Girls Don’t Cry Wolf

Girls Don’t Cry Wolf

Click here to view Girls Don’t Cry Wolf Video

I was raised in a small, conservative town where sexism was present, but was not critiqued by peers or adults within the community. Slut shaming and biased dress code regulations were habitual and unquestioned by all during my years in junior high and first half of high school. I not only experienced these pressures in a classroom setting, but also from the religious community I was surrounded by while growing up in the Catholic faith. Girls that experienced and engaged in healthy sexual relationships were not viewed as “nice girls”. Guilt followed me, as I’m sure it followed many of my peers, when I was tempted to fantasize. An attitude was etched into my psyche that natural urges were taboo and that masturbation was only acceptable for boys because “they couldn’t help themselves otherwise”.  I was taught to believe that my purity was to be saved and given as a gift for my future husband although it wasn’t expected of my male friends to uphold that same promise. Before I left home at sixteen to attend an arts academy, I accepted these behaviors and didn’t assess the harm they did to myself and other women around me.

After I arrived at the academy, I immediately became friends with a young visual artist named Cici. Cici had a passion for feminist issues. Our conversations often felt like seminars and every time I walked away I felt as if someone had adjusted my vision to identify unjust sexism and realize that I didn’t have to live abiding by a cultural view that my gender came with an extra set of rules or obligations. After a few months, I felt as if feminism and the fight for gender equality was a lifestyle I could adopt into my daily routines.

A year and half after meeting Cici, I was flying home for winter break of my senior year of high school. While on the plane, I started to hear a melodic idea for a chorus with the lyrics “Girls Don’t Cry Wolf”. I had been reading an article regarding sexual assaults on college campuses and thought to myself, “How many women have shared these same experiences and had their cases swept under the rug? Why are administrators placing importance of school reputation over the safety of students?” As an upcoming college freshman, it was daunting and absolutely unacceptable to think that my friends and I face a 1 in 5 chance of being sexually assaulted while at school. With these statistics, I thought that maybe this issue wasn’t the fault of an apathetic nation, but of an ignorant one. If people became aware of these facts, I believe that they would want to stand up for the justice their sisters, daughters, mothers, lovers, and friends deserve.

After drafting some lyrics on the back of my plane ticket, I decided that this song needed to be pop oriented and upbeat to attract more of a widespread audience so the message could reach as  many people possible.  After recording the vocal and piano tracks at a local studio, I collaborated with friend and producer Torna on the co-arrangement for the accompaniment. Finally, when I had the completed track, I worked alongside Anna Kotyza and John Chigas as co-directors for the music video. We agreed that the video should include relatable scenarios and address all guilty parties involved. This included  girl on girl hate, the objectification of women in media, and the cruel expectations on young men to prove their masculinity by over sexualizing their female peers.

Since I have released the music video, I’ve been contacted by bright and driven women who share the same passion for gender equality. I am currently working alongside Sage Carson, an alum of the high school I currently attend, to bring educative discussions regarding bystander intervention, consent, and healthy masculinity to campus.  Unfortunately, it is far too late to educate our youth about these topics once they reach college. A high-school sex-ed format that doesn’t focus on shame, but instead on truth, safety, and equality could potentially prevent some of these assaults. 


Madison DouglasAbout Madison Douglas: Madison Douglas is an aspiring singer/songwriter originally from West Virginia. She has performed at venues throughout the midwest and has opened for artists including Five For Fighting. She will be graduating from Interlochen Arts Academy in May and will be attending USC to study popular music in the fall of 2015.


Comments (3)
  • April 13th, 2015 at 7:16 PM

    Thank you sharing your story Madison. Ignoring a problem does not make it go away just makes it worse. Much appreciation for bringing the dark into the light!

  • February 16th, 2016 at 9:16 AM

    Such a powerful message. Thank you so much for creating such a wonderful and profound song and video. I was assaulted twice in my life, once while in high school and again when I was 19. I honestly believe that guy that assaulted me in high school didn’t really understand what he was doing. Had there been a truth/fact based sex ed program at my school, perhaps he would have understood that continuing to badger your girlfriend after she says no until she gives up is the same as rape. Now, many programs are not only teaching “No is No,” but also teaching “Consent.” Unless there is a definitive “yes,” by all in involved, you go no further, and anyone as the right to withdraw their consent.

  • Casey

    March 2nd, 2017 at 12:18 PM

    One of the reasons there is sexism may be because:

    Women (generally speaking) are the stronger sex – even though we’ve been repeatedly told, throughout history, that women are the weaker sex. And a lot of men may be jealous of and/or threatened by women because of this.

    The only area that men are stronger (again, generally speaking) is in physical upper body strength. And guys will often use that to intimidate, bully, control, etc. women because guys may be threatened by someone who is stronger than they are.

    Women are (generally speaking) stronger:
    – intellectually (they don’t drop out of school as much as boys, they generally listen and pay attention when someone is speaking, etc.)
    – generally physically (stronger thighs, higher pain threshold – how many men could go through childbirth more than once, premature girls have a higher survival rate than boys, women work outside the home and primarily take care of the: house, children, cooking, etc.)
    – emotionally, mentally, psychologically, behaviorally:
    – don’t give up on all men just because one man has hurt her, are generally more forgiving
    – aren’t as superficial/shallow/judgemental/prejudiced (can fall in love with someone without an ulterior motive, not as many women in KKK-type organizations, can fall in love with someone who isn’t handsome/attractive/good looking, etc.)
    – don’t give up but stay in abusive relationships longer in case ‘things work out’ or ‘he’ll change’
    – commit less crimes than guys
    – take care of relatives who are: elderly, have illnesses, special needs, etc.
    – are more in touch with their feelings; remember anniversaries, fall in love easily, etc.
    – show compassion; bring food after a funeral, are welcome wagon hostesses, etc.
    – don’t grow up to abuse others when they have been abused as girls
    – spiritually; more women go to church, there are more nuns than priests, etc.
    – are more faithful in relationships; a woman will often not cheat on her husband/boyfriend if she can’t have sex with him. A woman will usually only cheat when she feels she’s not loved or appreciated and another guy takes advantage of her vulnerability – often pretending to care so he’ll get free sex;
    – when she’s had a fight with her husband/boyfriend
    – when she’s in a loveless relationship
    – is getting over a divorce/breakup and is vulnerable
    – her mental state is compromised (drunk, on drugs, etc.)
    – late in the evening on Valentine’s Day

    Women have to be strong to live in societies where sexism/misogyny is acceptable, where women are often treated as less than equal (less pay for the same work, etc.) and where ‘double standards’ are often the norm – they are criticized for doing a quarter of what men do but men aren’t criticized/ostracized;
    – a woman is a troublemaker while a man is assertive,
    – a woman can have sex once or with one man (usually because she loves him) and is called a s*ut/wh*re/sk*nk while a man can have multiple sex partners (and often doesn’t love them) but is viewed as virile/a stud/a player/socially active/just a man/boys-will-be-boys/womanizer, etc.
    – a women has a “tramp stamp” while a man has a “lower back tattoo”,
    -a man’s criticisms/complaints are accepted/appreciated while a woman who has a complaint is called a b*tch,
    A woman will often be called derogatory names even when she hasn’t done anything wrong.

    And because men (generally speaking) are the weaker sex; when they’re abused as boys, they often grow up to be abusers themselves.
    They won’t have the strength to learn from their experiences and not repeat them.
    For example; when a boy is sexually abused, he will often grow up to be a pedophile but when a girl is sexually abused, she will usually grow up not to be a pedophile but rather, allow others to abuse her.

    When a boy is verbally abused (for example, when he’s told not to cry/show emotion) he will often ‘shove down his emotions’.
    So when he grows up and is in a relationship, he will often not know how to act because he’s been so detached emotionally for so long.

    When a man or boy is hurt, especially emotionally, he may not be strong enough to put himself in another situation where he may (potentially) get hurt again.
    If someone from another group (e.g. race, religion, gender, etc.) hurts him, he may generalize and treat everyone from that group as if they’ve hurt him – which can lead to prejudice: racism, sexism, etc.
    For example; if a girlfriend hurts him, he may generalize and say all women are the same and vow to “never fall in love again. I’ll just use women from now on.”

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