“You run like a girl.”
“You throw like a girl.”
“You jump like a girl.”
How many times have we heard these phrases muttered? From the playground to professional sporting events, we continue to insult people by saying they do things like a girl.
But why is doing something “like a girl” a bad thing? Why are we still perpetuating the idea that girls are less capable than boys?
Title IX was passed in 1972 and ruled that no person can be excluded from any educational program or program that receives federal funding based on sex. With this, came the creation of more women’s sports team—something that previous women could only dream of.
A year later, Billie Jean King, 29, beat Bobby Riggs, 55 in the “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match. She played tennis like a girl and won.
But “like a girl” has become so engrained in our minds as a negative thing and for some reason, females don’t see it as degrading. I would be lying if I said I never said some professional athlete “threw like a girl” when he messed up and got some laughs without realizing what I was really doing. I was perpetuating a stereotype and letting down the women before me who fought for a girl’s right to even throw a ball.
But I know that “like a girl” isn’t a bad thing. Just look at the title of my blog. I run like a girl doesn’t mean I run slow or wrong. It means that I run and I’m powerful.
Always recently came out with a commercial, #likeagirl, which really struck a chord with me. I hadn’t realized until watching it what we have done by making little jokes about doing something like a girl until I saw young girls believing the stereotype.
The video is moving and will get you to rethink saying “like a girl” in bad light again. You can watch it here.
So I encourage everyone to only use “like a girl” for good. When you accomplish something great, say you did it like a girl. We should all be proud of our bodies and what we can do with them. “Like a girl” isn’t bad. “Like a girl” is what we do.