"Like a Girl"

Despite this being an advertisement by Always, I actually really like the message here and found myself getting a bit emotional. Perhaps it's because I was that young girl once whose abilities and skills were downplayed - not purposely, but due to the underlying sexism in our society. Even now as an adult I still find myself eager to prove my strength and intelligence.

What always irks me about videos like this are the comments in the comment section. A quick skim and I can see hostile rants:
"Was this even a problem?"
"Damn feminists don't get it. We say things like this to boys so they man up. Of course a girl runs like a girl, people shouldn't be so sensitive."
"Little girls are weaker than grown men"
"This video is cancer"

Why are men so intimidated by female empowerment that they need to seek out and attack a video made by a menstrual pad company? They are definitely missing the point of the issue though. The trouble begins when "being a girl" is associated with something negative. This problem continues even after childhood. Grown men insult each other with words like "bitch", "pussy", "fag"; all words that hold a negative, yet female connotation. Men and boys are also told to "man up" or "grow a pair" when they show emotion or display behavior that others find uncomfortably unmanly. These insults, even something as innocent as "like a girl", still give the message that to be a female is bad.

This language is toxic to both that little girl and that little boy on the receiving end of the insult. It's lose-lose for everyone. It continues to reinforce some ridiculous expectations in our society. The intelligence and abilities of women are constantly undermined, and men that don't fit the narrow expectations are made into targets. I think it's time to strive for a change, and it really does begin with our language and values that we share with children.

I'm sorry this isn't my usual type of post. As the oldest sibling of two sisters, I just needed to rant about this for a moment.

PS. I can speak from experience that little girls are as tough as nails.

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