapbooking aspects. My goal is to create a bright, and modern version of the ABC book, one that teenagers would be excited to show their friends, or even take part in making their own. With this approach, I want the readers to enjoy learning the information it contains, even though at points the information can become unencouraging. ABCs of Girl Power, will also make use of typical gender stereotypes in regard to color to reveal how engrained in our society these concepts are. Hopefully, anybody that picks up this book will not only learn from its text, but will see the meaning behind the images, drawings, and pictures used throughout it.

Through ABCs of Girl Power, I aim to open up a dialogue on the hardships girls and woman face because of their sex, but to also praise the advancements we have made together. This book will hopefully encourage the reader to continue to make a difference in our world, and to not only seek the equality of women in our society but the equality of all people. Using a creative platform, young girls, adolescent girls, women, men, and many more people will be given the insight into things swept under the rug. Ideas of feminism, achievement, opportunity, intersectional feminism, discrimination, voting rights, the pink tax, patriarchy, and more will fill the pages of this book.  By the end of ABCs of Girl Power, I hope that the reader will gain knowledge and insight on the advances women have made and what can still be done to create a safer and more equal society.

To view the digital content of “ABCs of Girl Power,” click on this hyperlink.