As an energetic, eleven year-old fifth grader nothing got me more excited then kickball. Hula hoops placed on the floor for each base, soccer balls lined up and the hopeful attempt to end up on the same team as your best friends. The smell of rivalry filled the air as a bunch of children began to form strategies to beat the other side.
As the teacher blew the whistle to mark the beginning of the game the first kicker would step up to kick. I would cheer my team members on and taunt members who weren’t as fortunate to be on my side. I would be among those that use the classic ‘like a girl’ insult. As an eleven year old I never saw this as damaging. I would holler ‘you run like a girl’ or ‘you kick like a girl’ along with my fellow classmates oblivious of the connotations behind the insult.
The video below by Always has led to hard thinking the past couple of days. Despite my naive kickball experience with my classmates, this insult never seemed to be that much of a big deal. Since the viewing of the ‘LikeAGirl‘ video however, I came to reflect upon how awful the insult really is.
Lately there has been a generous amount of discussion in regards to femininity and its place in society. The fight for how women are perceived is something that has been recently debated between wildlife warrior Bindi Irwin and ex neighbours star Caitlin Stasey (for more information click here). Following this Twitter based debate, the subject has demonstrated that even the smallest denotation can leave a negative shadow. How does performing an act ‘like a girl’ limit my performance? How is it that doing things ‘like a girl’ is considered the wrong way? However this insult is just a metaphor for the difference in gender in our current society. It’s the tip of the iceberg.
My favourite quote from this video perfectly describes the overall argument I am attempting to communicate; ‘Why can’t run like a girl also mean win the race.’
It’s important that we as a society band together to break down gender stereotypes for male and females. Let’s find new ways to taunt the opposite side during kickball.
To further view the conversation, tweet your thoughts to #LikeAGirl, use the hashtag on Facebook or view the comments on YouTube.