Monday, 30 June 2014
Posted by Sarah Pellew
I saw the video above for the first time today. My friend had posted it on her Facebook page and I watched it without really thinking. When I had finished I felt quite upset. When did doing something "like a girl" become so derogatory?
Its true though isn't it? If you say to someone that they throw "like a girl" or run "like a girl" its not a compliment.
I tried it on my boys.
I said to them - "Throw like a girl. Run like a girl. Fight like a girl." Without fail they imitated the actions of a person who was weak, a bit pathetic ... Where did I go wrong?? Do they not realise that I'm a girl? I am feminine but strong. The two positions do not rule each other out. I have run a marathon, raised a family, fought for my rights and those of others. Do they really think that girls are so weak? So namby pamby?
In the film the thing that made me go watery eyed with pride was the sight of young girls who were confident, proud, unquestioning of their ability to be anything they wanted to be. Where do we lose that pride and that belief? When do we start to believe that girls are weak?
The film above is an advert, and a clever one at that, but it raises an interesting and powerful point. The language we use every day can make or break. Its important that girls and boys are given positive messages. Girls and boys can be strong and successful.Your gender should not define how successful you are. To use "like a girl" as an insult is as bad, to me, as using "gay" as a derogatory term, as using a person's colour or faith as an insult.
I am loathe to put free advertising on my blog, but this is about more than a cheap plug. Its about realising that we need to nurture, support and encourage, not put down, denigrate or belittle. "Like a girl" should mean " like a tiger" "like a warrior" ... "like something damn good".