I was at Five Below yesterday and bought myself a shirt that reads “I’m So Fancy, you don’t even know” which is hilarious and perfect because the only way for me to ever be fancy would be if no one in the world knew about it because I’m so not fancy in the slightest. And for $5, whereas in other stores it would be $20, it was a steal and I love it so I’m happy.
But then I saw another shirt that read “Real Girls Play In The Mud” or maybe it was real Women play in the Dirt, or maybe it was something about trucks. Honestly I don’t remember but it doesn’t really matter if it was girls or women or mud or dirt or trucks or bikes, because there are so many freakin’ shirts like that out there and the the point is always the same — real females can hang with the guys.
First, can we please stop classifying things as “for males” or “for females”? I know boys who like dresses and makeup and girls who like dirtbiking and headbanging and neither makes either of them more or less male or female, women or men, girls or boys. It just makes them human.
Now, the important thing to notice about this shirt is that it tells girls that being “one of the boys” is cool, but being “one of the girls” is not. Real women are one of the boys. They like mud and dirt and trucks and bikes and balls — not makeup and ponies and dresses and dolls. And this is so, so wrong.
I Googled images of “real girls play” before I went back to Five Below to find the shirt, and I was appalled with what I found. Photos of shirts and stickers and all sorts of shit that said stuff like “Some Girls Play With Dolls, Real Girls Go Fishing“. So you’re telling me that any girl who plays with dolls is not a real girl? This is the message we want to send our youth?
This is absurd. We’re all about empowering women to do whatever they want. You know, so long as what they want isn’t considered “girly”. Because real women don’t do girly things. Come on.
I don’t play with dolls or wear makeup or do my hair. I also don’t kick balls or hunt or fish. So does that make me a real woman or not? Of course I’m a real fucking woman. I have a vagina and I know in my heart that I’m a woman. But it’s shit like this that makes me identify as Androgynous, because it seems I can’t fit in no matter what I do.
We’re all just trying to survive. The message we should be sending our girls is not that they must fit in with the boys to be real women, but that they should be themselves because they already are real women. No matter what they do, or like, or want.