We have a real problem in the country and I’m sure not many are actually how aware how deep the rabbit hole goes. It seems that it’s an insult to be a girl.
We say it to our boys:
“Stop being such a girl”
“You throw like a girl”
“Don’t cry like a girl”
“You prance around like a girl”
…I could go on.
I always imagine a little girl in the corner over hearing this.
What does this tell her about herself? Does she hear “don’t be like [insert girl’s name here]”
About her gender? Does she hear “all girls are weak.”
About her place in the world? Does she hear “you’ll never get ahead if you act like a girl”
As a grown woman, I’ve heard this said many times to the boys/men in my life as well on the internet, in movies, in media, in songs… Today I’ve heard it three times.
I don’t get it. When I hear a man tell another man “don’t be such a girl” I think you mean, in tune with your emotions, your compassion, I don’t know being a complete human being? What is SO wrong with being a girl?
No one has told me to “Man up.” I have had someone say “grow a pair” which I thought was odd. So much so that I said “you first.” Then again, I’m a troublemaker.
Since when is being a girl a bad thing? Parents don’t get to choose what gender child they have. The child doesn’t get to choose on day one. With 51% of the population being female why haven’t we evolved passed this terrible illusion of gender superiority? At this day-and-age with violence against women numbers getting worse, lower pay for equal work, birth control madness and mommy wars, I wonder why anyone would choose to be a woman. Don’t we women have it bad enough without having “girl” be an insult? They are children for crying out loud!
If you took a minute to write out characteristics that are defined as male or female, please prove to me that they can’t be interchanged. Men are strong – so are women. Mythbusters has a physical strength test where it tested the pain threshold of men and women and um…the women scored higher pain threshold. Women are emotional – so are men! If you’ve somehow never seen man cry or loose his emotional core, you can do a Google search for videos and images of men crying but this interview by Dustin Hoffman about Tootsie sums up not only seeing a man try not to cry but also trying to discover what it would be like if he was born different.
We say words like “Don’t be a girl” for two reasons #1 we’ve heard it before from others #2 we don’t think about what it means.
It’s these habitual and unconscious dialogue of misogyny that are so stuck in our culture. I have made a point to not insult others by gender, sexual preference, race or age for two reasons #1 it’s wrong #2 it doesn’t actually insult a person as there is NOTHING they can do to change their gender, sexual preference, race or age! It’s a pointless insult!
This week I made the connection of the everyday items that have misogynistic references. I have vowed to not call a man’s white tank top as a “wife beater,” or a counter turntable a “Lazy Susan”, or reference a u-turn as “flippin’ a bitch.”
These are just phrases and the English language is filled with so many more colorful ones…and new slang is being invented everyday. Get a better vocab!
Anyone remember this meme?
This meme popped up late 2012 and the quote hasn’t be verified but it is apparent that Iggy doesn’t mind wearing women’s clothing. The importance of this quote bought me to the awareness that the name calling we do by calling boys/men “little girls” is actually an insult to girls. That femininity is related to emotional or physical vulnerability. That crying is weak. That having compassion is powerless. That talking about how something affected you is insubstantial.
It sounds like an emotional prison to me. One where everyone should be broken free of.
I am a parent of two girls so I don’t know how it is to raise boys into men. But I do have a brother, nephews, babysit my friend’s boys and hosted my fair share of co-ed birthday parties. I’ve seen boys say “don’t play with that, it’s a girl’s toy.” and ask “do you have any boys toys in this house?” I’ve broken up more fights between boys than I have girls.
From what I see in my children they rarely fight with each other or their friends, they talk about their problems, they play quiet, they place nice, they rarely break things, and they are calm. They are bullied mostly by boys (started in kindergarten). When they are super emotional to the point of hysterical tears they either are in pain or someone said something mean to them and they don’t understand what they did wrong or how to fix it. Where is the insult in this? Where is being a girl sub-human?
It’s time to flip the script and not using this untrue insult that being a girl is wrong. We are pulling back society from forward progress as human beings. We are damaging our boys and girls from learning to work together. We’re pushing away the ability to discover un-stereotyped strengths in the human race. There is NO MORE divide and conquer. We must find a way to empower all our children to be the change we want to see in this world…and it can start with the words we choose to use and the words we refuse to put up with.