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“You Throw/Run/Fight Like a Girl”

Kristina MacLure, Contributor

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When I was doing some sprints across a field in gym class with some guys a few years ago, I was told that I “run like a girl”. The boy that told me this beat me to the line during those sprints (I came in second).

 Thanks for the comment, because um, yeah, I am a girl.

 What does it even mean“to run like a girl?” Does it mean that I’m slow? Because I know that I’m not; I have one of the fastest 200 meter times in the school’s history. So that comment doesn’t make any sense to me. Does it mean that I run with bad form? I’m honestly confused.

 Since when did doing something “like a girl” become an insult? Do people who use those terms honestly even think of it as insulting? Maybe they think that to tell someone they are doing something “like a girl” is supposed to be more motivating for them to do better. After interviewing six people and asking them the same question of “Is to do something ‘like a girl’ an insult?”, three said that yes, it is an insult, two said that is was sometimes an insult, and only one said that this wasn’t an insult.

 Sophia Kuefler, who is 6 years old and does both soccer and ballet, said that she would not be insulted if someone told her that she did something “like a girl” because she thinks that it is a compliment. If someone told her that she ran like a girl, she said, “I would challenge them.”

 These are usually used as derogatory terms and phrases and even though most don’t notice, they are proven to lower a girl’s self-esteem. According to “Do Something,”  7 in 10 girls believe that they are not good enough or don’t measure up in some way, which includes their looks, performance in school, performance in sports, and relationships with friends and family members. They start to lose their self- confidence when they reach adolescence. Girls notice when a guy gets mad if he’s told he “fights like a girl”. Questions flow through our minds: why would he be mad? Does he think that we can’t fight?

 What about World Champion women boxer Theresa Arnold, can she not fight well just because she is a girl?

 Thomas Kuefler, Sophia’s older brother who is 9 years old, plays soccer, basketball, and football. When asked if he would be insulted if he shot the “basketball like a girl”, he responded “Yes, because I don’t.” Then he was asked about the professional women basketball players. “…then I would think differently about it.”

 Emily Suleski (17 years old) and college student Alex (last name not available), were asked if these phrases hurt girls’ self-confidence. They both responded with a “sometimes”. Alex said: “In some cases, maybe. Most women wouldn’t really think about it but for some it might make them think that they aren’t really capable of doing things.” Emily said: “It doesn’t lower my self- confidence, but I think in general it could.”

 Have you ever heard of the phrase “man up?” According to Google, “man up” means be brave or tough enough to deal with an unpleasant situation. Some girls say that this term is insulting towards them, because they are not men. So no, they won’t “man-up”. But Ashlyn MacLure, a freshman at Nashoba, was asked if she would be insulted by this and she responded “No, because people say it all the time.” She stated how she would first joke around with it-like by fake-flexing, but in the end, she would use it as motivation to do better.

 All of these terms are so natural coming out of our mouths to use them as motivation for others. But very few have stopped to think about what this means until the Always’ #LikeAGirl video came out. This video shows many people of different ages running, fighting, and throwing “like a girl”. All actions done by girls and boys who looked to be in their teens acted out actions that were wimpy  and stupid- flailing arms, little cat fights, the imaginary ball that was thrown and didn’t go very far. Then it showed younger girls running fast and strong, punching hard, and throwing the imaginary ball far. This video definitely changes perspective on this topic as to what it means to do something “like a girl”.

 

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“You Throw/Run/Fight Like a Girl”