he’s mean because he likes you – and other things I won’t be telling my little sister

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.



19 thoughts on “he’s mean because he likes you – and other things I won’t be telling my little sister

  1. Great phrases to avoid! I also like the reassurance that females do not have to constantly apologize for everything. When you are truly in the wrong, absolutely apologize, but women are trained to say I’m sorry for so many times a day for little things- like having feelings- that we should embrace and not apologize for. Saying sorry for things we can’t change or have control over only perpetuates the idea that women are inferior and not equal.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Absolutely – I agree! It’s something I definitely have to work on personally, and is something a lot of women probably don’t even realise they do. Thanks for sharing!


  2. Nathanielle Sean Crawford

    When I worked at Target, there were two things I saw that made my life a little happier.

    The first was a girl, about eight or nine, buying a light saber. She told me that she and her friends love playing with light sabers. If I’m handing out candy on Halloween and a bunch of little girls come to my door, dressed as Jedi and wielding light sabers, they can have the whole bowl.

    The second thing I saw was a boy of about the same age, playing “nurturing” a baby doll. And he was really taking care of it. I’d trust him with my youngest nephew the way he was holding the doll.

    Alas, there are still people in the world who are stuck in the past. I imagine there always will be.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It definitely goes both ways, and it really sucks. Especially from such a young age 😦
      You’re right! I’m hoping there will be less and less of those people though.


  3. Yes, yes, YES to all of these! I’ve never understood why anyone tells kids “he’s mean because he likes you” and “she’s just jealous” – instead of handling the issue, it puts the responsibility on the kids to ignore it. It’s exactly why kids don’t come forward when they’re bullied, etc. – because some adults dismiss their concerns with these lines.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. 🙂 Nice post, Emily. Things are changing. The power of the feminine is coming back… looking at the state of the world, now and our history, only goes to show what damage surpassing it can do. Happy writing.

    Liked by 1 person

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