Monday, December 31, 2012

Guest Post - 2012: The Year of the Girl

My co-writer Auddie P over at Nerdy Pop has a special guest post for us, a well-written, summary of the best things to come out of 2012 for girls.  It truly was an inspiring year and certainly looks to be progressing (but with much fight from some groups) for females with an increasing importance on women in business and film production.

In 1912 Juliette Gordon Low founded the Girl Scouts. To celebrate its 100th anniversary, the Girl Scouts declared this year, 2012, The Year of the Girl. As we tend to do, on the final days of the year, I've been reflecting on 2012 and have noticed that they might have been right. Women made records and impacted our country significantly this year in many ways. Below are several examples of how they've made 2012 the year of the girl.

In Government and Politics:
Not only were women a coveted demographic in this year's Presidential election, but they made history as candidates themselves. A record 20 women were elected to serve as U.S. Senators and when the next term begins in 2013 New Hampshire will become the first state whose congressional delegation is all female. Plus, for the first time white men will actually be the minority in the House Democratic Caucus. Individual women making history in our government at the start of their term are Tulsi Gabbard and Tammy Baldwin: the first Hindu American to serve in Congress and the first openly gay person in the Senate, respectfully. That's first American and person, not just female.

In Music:
It's hard to not look back on music in 2012 and not think of the women. The song that ruled summer came from new comer, Carley Rae Jepsen and had everyone from Justin Beiber to the Olympic Swimming Team pleading "Call Me, Maybe". It wasn't just Jepsen who impacted the music world, though. At the 2012 Grammy Awards Adele was awarded six Grammys, including Album of the Year. That album, 21, made history again in November when it hit diamond status by reaching 10 million in sales. Not to be outdone fellow songwriter Taylor Swift's album Red broke a record of its own in October. It earned the highest sales week of any album in 10 years by selling 1.208 million copies in its first week. Finally, Billboard magazine named Katy Perry Woman of the Year. Her "California Dreams" tour sold out 124 arenas this year after she made history in 2011. She was the first woman to have five singles from the same album reach number 1 on the BIllboard Hot 100. A record only matched by the King of Pop, Michael Jackson.

The summer 2012 Olympics in London had so many great moments. Yes, we watched and cheered on Michael Phelps as he became the most decorated olympian in history, but it's the women who dominated the games and continuously surprised and delighted us all. 2012 marked the first time women competed in all of the same 36 sports as men. Plus, more women made the U.S. team than men and brought back more medals. Individually the women thrived. Like swimmer Missy Franklin who broke two world records in London and won four gold medals (five medals total). Kayla Harrison became the first American to win the gold in judo (male or female) and Allyson Felix became the most decorated athlete in the history of the 200-meter sprint when she won this year. Carli Lloyd brought the women's soccer team to victory by scoring the team's two goals in its gold-medal winning match. Finally, who could forget the fab five gymnasts who won gold: McKayla Maroney, Kyla Ross, Alexandra Raisman, Jordyn Wieber and Gabrielle Douglas. Not only did the team win, but Douglas herself became the first African-American to win the individual all-around competition at just 17-years old.

In 2012 many would argue that the art of the written word is on its way out. There are those, however, who disagree. Just ask women and one woman in particular: E.L. James. Before 2012 James was not that well known, but in just one year her books have become a phenomenon. The first of the three-book series, Fifty Shades of Grey, became the fastest selling adult novel to reach the 1 million mark in Kindle sales. In addition, it also set a record in print sales, selling one million copies in 11 weeks beating the previous record set by The Davinci Code which reached that number in 36 weeks.

I'm sure we'll see many more memorable moments in 2013 and the years to come and meet more trailblazers. From politics to publishing, though, I'd say 2012 was the year of the girl.

What do you think makes 2012 the year of the girl?

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