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'Lived experiences of girls' | National Museum of American History opens new exhibit highlighting women

“They've used their voices to really affect change in the United States," Curator of Girlhood (It's Complicated) explains

WASHINGTON D.C., DC — It’s been 100 years since the women’s suffrage movement gave American women the right to vote in all elections, like their male counterparts. Now, a new exhibit is opening at the National Museum of American History (NMAH) honoring the journey of all women, beginning from "girlhood." 

Women and young girls have been shaping culture and history across the globe for centuries, which is why the NMAH wanted to preserve their experiences in the nation’s capital.

Kathleen Franz, the curator for “Girlhood (It’s Complicated)," said the exhibit is all about capturing the contributions of a gender.

“They've used their voices to really affect change in the United States from the early republic, to the present day," Franz said.  "It's long overdue because museums have really not paid attention to girls in their own right as changemakers.” 

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Everything from the way girls and women have shaped news and politics, education, work, wellness and fashion are chronicled in the exhibit. 

“When people tell us what we can and can't do, how we respond and push back, and if we make space for other women and girls to express themselves, that's political," Franz said. "Fashion allows you to speak, even if you're not using words. I think everybody will see themselves in the exhibition." 

It’s an all-encompassing glimpse of the greatness that is a girl. 

“It really looks at both girlhood as a concept, but also the lived experiences of girls to try to examine what it means to grow up female in the United States," Franz said.

The exhibit opens to the public Friday. Masks and social distancing are required and you will need a ticket. Click here for more information.

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