This is one of the best movies in the world. And this is one of the funniest scenes from the movie (it’s in close contention to when Squints kisses Wendy Peffercorn). But it got me thinking – when did “girl” become the king of insults?
I’m a girl. I’m a little girl. I’m petite and I love sky-high shoes, bags, and sparkly things. But I also race cars, like beer and sports, and have been known to swear like a sailor. Even the subjects in school that interested me were more math/science based. I have fairly thick skin – which means that after a decade of spending my weekends with dirty old men, I am very calloused to the sexist jokes, being hit on, and none of it bothers me. I laugh it off. One of my favorite instructors even yelled, “Stop driving like a girl!” And I laughed and hit cones. And when I finally got fast, I was “boy-fast.” So it’s not really a surprise to me when people (read: men) use “like a girl” as an insult. I just never paid much attention to it.
I realize this commercial had been out long before the Super Bowl, but as I live under a pop culture rock, I hadn’t seen it till then. I was floored. There’s so much talk about equality, feminism, independence, empowering women – and then there’s the “like a girl” insult. I never realized how regressive it was until I actually watched the commercial. It hadn’t dawned on me just how detrimental this phrase, “like a girl,” could be to the next generation of females.
I think the most positive takeaway from this commercial is that the younger generation, when questioned at the end doesn’t do anything “prissy” or “sissy.” They just do. I’ve always just done, and I encourage any of the younger girls that have expressed interest in racing, or stereotypically masculine fields, to follow suit. I hope one day soon, it won’t be a fallback insult. But until then, when we’re told we do something “like a girl,” perhaps we should respond with “Thank you.” Girls are pretty awesome, you know.