Because I am a girl...I wear jelly bracelets???

Nelly Bassily
Posted October 27, 2010 from Canada

A quick search of the terms "the snap game" or "jelly bracelet" on google will bring you to the following instructions to play this "game": "Things You'll Need: * Two players, at least one wearing bracelets 1. Familiarize yourself with the meanings of each colored bracelet: Yellow—give a hug; Purple—give a kiss; Red—perform a lap dance; Blue—perform oral sex and Black--have intercourse. 2. Choose the bracelet that represents the acts you are willing to perform, if you are a girl. 3. Choose the girl who is wearing a bracelet that symbolizes acts you’d like to perform, if you are a boy. 4. Boys try to grab a bracelet, one at a time, and pull on it hard and quickly in an attempt to break it. 5. Perform the act represented by the bracelet “snapped” with the boy who snapped it."

I was attending a round table discussion that the NGO Plan canada had convened last week to talk about girls and Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) and the research that's been done around young girls' access to ICTs - the risk and the opportunities they bring. Plan has a campaign to empower young girls called "Because I am a girl." So, it is at this conference that I learned about the term "jelly bracelets." I was taken aback to hear that girls, as young as 9 years old, are engaging in these "games." I remember that when I was a teenager, wearing multi-coloured jelly bracelets was just a fashion statement not an invitation to performing sexual acts. The feminist in me cringes at the thought that young girls are playing these submissive and risky "games." Talk about a new form of pressuring young girls into decisions they may not be ready to make.

That being said, I researched it some more, and some websites say this "snap game" is all together an urban legend and that it has been overblown in the media.

Whether or not the "shag bracelets" are all the rage with young kids, what we should be asking is, why are we allowing young girls to not have enough self-confidence and information to make wise, clear decisions to deal with sexual pressures? Why is it that girls and boys are still not being given proper sex education in schools? Why is it that "we" (adults) start panicking and running in circles when we hear that young girls and boys are curious about their bodies and sex? Why are "we" (as a society) choosing to play the ostrich game, instead of empowering young girls to say "I can wear what I want and you can't pressure me"?

Comments 4

  • Fungai Machirori
    Oct 27, 2010
    Oct 27, 2010

    Great piece but that is a very unfortunate game. Sad indeed.

    You might like to take a look at my latest post - about vaginas! It sort of touches on your own themes about sex and sexuality and young girls and women.

  • Natasha Leite
    Nov 07, 2010
    Nov 07, 2010

    It's sad to see that a globalized world means not only to share opportunities and solutions but also woes. That same game was also a big trend here in Brazil is shocking how far does it goes. In my days - not so long ago - a kiss was the most "daring" you could get, to have sexual acts being acted so casually amongst kids it's disturbing. Not only in a send of a health risk but also of lessons of self-esteem and self-worth.

    All the best,


  • ola.mahadi
    Apr 11, 2013
    Apr 11, 2013

    We might not have the game but the issue is so valid and sexual right and sex education is red line issues that why we still runnig in circls. Thank you for sharing this Ola

  • Nelly Bassily
    Apr 22, 2013
    Apr 22, 2013

    Educating young girls and boys in their sexual and reproductive and health rights is so key to having a new generation of hope and respect when it comes to trying to eliminate gender-based discrimination and violence. If we deny young people their sexual and reproductive rights than we are indeed running in circles!

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