Eva: Founder Of The Girl Network
The Girl Network — not just for girls, but womxn everywhere — is setting out to change the world. Beginning with content created to dismantle the learned patriarchal and oppressive systemic way of being, The Girl Network seeks to create a supportive group of woke womxn and push positivity into the world. I chatted with the founder, Eva, about her project and learned about a little giveaway they're organizing by girls supporting girls and womxn supporting womxn.
Sarah Sickles for Pink Things: Who are you and what do you do?
Eva, Founder of The Girl Network: I’m Eva, a 22-year-old student passionate about all things pink, girl power, and glitter, and the creator of The Girl Network. However, I would be lying if I said I do all of this by myself. I have a whole team of people behind me that support me, provide me with ideas, and spellcheck my words (my mother tongue is Dutch). In my day-to-day life I study ethics and feminism, read a lot, and try to be creative as often as I can.
Pink Things: What is The Girl Network?
Eva: The Girl Network is a platform that challenges the patriarchal system, a system that is only beneficial for a very select group of people. We provide viewpoints and experiences by individuals for individuals through girl power, basic feminist education, and female empowerment.
Pink Things: What inspired it? Why did you create it?
Eva: When I started to gain a strong support group of womxn around me, I realized the value and importance of girls supporting girls. That is something I want to send into the world.
Pink Things: Why this name? You clarify on your website that it’s for everyone, but you’ve selected a very binary word, “Girl”, to represent your mission. Why?
Eva: Although there is a clear gendered reference in our name, it is in no way our intention to reinforce a hetero-normative, gender-binary view. Identities are much more complex, diverse and interesting than that. We recognize and want to emphasize the importance of non-binary identities.
Being a girl, womxn has as many definitions as there are people who identify as womxn. In a world where everything that differs from the (white, male) norm is discredited, discriminated against, and worse, I think it’s important to stay proud of your identity, whatever that identity is. The way you experience the world depends on that identity. I want to write about this identity, my identity, an identity I share with so many other people. I want us to come together and share something. But I also want the platform to be open to every womxn who is different from me. Black, Muslim, disabled, trans — all women have a valuable voice in this story.
Pink Things: What do you think the implications of using the word "girl" instead of "woman" or "womxn" are?
Eva: We’re aware that some people advocate for not using the word ‘girl’ because they believe it contributes to the infantilization of womxn. That is valid point. Infantilization of womxn happens all the time, unfortunately.
However, the name was chosen with that in mind. A lot of us have felt like being a (teenage or young) girl was an excuse for other people not to take us seriously and disregard our ideas and emotions. We believe that we need to change the connotations of being a girl. There’s nothing wrong with being a girl. A girl can do anything she sets her mind to and more importantly, her ideas are worth being listened to.
We chose the word ‘girl' to fight those connotations.
Pink Things: What are the goals of The Girl Network?
Eva: Our main goal is to empower and support where we can — whether that is talents, shops, activism, or charities. We want to provide information to unlearn systemic structures that hold us back. We want to provide an open platform. We want to learn new habits and make new standards. We want to conquer the world and spread Girl Power. We want to raise hell.
Pink Things: How do you plan on achieving them?
Eva: First and foremost we hope to create a platform where any and every womxn can find relatable content. We try to put womxn and their work, ideas, and passions in the spotlight via our Instagram page. On our blog we try to raise awareness around behaviors, thoughts, and systems that influence womxn’s lives in a negative way as the first step in breaking them down. The blog will contain essays written by all of these different womxn. We want to educate, in a very simple way, on what and how patriarchal structures are holding womxn back.
Pink Things: What makes The Girl Network different from every other empowerment blog out there?
Eva: We only want to send quality into the world. If that means less followers and a smaller chance of being picked up in the world of bloggers, so be it. We are in it for the people and we create honest content.
Pink Things: What kind of work do you do? Can you talk about the “basic feminist education” portion of your organization?
Eva: As previously said, we aim to free womxn from the oppressive structures, habits, ideas that we have. By pointing out the ways in which we perpetuate misogyny and oppression, we hope to be a part in unlearning those behaviors.
Pink Things: So tell me more about this giveaway. What does it entail? Who does it benefit? Who is participating?
Eva: We are currently gathering goodies in the Girl Power headquarters to make a giveaway for two lucky winners! Anyone will be able to enter. All the prizes are by womxn artists and businesses.
Pink Things: What does pink stand for within The Girl Network?
Eva: At The Girl Network we’re all for rebellion — reclaiming stereotypically female things and unlearning what we’ve been taught about them. Pink is often seen as a girly color and is therefore avoided by all kinds of people who don’t want to be associated with girlyness. Fuck that noise. Girls are great! ‘Girlyness’ is defined by every single girl.