Art = Truth. A Post About Girls.

I just finished a book called "Odd Girl Out," by Rachel Simmons. The best sentence in the whole book is on the last page. But I'm getting ahead of myself...

It is about how girls are socialized to be nurturing and to care for others, and that in this system, conflict is a big no no. Conflict and disagreement are failure. And, how this dynamic results in the kinds of cruel psychological games that we see young girls engage in all the time - the back turning, the exclusion, the rumors, the little facial expressions, all this passive-aggressive stuff because they belive, somewhere inside, that they are not supposed to have conflict - and they don't learn how. And so it all goes underground.

Fact is, disagreement and conflict are part of life, and they should not loom larger than relationships. But with girls, they often do. Friendships end over a single comment or article of clothing. This does not need to happen. Ick, it makes me feel awful just thinking about it.

The best sentence in the whole book, though is on the last page. It says:

"What greater gift can we give girls than the ability to speak their truths and honor the truths of their peers?"

Isn't that just the whole thing?

And that's what art is. Art is speaking a truth - about yourself, about life, about something. In a way that is unique. Putting something out there.

I would love for young people to have time every day, to simply say some truth about themselves by creating. I think building that inner core of their identity, and learning to respect it in others, is critical to our kids' self esteem and ability to deal with one another.

And that is why I feel the Drooly Dog Drawing Project is so important.

And why I want to tell the world, when we cut the arts, we are not just cutting a subject - we are cutting a way of being, a mode of thought, and an access into our kids' inner strength.