Today I am adding my voice to the #womenslives campaign by sharing a link to an article I wrote earlier, and expanding on the theme of gender equality.
**********************************************************On June 30th, 2014, I published a blog post “Like a girl and Proud of It.” In it, I shared the video for the Always "Like a Girl" campaign that I had just seen on Facebook. The phrase “like a girl” has traditionally (sadly) referred to doing something weaker or with less ability than a boy/man could do. In my article, I proudly gave an example of how my daughter, as a competitive swimmer, has challenged this ridiculous stereotype.
Writing and journalism are now common career choices for women, although they were not always an option. My daughter has written several published articles, so perhaps it could be said that she not only swims "like a girl," but writes "like one" too!
In one of her recent swimming articles for Swimming World, my daughter pointed out that Olympian Katie Ledecky, a high school senior, is so fast she owns an Olympic Trials qualifying time in the men's 1500m freestyle event. As my daughter eloquently put it, “all but the very best male swimmers typically understand that somewhere out there, there is a girl who can beat them.” I would expand upon that by saying that most boys/men should probably understand that somewhere out there, there is a girl/woman who can accomplish as much or more of nearly anything that they can do. (I said “nearly” because there are a few things in life that biologically only men can do, and others that only women can do!)
Our society is beginning to understand that accomplishments are not often defined by gender. Efforts such as the “Like a Girl” campaign are in-part responsible for this changing mindset. Proof of this is how tremendously popular the hashtag #likeagirl became, when the video aired as a commercial during Super Bowl Sunday.
I read a written criticism of the "like a girl" slogan by someone who pointed out that “athletes are athletes,” and since we don't say “like a boy” why should we say “like a girl”? My argument would be that we must say it. It is only by associating these words with what a girl can truly accomplish, that we can break the previous stereotype associated with the phrase.
Ideally, hopefully soon, there will be no limitation of accomplishments imposed, implied or assumed by gender; and efforts - whether male or female - will be equally recognized and compensated.
|What is an example of gender inequality you feel needs to be changed?|