Wednesday, April 1, 2009

That's Right: Throw Like a Girl!!!

I attended the park with my daughter during the past week. It was nice finally to get outside after what has seemed to be never-ending wintry weather! A father and his son stood nearby playing catch. The boy--about four or five years old-- was doing his best and his father was trying his hardest to encourage his son to improve. However, one comment struck a nerve: the father shouted at one point, "You're throwing like a girl!" Oh no! Not that!! The boy immediately changed his stance, gritted his teeth and tried harder to impress. Because, heaven forbid he throw like a girl! No boy wants that! No waaaayyyy!! I wondered: would comments like that help boys form negative impressions of the opposite sex in other ways? To throw like a girl is to throw weakly. To run like a girl is to run slowly. Doing something like a girl is then associated with being inferior. Would this kid grow up to believe that women are inferior in ways not related to physical strength? I'm not sure. I hope not. I grew up believing I was equal to males. I didn't realize some people thought otherwise until I was in my 20's. Maybe I was sheltered, but it was a wonderful world to grow up in! I excelled. I followed my heart. I went to college. After that, I moved to New York City. No one tried to stop me or tell me I couldn't or I wasn't strong enough, because even if they had, I wouldn't have believed them. I grew up believing that I could do anything a boy could do, and maybe even do some things better. I still believe it. Hopefully girls and boys everywhere can grow up believing it too.

'Til next time,

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