Back in August last year, I wrote about the Words We Use and Sexism … and how we use terms like “don’t be such a girl” in a derogatory manner. It’s something that seems to have “always been done” and it’s simply not acceptable any longer (I’m not sure it was ever acceptable really). Telling someone to “don’t be a girl” is a form of sexism that damages both Males and Females.
Why have I bought this up again you ask? Because of this awesome video produced by Always
The team over at Always has started the #LikeAGirl movement and say the following about it:
Using #LikeAGirl as an insult is a hard knock against any adolescent girl. And since the rest of puberty’s really no picnic either, it’s easy to see what a huge impact it can have on a girl’s self-confidence.
We’re kicking off an epic battle to make sure that girls everywhere keep their confidence throughout puberty and beyond, and making a start by showing them that doing it #LikeAGirl is an awesome thing.
Please don’t misunderstand what I’m about to discuss – I think the video is AWESOME and raises the awareness that doing things or acting “like a girl” is not a bad thing but it really doesn’t address how it happens.
This video demonstrates how “older” girls and a couple of guys view activities based on the term “Like A Girl” – kick like a girl; run like a girl; fight like a girl. It then does the same thing with younger girls (10 and less, I guess) and the results are remarkably different. The video would indicate that the term “like a girl” becomes negative when a girl enters puberty. Maybe that’s right… but it doesn’t explain WHY it becomes an issue then.
Why, when a young man or woman enters puberty does “being like a girl” become a negative thing.
Why, when a young woman enters puberty does she stop “just being herself” and think that she has run, kick, speak, dress and generally do stuff differently?
Why is it such a thing? Where do these messages come from?
I think it’s pervasive in our culture and it’s subtle things that add up over time. Sure, young women loose their self confidence in puberty but who on earth said that it’s bad to “throw like a girl”. Where do boys and men pick up that it’s ok to abuse each other like this?
So whilst we’re busy empowering our women – let’s also address the fact that the term “like a girl” is held out as a negative in our society and start addressing the behaviour(s) that causes it in the first place. Girls and Boys aren’t born thinking that being ‘like a girl’ is bad, they learn it.
In closing, I’m a bit bemused that it’s a commercial company that has taken this on to raise their brand profile to sell more stuff to Women… but maybe that’s what it will take…
What are your thoughts?