I stumbled across the following post a few days ago:
http://good-mag.co/48SexistComments (comments a woman hears over her lifetime that a man never will)
and it reminded me a similar marketing campaign from Always (R) – you may have seen this already – “Like A Girl”
The phrases are prevalent in every day speech – throw, run, hit ‘like a girl’; when are you going to find a nice man and settle down?; how many children are you going to have….but only when it comes to women. When was the last time a man was asked if he was going to stay at home with the baby, take his wife’s name, start a family?
We do this to our children – female and male – from birth. Preschool, “she likes you, you have a girlfriend”, to the soccer field “you’re running like a bunch of little girls” to career “women don’t belong in politics, law, etc” or “a real man isn’t a hairdresser, pastry chef, decorator, etc”. A male relative of mine once commented to me “women shouldn’t be police officers because it ruins families having men and women in close quarters.” I was a bit dumbfounded, and responded back with his logic – “Why are men in police work? Doesn’t it ruin families?”
Why do we genderize our daily commentary to each other, especially to our children? Focusing on gender as a qualifier for ability, aptitude or competence is outdated and detrimental to our society.
I am the mother of three young women and I hope I am raising them to be strong, healthy human beings, capable to accomplish great things and to be the strongest, brightest people they can be.
It is 2016. As we mark this International Womens Day, give thought to how you speak to the next generation, to each other. Let’s not continue to spread these subtleties of sexism.
I’ll end with this talk from TEDwomen, delivered by Liza Donnelly : Drawing upon Humor for change.