Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Like a Girl

I'm trying this new thing where I blog about non-running and triathlon related things on a separate website ( I'm working out the kinks still and trying to figure out if I wouldn't be better off consolidating the two. For now, though, there's a topic that bridges my blog worlds.

On June 12, I wrote about being told I throw "like a girl" which, throughout my life, is one of the last things I ever wanted to hear because it always had such a derogatory connotation. When I wrote it, I focused on the message that was being conveyed and not the rhetoric used to convey it. Interestingly, a very timely and recent discussion about this phrase was opened up when Always released a commercial exploring it:

In my blog post, I stated that I didn't want to discuss the implications regarding gender and social impact of the phrase. In doing that, though, I guess I was buying into its use and giving it more meaning than it should probably have. So, let's talk about it.

It's a straightforward discussion, really, and I've already broken into the crux of it. Saying someone does something "like a girl" is tantamount to saying that person does it poorly and that is unacceptable. For the future, I will be more conscious of my own use of the phrase (believe me, I've used it) and how it's used by people around me.

No daughter of mine should grow up believing being a girl makes her inherently less able to achieve anything, especially as the result of careless words. It's my (our, really) responsibility to create an environment that reflects that conviction.

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