Pasos Pequeños a Progreso Gigante

Pasos Pequeños a Progreso Gigante

Desafortunadamente, tengo la habilidad atlética de un panda de bebé. Pero, cuando llega la hora del partido, encuentro el esfuerzo de un equipo de fútbol entero, luchando para ganar el último partido contra sus enemigos.

Me gusta pasar tiempo afuera jugando deportes, y me cría con dos hermanos, quien muchas veces me dijeron, “tires como chica.”

Cuando corrí a mi casa, sintiendo triste y faltando confianza en mi mismo, mi madre me dirigía a otra actividad más femenina, como jugar con muñecas.

Esta secuencia de eventos ocurre frecuentemente: una chica quiere hacer una actividad históricamente masculina, se pierde su confianza a causa de las palabras y actitudes de otros chicos u otras chicas, y se revierte a una actividad más clásicamente femenina.

Para obtener igualdad de sexo en la sociedad y encontrar un equilibrio entre los géneros, tenemos que quitarnos de nuestras vidas frases negativas como, “se tire como chica,” “ella probamente está menstruando,” o “se hace como chica.”

Yo sé que soy culpable de decir estas frases. Me había pedir disculpas para estar llena de emocionas, dando la culpa a mi sexo. Cuando un amigo o miembro de mi familia se está quejando le digo “eres tan como chica.”

Estas frases llegan de nuestras bocas tan frecuentemente que no pensamos en como se hacen daño. ¿Eres una chica? Este frase implique que la palabra “chica” y la palabra “irritante” o “débil” son los mismos. La frase, “ella probamente está menstruando” atribuye la expresión de emociones o pensamientos irracionales al género femenino.

Quizás no puedo tirar una pelota, pero este no significa que tiro como chica. Tengo tantas amigas quien pueden tirar perfectamente, y, al otro lado, tengo tantos amigos quien no pueden tirar.

El desequilibrio de género en nuestra sociedad es como una balanza con dos lados. Estas frases y actitudes, aún pequeños, son como piedras, pesando muchísimo juntos en un lado de la balanza. Tenemos que parar el uso común de ellas, porque aún parecen pequeñas, son poderosas juntas. Cuando las eliminamos de nuestras vidas, la balanza pueda encontrar equilibrio.

Little Steps Toward Big Progress

Little Steps Toward Big Progress

I was unfortunately blessed with the athleticism of a baby panda bear. But, when it’s game time, I muster up the heart of an entire underdog high school football team and try my best.

I like to spend time outside playing sports and grew up with all brothers, often finding myself benched because I “threw like a girl.” Even some of the neighborhood girls who were more athletic than me would chime in on the ridicule.

When I ran back into the house, feeling discouraged and left out, my mom would comfort me and reroute me to a more gender-suitable activity like playing with Barbie dolls.

The aforementioned sequence of events is a common occurrence: a girl attempts to partake in a traditionally male activity, is discouraged by her male or female peers and then falls back on a more traditionally female activity.

In order to stand up for equal rights and garner a more gender-balanced society, we have to start small, ridding our lives of negative nuances like “she throws like a girl,” “she’s probably PMSing,” or “quit being such a girl.”

I’ll admit that I’m guilty of saying phrases like this. I’ve apologized for being emotional, blaming my gender for it. When a friend or family member complains about something, I’ve told him or her to “quit being such a girl.”

These phrases shoot out of our mouths so frequently that we don’t think about how they tear women down. Quit being such a girl? This phrase directly correlates annoying or weak behavior with the female gender so that “girl” becomes synonymous with “weak.” The phrase, “I’m probably just PMSing,” assumes that irrational thought processes or emotions are something unique to those with a uterus—which, believe me, are not.

I may throw poorly, but that does not mean I throw like a girl. I have plenty of female friends with incredible arms and on the other hand, I know plenty of men who throw poorly as well.

Picture the social gender imbalance like an old fashioned scale with two sides. These little comments and phrases are like rocks, weighing down one side of the scale. We have to stop saying them and stop passively agreeing with them.

While they may seem trivial or passing, they are small pieces that add weight to the male side of the scale, creating an imbalance for women. By eliminating these phrases from our lives, we slowly start to level this out. As my dad always said, “Inch by inch, it’s a cinch. Yard by yard, it’s hard.” Little efforts like avoiding these phrases will have big long-term effects on the social gender imbalance.

“Girls get competitive, as though there’s only one spot in the world for everything, but that’s not true.” –Zooey Deschanel

“Girls get competitive, as though there’s only one spot in the world for everything, but that’s not true.” –Zooey Deschanel

With this sentence, Ms. Deschanel perfectly summed up the struggle of young women today. We constantly pit ourselves against the next woman, aiming to be better; smarter; stronger. And if we can’t, we tear her down until we’re convinced we’re above her. When we do this, not only do we hurt ourselves by weighing ourselves down with negative thoughts, but we also contribute to a culture that consistently claims women are weak because they cannot rise above personal feelings to focus on more important matters. Each time we tear another woman down instead of building her up, we play into a divisive social structure.

Maybe it’s because for every five famous men we learn about in history and literature and science, we only learn about one woman. Maybe it’s because the few women we see in legislature rarely work together towards any end, while the men continue to make cohesive decisions regarding women’s issues. Maybe it’s because of films like The Duff or Clueless that claim a woman’s priority is her rank on the scales of likeability and attractiveness. Whatever it is that makes women feel that we can’t appreciate and uplift each other, it has to change.

As a woman, it’s often difficult to remember the truth in Deschanel’s statement—that there is more than one spot in the world for everything, and there is not one type of girl who fits into that spot. We think of words like smart, pretty, and successful as locks, and ourselves as the keys that must fit neatly into them. But the truth is, inside these words, these categories we use to define ourselves, there is room for everyone. This idea may not be reinforced by the media or taught in our schools, but it’s valid. It’s real. And if we could just stop playing into these ideas and stereotypes about ourselves, we could all see that. Then we could begin to change.