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Throughout chapters four and five, the reader begins to feel the pain of the girls at Weston. Orenstein gives a touching narrative with disturbing stories of self-confidence and self-esteem issues involving sensitivity that turn the girls onto self-harming behavior. This behavior includes self-starvation like bulimia and anorexia as well as self-mutilation. Orenstein tells the reader that this is a common practice among this age because girls feel the need to express their feelings of powerlessness. This in return helps to alleviate the anxiety and the depression they are trying to cope with.

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The last chapter in this section takes a deeper look at sexual harassment at Weston. Both students and parents seem dazed by a teacher’s enforcement of the schools sexual harassment policies, because nothing like this has ever been carried out before. The girls at Weston however, will begin to have an easier time at school, and that’s the way it should be. In the Audubon section of SchoolGirls, which is broken up into chapters seven through eleven, the reader finds some different observations about the girls at this middle school.

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At Audubon, the hidden curriculum teaches students that their potential relies more on their ethnic and class backgrounds then just their gender. Chapter seven shows the reader that gender politics is a huge part of Audubon’s everyday activities and that sexual harassment is overlooked. Orenstein declares that this hidden curriculum teaches boys that they can get away with harming girls during school. In chapters eight and nine, the differences in the way that African-American girls are treated opposed to the white girls at Weston are examined.

Orenstein observed that African-American girls have higher self-esteem and this in return labels them as causing disciplinary problems in the classroom. Despite their participation in the classroom, these girls are faced with less attention and acknowledgement from their teachers. Chapter ten brings to light Latina girls. These groups of girls are being subjected to gangs along with abusive relationships. In the final chapter of section two, topics like class and background are brought into light in comparison to the girls at Weston. Audubon girls have the strength to succeed, but they encounter more distractions as well as less guidance.

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Kylie Garcia

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