I’d like to note that I don’t recall my mum, my aunty or my nan ever saying these sorts of things to me growing up, but I definitely heard them over and over, from teachers, to family friends, to mums of friends, to just “older girls”. I’d like to think I never took it to heart, but it’s hard to say I was never influenced at all by them. It wasn’t until I was a little older that it even occurred to me that I, Emily, could be good enough at math to be an engineer, or that I could find mechanics interesting.
These are gross and ridiculous things to say, and gross and ridiculous things to hear, but if you have lady parts, chances are you’ve heard them before. They seem to be going away at a much slower rate than I would like (not really surprising, considering the sort of 2017 women have had), so it’s something that I want to make sure my little sister can combat as she grows up. That’s all. Chuck me your thoughts in case there’s any particular phrases I’ve missed.
He’s mean to you because he likes you.
He’s mean because he’s a bit of a dick. Sometimes, people just are. If people treat you like that, walk away and don’t think twice, because it’s okay to do that and you can. There should be nothing magnetic about a boy (or anyone) that’s rude, insincere and unkind.
She’s just jealous.
Actually, she’s probably just not a very nice person. See above. Sure, she could have some stuff going on, and if you wanted to take that on you could, but you have no obligation to. And even if she does, that’s not an excuse to treat you like dirt. Stand up for yourself, kid. Let your value for yourself be your response, and move on. You’re allowed.
That’s not very ladylike.
I’d like to think that as a society, we’ve moved away from this concept. But even if everyone else hasn’t, you can. You can be kind, graceful, gentle, adventurous, clever, opinionated, loud, quiet, outspoken, soft spoken, intelligent, assertive, informed, artistic, inventive, left-brained, or right-brained and it has no baring on your worth as a “lady”. You are your own person in every way possible, and it’s up to you to shape your interests and how you spend your time.
That’s for boys.
(Or, that’s for girls.) Just like that time being a doctor was just for boys. Or being a programmer, or an astronaut, or working in construction, or having your own business. What about that time that voting was just for boys? Going to university? Having a career?
Girls can do anything. You can do anything, be anything, be everything.