Being a Girl is an Insult (apparently)

Just a few days ago, I was in a situation that left me feeling wildly uncomfortable and disappointed. A slightly older, male member of the social group I was sitting with made a comment to another male in the group who is of the same age as me. The comment was of such poor taste but is unfortunately, something that I hear all too often.

The insult given was ‘don’t be such a girl’. I’m not going to go into the details why this ‘insult’ or remark was said or anything that lead to this situation unfolding as I do not deem it important.

Immediately after this comment was made, I gave the older family friend who uttered the words the look of death. Why on earth would that be an insult? Why a ‘superior’ tone used to deliver this ‘blow’ to my other friend?

This person then began to ‘defend’ himself after realising I was staring at him. “When I used to coach young six year olds how to play cricket, I would yell at them that they were playing like girls and they used to get so upset about it! I remember one kid even started throwing balls at me!!! 🙂 🙂 :)”

His big, goofy smiling face was met with my look of utter disgust.

For the first time, though, I had absolutely no idea what to say, where I could begin or what to do next. I feel incredibly disappointed in myself that I was unable to stick up for females everywhere and the greater society. Whilst I am unsure that I would have actually gotten through to this man, I still should have said something. Something as simple as ‘being called a girl is not an insult’, would have been more than adequate.

Imagine a bunch of six year old impressionable boys, being conditioned and told to believe, by someone they that look up too and trust, that being a girl was so repulsive that is was actually an insult. A dreadful, appalling insult designed to attack their ‘boyhood’ and masculinity.

I am fully aware of the negative stigma that exists around being a female. I am a female and I can list a number of things that leave us at a disadvantage as a gender in comparison to our male counter parts. Gender pay gap anyone? Sexual objectification on a daily basis take your fancy? How about fearing for your life every single time you’re walking home in the dark? Sometimes even during the day when you’re alone? Bleeding out of your vagina for 7 days a month sound fun to you?

Sometimes, as a female, the negatives to being a female seem endless. This however, does not warrant an entitled male implying that being a woman is an insult. It teaches that being a woman is to be weak in comparison to being a man. That having a vagina means you are less of a person in this world. That men are so superior that the only true insult to them is to be called a woman when they are trying to achieve something. Oh yes, gender equality definitely exists.

Come on. Are we serious?

Sure, the two genders can have distinct traits that make them different from each other. However, when it is implied that women are more fragile, not as good at sports or are not as intelligent as men (just to name a few!), the vicious belief that women are inferior to men strengthens even further.

Must people seriously still refer to women as weaker beings?

Are we still the butt of so many males jokes?

Why, when we are simply living this life and doing our very best just as males are, are we still such a strong focus of male humour?

Are you laughing? I’m certainly not. I don’t find this remotely funny and neither should anyone else.

It all comes back to the fact that women are not respected as equals. Our role is to reproduce and look after the children without worrying about our careers, other interests or desires.

If we were respected as equal human beings, we would not be used as an insult.

I want to repeat that.

If we were respected as equal human beings, we would not be used as an insult.

I also have a theory that men make fun of women because they are so clearly insecure with their own ‘manhood’ but come on! There isn’t a clear difference in being ‘manly’ and ‘strong’ or ‘womanly’ and ‘feminine’ these days. Everybody has the right to act and behave however manly or womanly (or neither!) as they choose. Thinking and feeling as though you have to act a certain way is a shame, it demonstrates society’s long held beliefs about which behaviours belong to which gender. We need to branch out now. With gender fluidity and many people choosing not to identify with one gender or the other these labels are simply not relevant anymore and should not be used as an insult.

‘You scream like a girl!’

‘You run like a girl!’

‘You care about your looks more than a girl does!’

These are probably the most common insults that men give to one another when trying to insult each other. This vicious cycle of insults is a culture where being a woman is so negative that it is in fact repulsive; it is the lowest insult ever. It also demonstrates the total lack of respect ignorant men have for women.

Stop criticising women.

Stop saying that women are less than men.

Stop telling young boys that to be compared to a woman is the most awful thing in the world.

Stop strengthening this culture where women are inferior and not worthy.

Stop it.

Just stop it.

It’s not funny, it’s not humorous, get a new joke.

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