I am a woman. I have the battle scars — okay, stretch marks (and stitches) — to prove it. (After all, pushing a very large (think huge watermelon) something through a very small opening (think small lime) in my nether regions should qualify.
Get ready. Here’s me climbing onto my soapbox.
I take offense to the continual, common and constant use of the term “girl”. It’s everywhere … in books, movies, plays, day-to-day speech.
Men say it. “Yeah, I picked up this girl at the bar last night, didn’t get much sleep … know what I mean *wink, wink*” Excuse me, but if said man truly picked up a girl and did “wink-wink-ables” he’d be up on statutory rape charges.
Women say it. “Girl, you look divine.” “Girls night now.” (As for the latter, why not “Women’s night out”?)
I have no problem with the passage of time. When I was born I had the monikers: newborn, infant and baby. By the time I started toddling around I became a toddler.. Somewhere around the age of 3ish (heavy on this “ish” since it appears the diaper effect and toddlerhood go hand in hand … or in this case, rump-to-moniker) I stopped being a toddler and became a girl.
Now this is where I’m tempted to grab a bull horn! I left being a girl behind a long time ago. About the time I started acquiring boobs, curves and hair in places aside from my head. Women have curves, boobs, pubic hair, and active reproductive organs (menses being a fact of life).WOMEN do. Not girls. Women give birth.(Yes, there are rare occurrences of girls giving birth. Sad yes, but not a part of this soapbox speech.)
I am a woman. In my teens and 20s I was a young woman. In my 30s and 40s I was a woman. From my 50s and onward I continue being a woman or mature woman.
Calling a black man “boy” is derogatory and demeaning. Am I the only one who finds the insidious use of the term “girl” for a woman demeaning as well?
Life is change. Ever flowing. Never constant. There are terms used to identify life’s passages. Referring to women as “girls” sends out subtle cues — to women and men alike. In reality it’s a diminutive. A put down. A subtle reminder (reinforcement of the idea) that woman require being taken care of. Cannot manage on their own. Are somehow “less than” men.
Let’s get real. If I have to put up with regular hormone fluctuations followed by bloody messes on a regular and monthly basis, to say nothing of months of incubating and birthing new life, then I’ve earned the right to be called a woman. Even if I never birthed a child, by rights, by age, by biological and physiological passage of time and the changes to my body, I am still a woman.
To end my rant with a chuckle, here’s a short story: I did meet a woman — a mature woman — wearing a t-shirt which read: G.I.R.L. ~ Goddess in Real Life. And while some may wish for goddess stature, I for one am content being a WOMAN.
Okay, putting down the bull horn and stepping off the soapbox.
~Photos are parts of murals found on public buildings.
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