You Throw Like A Girl: The Language Of Misogyny (VIDEO)

throw like a girl 1My husband and I went for a walk Tuesday afternoon. The temperature was in the high 40’s, and he brought along a pair of earmuffs. I mentioned this as we were leaving the house, and he said “If I don’t, my bad ear will start to hurt, and I’ll whine like a little girl.” Now, my husband is not a misogynist. He and his siblings were raised by a single mom, and he is the kindest, most wonderful man on the planet. He considers himself a feminist in that he believes women are people, and deserve the same rights and protection as men. He is also a humanist, believing everyone should be protected from hate, violence, discrimination, and bigotry. And yet even this amazing man has been conditioned to think doing something “like a girl” is a sign of weakness.

You throw like a girl. You run like a girl. You fight like a girl. Don’t be such a girl. Why is being a girl deemed some sort of punishment by so many? Many young men would love to throw like Mo’Ne Davis, make the cover of Sports Illustrated, and be elevated to legend status at the age of 13. Who wouldn’t want to run like Carmelita Jeter, world-record holder, and Olympic medalist? As for fighting like a girl, I’d like to see a few MRAs step into the ring with the USA Women’s Boxing Team.  Female athletes are powerful, gifted, strong, and beautiful. My friend Kim from high school participates in triathlons, and she’s gorgeous.

But we train boys to think girls are weaker, and therefore, less than. It is the ultimate insult for one boy to tell another he does something like a girl. Society tells boys to “man up,” don’t cry, don’t show emotion; if you do, you’re weak, a sissy, girly. Media does it, too. Greg Gutfield and Eric Bolling of Fox and Friends insulted a female UAE pilot, with Gutfield asking if the pilot could “park it”-meaning the fighter jet-after she bombed ISIS, and Bolling musing if this is “boobs on the ground.” Those comments were not well received by US veterans, who wrote a letter to Gutfield and Bolling, which read in part:

Thus the skill of women as fighter pilots is well established. And before you jump to the standby excuse that you were “just making a joke” or “having a laugh,” let the men amongst our number preemptively respond: You are not funny. You are not clever. And you are not excused. Perhaps the phrase “boys will be boys”—inevitably uttered wherever misogyny is present—is relevant. Men would never insult and demean a fellow servicemember; boys think saying the word ‘boobs’ is funny. (source)

In 2012, the documentary “It’s a Girl” was released. From the official website:

In India, China and many other parts of the world today, girls are killed, aborted and abandoned simply because they are girls. The United Nations estimates as many as 200 million girls are missing in the world today because of this so-called “gendercide”.

Girls who survive infancy are often subject to neglect, and many grow up to face extreme violence and even death at the hands of their own husbands or other family members.

The war against girls is rooted in centuries-old tradition and sustained by deeply ingrained cultural dynamics which, in combination with government policies, accelerate the elimination of girls.

This is real. In many countries, girls are worth less than boys, and in some cases, worth nothing at all. Killed, abandoned, abused, simply for being female. We do not have this here, we have something else, an attitude that echoes a man in India.

Mukesh Singh has been sentenced to death for his role in the 2012 gang rape of a 23-year old Delhi woman, who died from her injuries. The woman was riding a bus home after seeing a movie, and was brutally assaulted by six men-five adults and one juvenile on the moving bus. Singh was the driver, and while the other men state they took turns driving so each man could attack the young woman, Singh claims he stayed at the wheel the entire time. Driving his bus around as six men raped a woman to death.

Singh blames the woman for this. He has never showed any remorse in more than 16 hours of interviews. Here are some of his statements about that awful night:

A decent girl won’t roam around at nine o’clock at night. A girl is far more responsible for rape than a boy.

Housework and housekeeping is for girls, not roaming in discos and bars at night doing wrong things, wearing wrong clothes. About 20% of girls are good.

She was beggar girl. Her life was of no value. (source)

This isn’t just confined to India or to other countries outside of the United States. Here in our own country, we have politicians and media figures who say this about women:

Rape and incest was used as a reason to oppose this. I would hope that when a woman goes into a physician with a rape issue, that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly caused by a rape. (Senator Chuck Winder, R, Idaho)

But while all of this is going on, just a few weeks ago, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta commented on a new Pentagon report on sexual abuse in the military. I think they have actually discovered there is a difference between men and women. And the sexual abuse report says that there has been, since 2006, a 64% increase in violent sexual assaults. Now, what did they expect? These people are in close contact, the whole airing of this issue has never been done by Congress, it’s strictly been a question of pressure from the feminist. (Liz Trotta on Fox News)

Rape is kinda like the weather. If it’s inevitable, relax and enjoy it. (Clayton Williams, R, Texas)

If a woman has [the right to an abortion], why shouldn’t a man be free to use his superior strength to force himself on a woman? At least the rapist’s pursuit of sexual freedom doesn’t [in most cases] result in anyone’s death. (Lawrence Lockman, R, Maine)

I am not less than because I am a woman, anymore than my husband is more than for being a man. Women have value, we have power and strength, and beauty beyond measure. No one has the right to kill us or abuse us, then blame us for our own murder or assault. No one has the right to beat us just for being female. No one has the right to make being born a girl a death sentence.

Please take a few minutes to watch the trailer for “It’s a Girl” below, and you can see the documentary free on Hulu.

Erin Nanasi

Erin Nanasi is the creator of The Bachmann Diaries: Satirical Excerpts from Michele Bachmann's Fictional Diary. She hates writing about herself in the third person. Erin enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with family. And wombats. Come visit Erin on on Facebook. She also can be found on Twitter at @WriterENanasi.


Facebook comments

  • Cemetery Girl

    Absolutely fabulous job. I worry for my daughter. She’s still very young; she’s oblivious to all of this. My husband already worries about when she becomes a teenager and her starting to date. I worry about her growing up and society seeing this smart, vibrant person and telling her she’s less important, not quite worthy, because she wasn’t born with a Y chromosome. I consider all of my kids to be amazing people (the others are boys), all are intelligent and have their own unique qualities that they bring to the table, but I worry about how the outside world will impact her.

  • Charles Vincent

    Unfortunately misandry is just as prevalent yet let reported on.

    • Lyds4preZ


      • Charles Vincent

        You presume that men don’t suffer bad deals at the hand of women. also its hardly highjacking the thread to talk about the reverse of misogyny.

    • BB-Mystic

      Charles, this is a thoughtful, well-written article. Why can’t you just go with it? If you wanted to write an article about misandry, Allen Clifton might let you publish it here; or you could write about it on your own blog and link it.

      • Charles Vincent

        Not commenting on the article just seems like you never read about misandry. Sort of irksome when only part of the story is printed at least in this instance. For example if I were to write an article on rape I would include statistic or stories of males being raped. To me a lot of these storties and articles we read are one dimensional and don’t do justice to the topics that are generally more complex or have more than a single side.

      • BB-Mystic

        For example if I were to write an article on rape I would include statistic or stories of males being raped.

        That’s fine, and if you were to write an article like that I would certainly read it. However, I do not think that is really this article’s slant: see the title “The Language of Misogyny.” Even the rape incident in India is written more from the viewpoint of the perp’s attitudes about women, and by extension the attitudes of some conservatives about women in this country. Hence the boxed quotes. The writer is not offering statistics on rape, either male or female, because it’s not her focus for this particular article.

      • Charles Vincent

        Not saying its a slant, it is just not painting the whole picture.
        The rape bump was an example not really related to this topic please don’t conflate the two.

        “and by extension the attitudes of some conservatives about women in this country.”
        This is a clear example of what I mean. It isn’t just Conservatives. Misogyny doesn’t discriminate based on age ,creed, or political views.

  • Cufmann

    This article makes good points and a good argument, but it’s diminished by only listing Republicans’ and conservatives’ quotes exhibiting misogynist displays of stupidity.

    Misogyny isn’t limited to one political ideology, this article leaves one with that impression the author believes that is the case.

  • LegitXXX

    Ahem…While some select women may be good at throwing…I know some…Most women are terrible at throwing and 99% look awkward when they throw a ball, often leading awkwardly with their elbow. Even though a lot of power comes from the legs, it’s an upper body activity…So yeah…If empirical observation is misogynistic… Well then perhaps reality has a misogynistic bias as well, and maybe you should just get over yourself.

    • BB-Mystic

      I’m not very good at throwing myself, but that’s not really the point. See the title: “The Language of Misogyny”? It’s when people generalize a select population possibly being bad at throwing to mean they’re a lesser person is when it becomes objectionable.

      If you’ve ever seen the XKCD cartoon on this subject, it illustrates the concept very well. The first panel says, “You suck at math,” meaning the individual standing there. The second panel says, “Girls suck at math,” which every thinking person should know isn’t true. There is a difference between the statements.

    • LegitXXX

      But that’s the point…If women as a gender generally do something particularly bad or good, “like a girl” is applied, ie, “you’re pretty like a girl, John.” It works for positive things as well…It’s not misogynistic. What it is is to say you are a MAN and you are not ALLOWED to be vulnerable, or sensitive ot gentle. And men know the defining aspect of their gender is to be tough, have thick skin, be a good soldier because they aren’t considered men by other men OR women if they don’t act that way…So to say “like a girl” is misogynistic is foolish. Like a girl is oppressive to men as it entirely restricts their behavior as far as what the world will accept, both genders. ” Like a girl” is a reminder that men HAVE to be a certain way and they have to try harder, and women have the liberty to be what ever they want.

      The lens you look at this through is warped.

      • BB-Mystic

        Instead of saying I’m warped, why don’t you take a step back and consider the idea that the system itself, ie the patriarchy, is the warped one here, for forcing men (and women) into such restrictive, toxic little boxes?

        What it is is to say you are a MAN and you are not ALLOWED to be vulnerable, or sensitive ot gentle.

        What is good about this, precisely? It doesn’t sound like a very good thing to me. Sure, some men are naturally stoic and tough, but many are not, and I’m sure they would like to get rid of such an idiotic gender role and be the person they really are. I think a man who is vulnerable, sensitive and gentle, and can be nurturing and show strong emotions like tears, is the greatest thing since sliced bread, and I know many women who feel the same way.

        And men know the defining aspect of their gender is to be tough, have thick skin, be a good soldier because they aren’t considered men by other men OR women if they don’t act that way

        This, frankly, is bullshit. This warped view of men and masculinity (and women and femininity–remember, the patriarchy goes both ways) is a social construct, and it can be changed. We shouldn’t have these rigid gender roles. For example, I am the provider in my household; I’ve never had children nor wanted any; and I have absolutely no interest in makeup, high heels, and endless shopping. Yet I’m proud to be a woman and don’t want to be male. Similarly, men should be allowed (and encouraged) to be gentle and loving, to cry if they feel like crying (I think that hoary old axiom “boys don’t cry” is absolutely one of the most damaging things you can say to a kid), and stay home with their kids if they want to, and many other things, if that is their nature.

        Let’s break out of these outmoded gender roles, so both genders can experience the full range of human emotion, and let their individual natures take them in whatever direction they want.

      • LegitXXX

        I didn’t say you were warped…I said the lens you peer at the world through is. I wasn’t attacking YOU I was attacking your attachment to an invalid and elaborately fabricated point of view…A way to look at the world, wherein you add values to things that don’t have them and tied associations to thoughts in people that simply don’t exist in the rampant fashion that you believe they do.

        Secondly, actually, study after study shows that women as well as men don’t respect men that don’t act, “like men.” They may act as though they accept them on the surface, but ultimately they don’t respect them or believe they are as capable in the same way. So…There goes that argument. I’d love to provide you my cited studies from..Anything produced by universities prior to the ginned up feminist slant…But, I’m not going to cite an internet reply…Not worth my time. ROI…Suffice it to say…There are a lot.

        I will grant you that the restrictiveness of male behavior is something that could be considered damaging. However…I would also say, that someone needs to go to war when it happens. Some one needs to defend the house from intruders, and needs to bear down when things get hard. Men do and have always done these things because we are either better at them, or so that flatly, you don’t have to. Sounds like hate to me. I’ll go off and die so you can take care of the kids and be safe…Historically, with regards to propagation of genetics, and what women actually wanted, men have been the SHIELD for women through out history. And we’ve carried the burdens of the outside world to keep you and offspring safe. Sounds like total misogyny. Men did all these things and put all the risks on their shoulders because we hate women, in a time when a staph infection could kill you. It sounds a lot more like women used men a tools.

        The fact of the matter is, until we become one world and one country, the male gender role will be needed. It is an unfortunate burden men have to carry, but it is a necessary one. Everything you complain about Misogyny, is really just a misunderstood affection and appreciation. SURE there ARE misogynist…But, the general reality is that men dont HATE women. I’ve men real racists. They actually discredit and dislike people JUST because of their skin color…I’ve never met a man that does that to women, unless it has to do with something physical, or has to do with toughness. Because men are factually stronger, and because men are not allowed to show weakness or vulnerability….It’s our JOB. When men dismiss women it’s not because they think women suck or they are bad, or terrible or that they hate women…It’s that women don’t HAVE TO BE any of those things, and therefore are statistically less inclined to possess those qualities, as it isn’t something they HAVE to do your be an outcast and social pariah….IT MAKES SENSE AND IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HATING WOMEN………….I LOVE WOMEN. I HATE THIS SKEWED DISCUSSION. It’s like saying trees hate grass because they keep blocking out the sun so grass can’t grow under them! YOU ARE MISSING THE POINT. You are crafting a narrative that takes inadvertent actions with other goals, and then taking the desired result and redirecting it towards some narrative that is crafted to make a point based on very poor conjecture. There is a lot of tunnel vision, and hyper focus, and cherry picking of information, and rejection of mutually shared burdens through out history, so that the clever narrative isn’t disrupted…It’s bullshit.

        Patriarchy…Give me a break.

      • BB-Mystic

        With all due respect, you’re not listening to a thing I’m saying.

        someone needs to go to war when it happens.

        With the state of modern warfare, I can go to war just as well as you can. (See: Rep. Tammy Duckworth, a combat fighter pilot in Iraq who lost both her legs.) In fact, if the draft ever was reinstated, it should apply to both men and women.

        Some one needs to defend the house from intruders

        I can do that just as well as you can. Does a gun require a penis to pull the trigger?

        Men do and have always done these things because we are either better at them, or so that flatly, you don’t have to.

        Oh, knock that shit off. I don’t want you to do ANYTHING like that for me. I’ll do it myself, thank you.

        I’ll go off and die so you can take care of the kids and be safe

        What century are you in again? For one thing, I don’t have kids. You did read what I said, right? For another, in our (current) volunteer army, both men and woman are accepted, both go off to war, and both die.

        because men are not allowed to show weakness or vulnerability

        Again, this is wrong and should be changed. It’s damaging to men. Frankly, since I want men not to be stuck in their awful, tough-guy box, I think I have a higher opinion of men than you do. Men are capable of, can be, and should be so much more than our society is willing to permit.

        It’s our JOB.

        It doesn’t have to be, if you decide you don’t want it. That’s what I’m working towards, a world where there’s no shame in refusing traditional gender roles, for either gender. I want the phrase “You throw like a girl” (when said to a boy) to be a compliment, not a disparagement.

        Read “The Gender Knot: Unraveling Our Patriarchal Legacy” by Allan G. Johnson. It refutes pretty much everything you just said.

        Also, if you have any reputable current studies, please cite them. Otherwise, I’ll think you pretty much pulled that entire comment out of your ass.

      • LegitXXX

        No, you can’t. I was captain of the football team. If you ask a man who has been in combat do you want women on your squad? It’s a forced “yes”. Because they don’t want to sound like a ” misogynist”. But the reality is the same as it would be on the football field. Who has the strength and ability to do what needs to be done and save what needs to be saved, when it matters. The fact of the matter is…On my starting highschool football team of all of the girls in my highschool, I would have started 0 of them…Not because I don’t like women, but because.,.This is raw battle…and…no. There is a reason why there are no XX NFL linebackers….So…Stop asserting things that put people a lives in danger. It’s dangerous, self centered and foolish….Get over the idea that some how the Y and the X are the same. They are very different, and that’s okay…

        All of the ideas you have are bad, and are just a pile of whining, with a handful of valid points(with your entire ideology considers, universally.) And you don’t focus on the difference making points that might undermine your point to begin with after the fact…SO THERES THAT.

      • BB-Mystic

        So…no citations, no facts, and comments that are pretty much rambling piles of nonsense.

        Yep, pulled out of your ass, sure enough.

        (By the way, even though you ignored her, Tammy Duckworth is still a female combat veteran.)

      • LegitXXX

        Unfortunately for you, it doesn’t make it any less true. It’s not like your mind would ever change anyway…You are programmed. Once one stops possessing the ability to think critically, they no longer are a prescriber to a philosophy, but rather the zealot of a religion. Ahem. That’s you.

        Oh, nice way of subtly ascribing that I’m a misogynist, in that I “ignored” some Tammy person. Apparently I didn’t find her worth replying to because of her vagina…Unless of course, I have a life and never saw any reply by her…Oh right…It could be that…Oh wait, it is. And now, I am not GOING to reply to whatever she said, or read it. Not because I’m a misogynist or because she is, I assume, a woman, but rather because I honestly don’t care. And I want YOU to know…I don’t care…And it has nothing to do with misogyny or whether or not this person does or does not possess a dick, but rather about making your blood boil. Which I’m sure it will…OUT 🙂

  • Otto Greif

    Noticing the male-female throwing ability gap is not misogyny.