Like a Girl

I am sure that you have heard the expressions “kick like a girl”, “run like a girl” or “hit like a girl.” These expressions have become insults that are aimed at both girls and boys and yet, do all girls understand the implied insult? This video shows interesting points of view:

The video shows that young girls do not understand the implied insult – and thus conform to the expectations embedded in the expressions.  My favourite part of this video comes near the end when a young woman states “I kick like a girl, and run like a girl … because I am a girl and that is not something that I should be ashamed of, so I am going to do it anyway.” I like the confidence with which she makes that statement. Many girls, however, subconsciously fulfil the implied expectation (as seen when a teenage girl “runs like a girl”). Once they realise the implications of the insult, it is hoped that the teenage girls and young women will show who they are and be proud of it.

I do my best to encourage my teenage daughters to stay true to themselves and to not  mould themselves to the negative expectations of others. Time will tell whether I have succeeded in building their self esteem so that they can say “I am a girl and that is not something that I should be ashamed of, so I am going to do it anyway.”

What is your favourite part of the video?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2015

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53 thoughts on “Like a Girl

  1. I’ve never heard ‘Hit like a Girl’ or the other variants used by people I know in the UK. I have heard a variant where if a male doesn’t perform as expected he may be described as being a big girl’s blouse – which I understand is describing him as being soft like the material that the garment would be made of.

    Some of my sportuing heroes are female athletes and if Kelly Holmes was running like a girl then she was doing it far better than I could!!! 🙂

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    1. It is an expression I have heard many children use – in South Africa as well as in Toronto. When using these expressions, the speakers are not thinking of the professional athletes who would put many boys to shame.

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      1. Being involved with scouts I have the joy of watching the Girls and Boys each doing their own thing for the different challenges we ask them to tackle. The best results are usually a mix of ideas from both sides whenever there is a mixed group 🙂

        I learnt very clearly that Men and Women are different (brain wise) when flying. Lady pilots are so much tidier on the controls but have less spatial/navigational awareness. I usually preferred flying with one of my female colleagues because I found that our strengths complimented each other 🙂 Isn’t compromise what every marriage is about 😉

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        1. That is true – each gender has their own strengths and it is a good thing when all people involved accept this. Not everyone does though and subtle insults can hurt a relationship.

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  2. Thank you so much for this. I’m going to reblog it immediately. This is a message that needs to be shared with all the girls (and women) of the world. Not matter how old we get, it’s good to keep defining our own power.

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  3. I think we should not limit it to young girls or teens. Older women should also be coached or taught or reassured of the same thing. The stereo type would probably even be harder to break with older women because they have lived with it longer. 😦
    Does it sound like I am raising my had? LOL

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    1. I think you are right to say what you have. Many times women hide their capabilities because they do not fit in with the image that our society has of how women should behave and what they are capable of doing. Sometimes older women also need to be encouraged.

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  4. In Australia the term is always meant as an insult whether it’s said to a boy or a girl. Another aspect of the barb is that girls can feel if they run normally they’re not being “feminine”.

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  5. I Liked it all ( the video ) esp ” No not rude to my sister , well maybe to girls but not my sister!” such a brother thing to say! This is very much something that needs to be said , here is how we say it here in the UK

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