‘Like a girl.’

It is puzzling that the phrase ‘…like a girl’  when added onto a sentence makes it an insult. Why is it a bad thing to do things like a girl?

Every girl is different, so there are many, many different possible scenarios that could be attached to your ‘insult’, and it might not be an insult at all! You might fight ‘like a girl’, but that girl could be a UFC fighter and be able to kick anyone’s butt. You might cry ‘like a girl’, but that girl could be Angelina Jolie and get paid millions of dollars to do it on camera.

To say that someone is doing something like a girl should not imply that it is inferior.

The worst is when a girl tells another girl to stop acting like a girl! This fails in the common sense department. Any way a girl acts is like a girl, because she is a girl and she is doing the actions… no insult, just common sense.

It also reinforces stereotypes and gender roles, which have both well and truly passed their expiration dates, and, like perms and hot pants, no longer have any place in our society.

To tell someone to stop ‘acting like a girl’ is a lazy excuse for an insult, and in fact it could (and should) be taken as a compliment!

R x


4 thoughts on “‘Like a girl.’

  1. Yes you are right. Telling a girl to stop acting ‘like a girl’ basically translates as: Hey, you are limiting yourself by conforming to the traditional stereotype of what it is to be a girl. This is the 21st century and new technology means there are now plenty of non labour intensive jobs, which allow women to earn a living for themselves. This means you no longer have to rely on men to provide for you. So there’s really no need to provoke men into providing for and protecting you by emphasising your femininity in such an exaggerated (caricatured) and over the top way. Just be a person in your own right….. not a Disney princess.

    ‘Like a girl’ is a message of empowerment *when directed at a girl or women* because it encourages her to break free of traditional gender roles for women (weak, dependent, reliant on men).

    The phrase is only an insult when it is directed at males.

    When you tell a boy or man to not be ‘like a girl’ you are saying something very different: Hey, you have no right to be weak or effete – we demand you stay inside your traditional patriarchal gender role as strong provider and protector of society (of women). Men do not deserve to be looked after or helped, they must always ‘man up’ and be the tough guy. Any man showing vulnerability, weakness or sensitivity will be shamed and ridiculed for being ‘like a girl’ (ie not a real man/ not attractive to women) until he surrenders and reverts to traditional patriarchal stereotypes of manhood.

    Feminism is always looking for ways to make women seem like weak, oppressed, powerless victims because feminism as a movement thrives the more society views women as weak, powerless, oppressed victims. This is why feminism even takes things which are oppressive to men and rebrands them as oppressive of women. It’s very sad.

    In the ;like a girl’ advert (the one which went viral) the director/ interviewer (who is also a feminist) even told the girls on stage to not run ‘like a girl’ and gave them a second chance to demonstrate their ‘non girly’ running. The message was that this was empowering (and it is).

    Yet at the same time the video’s message was that ‘like a girl’ is an insult to women…… m’kay….. so it’s empowering when a feminist tells a girl to stop being ‘like a girl’ but it’s an insult when someone else tells a girl to not be ‘like a girl’…….. another example of blatant, mad, feminist hypocrisy! And what’s more crazy is that so few people picked up on it. I think you are one of the few blogs which questions the ‘logic’ of the whole message 🙂


  2. Strange logic indeed! What we mean and what we actually say can be easily confused by using loaded, gendered cliches such as this.


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