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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Throw Like a Girl

Yesterday we spent the day at the beach. The kids and Stan frolicked about in the freezing cold waters of Virginia Beach while I sat on the beach and soaked up some sun (the thought of putting my body anywhere near 53 degree water - even if it was 89 degrees outside - was not on my radar but sitting on the beach, soaking up the sunshine was just my thing!). My enjoyment was complete as I watched the kids and Stan play football in the waves. The boys' included Claire in the throwing of the football and it made me smile.

I always knew there was a difference in the way boys and girls throw a ball, run and do a multitude of other daily activities but yesterday I wondered again why it is such an insult to say "You throw like a girl!" Yesterday reminded me why I get a little offended when I listen to boys insult one another, or girls, by slamming how girls throw, run, scream, etc...I am a girl. I am proud to be a girl. I am proud of my daughter. I hope she always embraces the fact that she is a girl. Yes, she throws like a girl but she gets the ball from point A to point B. I throw like a girl and I run like a girl but I, too, get my ball and myself from point A to point B. I run like a girl and throw like a girl because I am a girl.

Boys do things differently than girls because of differences in body structures. I get it. Male and female bodies, by their very nature, have to be designed differently. They are designed to accomplish different tasks in life.

I am glad boys do things differently. They are boys. I love my boys. I love the fact that they embrace their boy-ness. They are proud of being boys and they should be. Girls, too, have every right to be proud of being a girl. Claire doesn't go around saying "Ooooh, you throw like a boy!" Why should it be OK for boys to insult a girl for differences in body structure?

Why do we, as a society, encourage girls to not embrace their girl-ness? I think girls should stand tall and be proud of what their bodies can accomplish. We can be strong and athletic. We can be tall and willowy. We can be short and strong. Our bodies are perfectly designed. In our society there should be no place for insults regarding gender, sexual preferences, color, religion...In our society we should embrace what we are and stand tall. No one should be subjected to insults based on who they are.

I am constantly amazed when I hear demeaning comments like "Women's basketball (subsitute hockey, tennis, softball, etc...)is so boring." Women's sports are a different game. Women who get to a professional level in any sport should be commended for their hard work, dedication and commitment. Instead, they are belittled for how "boring" their sport is. I enjoy watching men's sports as much as the next person. Their sports are usually full of power and physicality. Women's sports are, generally speaking, a more strategic game. They are totally different games and they should be celebrated for their differences. We all should be celebrated for our differences. The demeaning needs to go.

I was so happy to watch the boys and Claire throw the football through the waves yesterday with nary a comment on throwing like a girl. Claire does throw like a girl. I throw like a girl. I am a girl and I am damn proud of it! I will teach Claire to throw like a girl and be proud of it. I will teach my sons to respect girls who throw like girls, run like girls and scream like girls. I want all of our daughters to throw like girls and be proud of it!

For the love of our daughters....

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