Like Tomboys and Hate Girlie Girls? That’s Sexist

“In our attempt to free ourselves from the history of women’s oppression, we may have internalized a sexism that makes us want to shut off whole strains of items and experiences — to steer clear of pink or ballet or lipstick — and to associate the feminine with the bad. Some of that is because we do not want our kids to pick up on the messages usually cleaved to those things, that a girl must be a decorated object, pleasing to the male gaze. The original Barbie, after all, is anorexically thin, white, blond and literally unable to stand on her own two feet. But some of it is unexamined.

So let’s examine. First, we must stop using “girlie” as an insult. Second, we must strip gendered associations from lipstick, dresses and glitter, soccer balls, sweatpants and short hair. There is no reason any of those things should be strictly for boys or girls, or the genders in between.”


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