The Eldest just played her first baseball game. Really it was Blastball and really it was just 10 boys and girls standing on gravel with gloves on their hands throwing balls at each other and swinging wildly at a rubber ball on a tee. The Eldest was THE ONLY kid who hit the ball off the tee on her first try both times they took the plate. She was also THE ONLY kid who almost ate her baseball glove while waiting in the field. While she didn't pick dandelions or build sandcastles, she did show she's cut our for American League DH play.
My daughter running to first base was my favourite and most memorable moment of the night but something else stood out to me too.
The Eldest was one of three girls on her team. Some of the girls, like some of the boys, showed more interest in playing than others. Likewise, the sidelines were littered by brothers and sisters, moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas and some of this collection seemed to be having more fun.
It was also raining, drizzling actually, and that's important to mention because my other memory came about because of the rain and a little girl, probably 9 or 10, who said to a parent (or the person who drove her to the game... either way a person with close ties to her), "I don't want to be in the rain anymore."
Sounded simple enough to me. I didn't really want to be in the rain anymore either and I had a kid playing. She was just there to watch a brother.
The answer to her request was, "Oh my god, you're such a girl."
What in the hell does that mean? I think she meant to say, "Oh my god, you hate the rain so much," but in the context it was spoken, she seemed to be implying all girls hate rain and, I guess, boys don't and that there was something wrong with "being such a girl." But it was a woman who said it. So was the woman who said it saying she was a boy? Was she saying being born with a vulva meant the child was more susceptible to melting? Is the little girl a descendant of the Wicked Witch of the West?
And, most importantly, why is "being such a girl," a bad thing and why are adults using this as an insult? It makes me think this person may not have a great grasp on what "being such a girl" means.
Because I'm annoying as hell, I decided to create a little list of things that humans "being such a girl," can come up with.
- She may not know about the creator of Yellowberry, who may not like rain (I'm not sure) but does like creating a company to sell age-appropriate bras to young girls.
- There's a Grade 10 student from Vancouver who is being "such a girl" that she has developed an early-stage HIV test. Sounds pretty girly to me.
- There's a crazy 16-year-old who is "being such a girl," by tying for 4th place in a Class 3A girls' pole vault at a UIL (Texas) State Track & Field Meet. Oh, and she's blind too.
- There's this really girly girl named Malala. If you want to really read about what "being such a girl," is, go read about her and donate to The Malala Fund.
- There's Hélène Campbell, who turned her own search for a double lung transplant into a worldwide campaign promoting the importance of being an organ and a blood donor, all the while "being such a girl."
- There's Hannah Alper, who is younger than you, better at "being such a girl," than me, and makes an impact in the lives of millions every single day. Check her out too.
- Two sisters started Books with no Bounds, a charity with a mission to bring books and improve reading and literacy skills among Aboriginal youth in the Nishnawbe Aski Nation.
- There's 16-year-old Grace Bush, who while "being such a girl," graduated from high school one week after graduating from college.
- There's my oldest daughter who drew a picture of our family standing under a sun. Our bodies aren't proportionate, but her imagination is too big for such small details. There's my youngest daughter who can make any animal sound you can name and convince you she's right even if they all sound the exact same.
There are hundreds of millions of other examples of girls being girls that I'd encourage people to check out if they are still unsure what it means to "be such a girl."
There is no one thing that makes someone a girl, and more importantly, you could not think of a less insulting insult than to call someone a girl. Many girls like flowers. Many boys like hockey. I like flowers and I like hockey. Don't define people and their traits by their gender, define them by how helpful or hurtful they are.
To recap: unless you're sitting in a room watching a woman give birth to a female child, there really is no reason to utter the phrase "oh my god, you're such a girl."*
*Even then you might be wrong