a 29 year old teacher, athlete, and woman.
Almost every day, I hear either a student, fellow
athlete, or some one say (not to me), "quit
being such a girl," or "take of the
skirt!" I find this very offensive
and I don't want the girls in my class or on my
teams to have to hear this either. Can you
offer a response or somthing appropriate I can
do to stop this?
I think the best response is some version of
what Debbie Stoller, creator of Bust Magazine,
talks about when she talks about reclaiming girl
culture. What Debbie says that we shouldn't have
to make the female masculine in order to make
it valuable, but reclaim feminine things as a
source of strength. For instance, when someone
says you throw like a girl, say "thank you."
This is a version of black people reclaiming "nigger"
and gays reclaiming "queer". I'm not sure what age
school you teach in, so I'm not sure if this might
miss them.I think you can also point to the girls
who are picked for the sports teams and begin
to explain that they aren't the exception to the
rule, but the rule.
Another example that I personally like is that
of the marathon. When women were first allowed
to run marathons, which was about 20 some years
ago -- the time difference between the first place
man and the first place woman was about 1 hour
and 20 minutes. In those 20 plus years, the time
difference has shrunk to within 15 minutes --
thus proving that once women have equal access
they can prove to
be as talented as men.