Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Dear Ladies,

I have a favor to ask all of you. Let's all agree from now on, for the sake of womanhood (regardless if you identify as a womanist/feminist or not), stop stop stop blaming your shortcomings on the fact that you're a "girl." I hear this most often from you, fellow twenty-somethings, which causes me to grind my teeth. We are grown-ups, therefore we are women now, not girls. I find it irritating enough when a man calls us girls; we don't need to reaffirm sexism among ourselves, okay?

Now to my next point: if you find you cannot do something, that is okay, because we're all imperfect, and there's plenty of things we all are unable to do. There are things we're not good at, and that's okay, because there's plenty of things we are good at. I'm terrible at sports, and am a sore loser, so I won't even play. I can't parallel park, and don't care. I hate numbers, and refuse to do math (even at my job). I love rap music, but cannot for my life rap along to lyrics I know by heart. I have asthma, so exercise is unpleasant for me. I have never successfully run a whole mile. Some days I'm lucky to ride my bike that far. I don't really know how cars work.

But I know how to write. I can write poetry and short stories and nonfiction. I can draw pretty damn well (see site banner). I can paint. I can sew and crochet. I can cook. I have a frightening knack for reading comprehension to the point where I can point out inconsistencies that go unnoticed by other people reading the same thing. I recently learned how to build and fix bicycles. I've fixed the heater in my car (yes, actually removing and replacing the necessary parts--not just hitting the damn thing).

All these things have absolutely nothing to do with my ownership of a vagina. Hell, they don't even have anything to do with my gender identity.

So lets all stop blaming our shortcomings on our sex and/or gender. It's not cute, not even when you say it with a little "tee hee" to a cute guy. It may not seem like much, but it's damaging. If we're determined to show that we are as competent and ass-kicking as any man, we need to stop reaffirming sexist stereotypes.



Anonymous said...

They may not having anything to do with your ownership of a vagina, but there is a preponderance of vagina owners that are just like you. While there are also those that are not.

Bianca Reagan said...

I call people Ladies and Gentlemen. I find it polite, but other people occasionally find it weird.

SaraDee said...

ugh. Thank you. I had a very memorable argument with a woman in my third year of my undergrad who said she hated feminists because they were always saying women could do things. Seriously. She went to uni to find man to look after her because she genuinely felt she couldn't/shouldn't do things herself. She was cooing at one of the guys in our class about how she was so jealous of men because they could get well-paying jobs during the summer "driving fork-lifts or driving trucks"... neither of which, I felt the need to point out, she was precluded from on the basis of her gender (I know a few women who make their livings doing both just fine), since neither required the sort of body strength that might conceivably be a reason that she couldn't do it. The guy she was cooing at fought forest fires, which I could see most women not being able to do, true - I know a few women strong enough to do it (all have had to retire from injuries), but I for one have never been strong enough.

This elicited the "I hate feminists" remark and eye-roll. If you can't do it, then say YOU can't - stop bloody well excusing your own inability/unwillingness/laziness with made-up self-hating sexist reasons!