What It's Like to be a Girl

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 09:01
Submitted by Carlin Ross

This comment was posted by sandwich_witch in the "off my chest" section on reddit. It's exactly what it's like to be a young girl:

"I am not excusing rudeness, but here it is from the perspective of a hot young girl:

You go through your childhood without any sexual overtures being made at you (hopefully). You wear jeans with reinforced knees and hair clips. The only thing anyone expects of your looks is to wipe the ketchup off your face once in a while and maybe bathe sometimes. Life is good.

Then you hit puberty and start to sprout lumps and bumps and you have no idea what to do with any of them, but everyone is noticing and commenting and making you very very aware of them. Your clothes stop fitting, your friends are putting black goop on their eyelashes and that awful fruity lip gloss that tastes like microwaved jelly beans, and worst of all, boys are looking at you. Not just the old "ew, a girl, cooties!" looking. They are looking at your chest and your behind and everything in between. The rude ones will comment and the even ruder ones will get grabby. You feel scared and inexplicably dirty.

As you grow, those boys will get bolder and pushier. And not just boys-- men, years or even decades older than you. They will look you up and down, analyzing your body like you are a shelf in the supermarket. They yell at you from cars and construction sites and sidewalks, leer at you in class, even insult you online (TITS or GTFO anyone?). You may have your first boyfriend. If you're lucky, he won't pressure you into sex before you're ready. If you're lucky, your friends won't find out and call you a slut or a whore or God knows what else.

You keep growing. You learn caution and who to ignore. You may become a little paranoid-- that nice man behind the checkout counter, is he making small talk or flirting? Did he just look at your chest again? You remember the time you were nice to that boy in class who invited you to a party and then tried to reach up your dress. You have the sinking feeling that the way you look makes you public property, diminishing anything else you might have to offer.

And yes, some girls will get rude, or touchy, or jump to conclusions, because they have been through this so many times it has become a wall, a suit of armor, to protect themselves. Even if they have nothing to fear, they don't know you, and fear is one of the first things women are taught to carry with them. It isn't you-- it's what led up to it. Again, I don't excuse it, but do try to understand."


Editor in Chief & Keeper of All Things Betty Dodson

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Sat, 12/29/2012 - 17:15

Be nice if straight  women can be given the space to be sexuially pro-active and ask men out without the assumption they want to go all the way on the 1st night, but have a choice and agency just like a man or a sapphic woman.  (it would take a bit of the pressure off and turn the tables a little) I think most Sapphic women can teach us a fair bit about how people who are atracted can find each other in usually an enjoyable way for everyone. 

Natural attractions

Sat, 12/29/2012 - 17:06

Boys (and girls) shouldn't be made to feel ashamed of their natural attractions. At the same time, if they are taught respect for their own persons and sexuality, they will respect those of others. Boys are typically 'protected' from knowing anything about the female body all through childhood, and then are made to feel perverse when they hit adolescence and become curious. Children raised as naturists or nudists don't ogle people. Why would they? They've seen it all already and there is nothing mysterious or shameful about the human body to them. Instead, they can relate to others simply as one person to another. If we raise children to be body-positive,  sex-positive, well-informed, and respectful, the problems that sandwich_witch speaks of will take care of themselves.

What its like to be a girl.

Mon, 12/31/2012 - 10:02

You get to ignore men with aspergers sydrome, even break their hearts.

I'd say it all starts

Tue, 01/01/2013 - 13:17

I'd say it all starts earlier. It's been observed that parents treat children differently from birth, depending on sex. It's continued in kindergarden and schools. 
I sometimes substitute as kindergardenteacher, and I've actually observed this behaviour in myself. I, who thinks everyone should be treated equally, has read tons of books on the subject and consider myself a die hard feminist. It's so subtle, but it's there and almost impossible to detect. I suppose there's been advancements, but we have a long way to go.

What it's like to be a girl

Tue, 01/08/2013 - 18:57

The Everyday Sexism Project is a good place to start (their twitter feed is here). It's a site worth passing on to anyone who thinks sexism doesn't exist anymore or that feminism is unecessary in 2013. Particularly soul destroying is the #shoutingback tag they're running on their twitter feed at the moment, which are instances of street harrassment. I wish I could say I was shocked at what we women have to endure on an almost daily basis, but I have plenty of my own experiences of street harrassment and I don't know a single female friend who hasn't. How sad is that? Nor do I know a single woman (myself included) who hasn't been sexually assaulted to some degree or other.

As the post Carlin relayed alludes to, it starts so early. Frighteningly early (just look at the amount of #shoutingback stories on @everydaysexism which are from when the woman was 11/12/13 - I even saw one from when a woman was as young as 7yo). And it seemingly never ends, it's just relentless.

So yes, we might be rude and we might be pissed off, but just look at what we have to deal with.

N.B. I have no affiliation with Everyday Sexism (although I have submitted a few of my own entries to their site), I just think it's an invaluable and incredibly worthwhile project which I'd encourage everyone to read. It really does highlight the extent to which sexism still exists. It's not OK that women are still being treated like this.

hardy girls healthy women

Wed, 01/09/2013 - 07:35

We have a program in our area that focuses on helping girls be strong and sure, which I think is a partial solution to the problems outlined here. Some boys and men may act like assholes, but a confident and powerful girl is a lot less affected by stupidity. I think it is really important for girls to have interests other than boys and shopping; in my experience, horse-crazy girls are far more interested in pursuing their passion than what anyone says about them. And a side benefit to being physically and mentally strong is that people looking for someone to target will be less likely to choose you.

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