Becka W. wrote this piece in response to a question I posted under my Writers Wanted tab: "What does being a girl mean to you?" Becka blogs about feminist issues and her work has been featured on Fbomb multiple times – check her out at Becka Tells All!
Being a girl takes guts.
I can walk with my feet 3 inches off the ground for the whole day. I walk down streets alone at night in a short skirt even though so many in my society tell me that it’s dangerous for a girl to be out alone, that a man may take advantage of her – and that it’s her fault if she doesn't cover herself up.
I dream of careers in comedy or media or politics, despite the fact that all of those areas are notorious boys’ clubs.
Being a girl takes compassion and the will to act. I hear stories of other women’s rapes or fights with the healthcare system and I want to help them out. I hear about inequality and injustice in the fight for LGBT rights and I remember how rough it was – still is – for women to be accepted as powerful figures in our society, and I fight with them. I hear about a blood drive, or a cancer research walk, or a charity benefit and I feel compelled to participate. I don’t hate men, I just hate some men who don’t care about girls. I don’t hate conservatives, I hate that they’ve co-opted religion as their defense against women’s reproductive rights. I know how to see shades of gray.
Being a girl takes confidence. We’re told to look a certain way, to behave a certain way, to like certain things. The fact that I am heavier, hate sitting with my legs crossed, and like Star Wars, Star Trek, comic books, and raunchy comedies more than I enjoy chick flicks doesn’t make me less of a woman.
It makes me a more complex one.
Girls are told to be one way, and to be any other way takes guts and confidence and independence and faith in oneself – and every girl is different from that image, that stereotype.
Being a girl means being awesome, intelligent, fantastic, strong, independent, fun, adventurous, kind, smart, and great.
I'm curious to know what "being a girl" means to YOU. Send your response to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I might just post it!