My 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.