Thursday 3 July 2014

Run like a girl and win the race

This gem popped through on my FB feed late last night. What a winner!

I'm a girl. I don't run 'like a girl' in the derogatory sense of the expressions. I run damn brilliantly. And my girl friends run damn brilliantly too. We also paddle, bike, orienteer, dance, climb and everything else adeptly and with confidence and experience and ability.

I don't throw very well. Then again, with the exception of netball in primary school, I've never played any ball sports. I throw like someone who has rarely had to throw a ball.

I'm not that great at kicking either. With the exception of the week I spent on a set as a 'dream team' participant for a gladiator-football-themed tv show back in October 2009, I'd never really kicked a ball - they taught me (and I don't think I've kicked one since). I kick a ball like someone with no experience; who has never really kicked a ball.

And after a bit of time I can even hit balls adequately (tennis, pingpong, cricket, baseball) - but years go by between opportunities. As it turns out, I have an aptitude for golf. Who would have guessed.

Experience and familiarity determine how you do things; not your gender.

To do things 'like a girl' is derogatory - whether told to boys or girls, men or women. We all know what it means and the connotations are funny. But this is one expression I'd like to see banished from popular usage. I don't want my niece or nephews to learn this one.

As the video below shows, these children haven't yet been limited by gender expectations. Long may this continue. It is us - adults - that need the attitude correction.

Great video by 'Always'.

"In my work as a documentarian, I have witnessed the confidence crisis among girls and the negative impact of stereotypes first-hand," said Lauren Greenfield, filmmaker and director of the #LikeAGirl video. 
"When the words 'like a girl' are used to mean something bad, it is profoundly disempowering. I am proud to partner with Always to shed light on how this simple phrase can have a significant and long-lasting impact on girls and women. I am excited to be a part of the movement to redefine 'like a girl' into a positive affirmation."

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