Picking out gifts for teenage girls is hard work. Especially when you want to pick out the gift that will dispel the doubts and insecurities that so often come with being a teenage girl. While there might not be one magic present that will turn your teenage sister or niece into an overnight feminist, there are a whole lot of gifts that will get the ball rolling. I've rounded up a bunch of feminist-friendly gifts that will inspire and instill confidence in the teen girls that you're giving presents to this holiday season.
Red: Teenage Girls in America Write on What Fires Up Their Lives Today, edited by Amy Goldwasser, is a collection of essays from almost 60 teenage girls taking on body image, best friends, pop culture, and politics. A great gift for a girl interested in documenting her own life and thoughts. Check out Bitch's interview with five of the girls who contributed to this book.
You Are Among Friends: Advice for the Little Sisters I Never Had is a book of thoughtful and empowering advice for girls put together by Lindsey Markel. This book inspires confidence in its readers, and is loaded with positive messages about sisterhood, love, identity, sexuality, and courage.
The Girls' Guide to Rocking: How to Start a Band, Book Gigs, And Get Rolling to Rock Stardom is a detailed guide to rocking by feminist rock critic Jessica Hopper. Hopper provides instructions on how to name your band, write a song, book a show, and everything else girls needs to know while on the path to rock stardom.
Looking for young adult fiction recommendations? This past summer, Bitch commenters provided us with lists and lists of great young adult lit that features strong female characters.
A Subscription to a Feminist Teen Magazine
Shameless: For Girls Who Get It describes itself as being "Canada's independent voice for smart, strong, sassy young women and trans youth. It's a fresh alternative to typical teen magazines, packed with articles about arts, culture and current events, reflecting the neglected diversity of our readers' interests and experiences." This magazine features crafty tutorials, columns on health and sexuality, and advice. The newest issue features the voices of young Muslim women, dives into bike culture, and explores alternative paths into universities.
Teen Voices: Because You Are More Than Just a Pretty Face is a Boston-based magazine written and edited almost exclusively by teenage girls. This magazine encourages girls to become critical media consumers and promotes a whole bunch of social justice issues and projects. The current issue includes features on female genital mutilation, developing good spending habits, birth control myths, and how girls are cleaning up the oil spill in the Gulf.
Support her favorite hobbies or give her the tools to try something new.
For the teen zinester: She might like a long-arm stapler, a gift certificate to somewhere with a copy machine, Stolen Sharpie Revolution 2, or A Girl's Guide to Taking Over the World: Writings From the Girl Zine Revolution.
For the craftster: Get her embroidery patterns from Sublime Stitching, a sewing machine, or a gift certificate to a local yarn shop.
The Gift of Summer Camp
Summer camp is a lot cooler than it used to be. And by cooler I mean way more feminist.
Girls Rock Camp: Portland, Seattle, the Bay Area, LA, New York, Boston, Chicago, Austin, Atlanta, and lots of other cities provide summer camps where girls go to form bands, write songs, learn how to play instruments, and make friends. Chances are that if the city near you doesn't have a camp yet, it will soon. While these camps usually run during the summer, space oftentimes runs out, which is what makes the gift of rock camp great for the holiday season!
Reel Girls: If you're in or near Seattle, consider gifting a Reel Girls day or weekend camp to a girl who is interested in learning how to make movies.
When all else fails, give her an IOU. Buy some coupons or make them yourself. Coupons are a great way to say that you want to spend time with someone, and I bet the girl(s) in your life would love to go out to a movie, take a figure-drawing class, or get some ice cream with you.
What was the greatest gift you got as a teenage girl? Have you had success with picking out a gift for a teenage girl in your life? Let us know!