10 myths about femininity debunked

1. Women are born ‘gentle’.
Gender doesn’t determine your personality; a woman isn’t born gentle and a man isn’t born strong. Behaviours are learnt and these identities have been constructed for us…but times are changin’ – as a society we seem to be addressing and challenging these traditional notions and labels, instead opting for a neutral, more fluid approach to gender.

2. Girls are made of sugar and spice and all things nice.
Last time I checked, I was made of skin, muscle, bone and array of chemical elements. Oh, and of course pizza. Don’t forget pizza.

3. Femininity = hair and makeup.
As Diane Baker once said: “It’s not any direct way of dressing or putting on makeup. It’s your attitude.” It’s time the terms femininity and masculinity became synonymous with individuality – if you feel feminine, then you are feminine!

4. Women should be hairless.
Women grow hair, just like men – it’s totally normal and natural! Yet thanks to mainstream media we have been shamed into thinking body hair is repulsive and something to be immediately removed, when in actual fact, there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. Whether you are as hairless as a Sphinx cat, or as furry as rabbit – if you like it, rock it!

5. All women prefer not to have numerous sexual partners.
Not true. Some women prefer to be in relationships whilst some enjoy casual sex. FYI: The latter should be able to do so without being slut shamed for their choices.

6. All women are emotional.
Emotional, crazy, hysterical, hormonal etc etc are adjectives commonly hurled at women as reasons why they won’t make good leaders, or to discredit the legitimacy of a woman’s point in an argument. These descriptors are used against women to silence them and keep them within roles that have been carved out by the patriarchy.

7. Women don’t make good leaders.
Queen Elizabeth 1st. Argument = lost.

8. All women are good homemakers.
It’s 2017, not 1950. While some women are great homemakers, other women are great doctors, mechanics, CEOs etc.

9. Women are worse at driving/ parking than men.
Only when we have our eyes closed. JOKING. One study revealed that men are more than three times as likely to be ticketed for “aggressive driving” than women, and more than 25 percent as likely to be at fault in an accident.

10. Women talk more than men.
That depends on how much coffee we have consumed.

Stop telling me to ‘smile’

‘Cheer up love!’

‘Smile!’

‘It might never happen!’

These are just a few of the things absolute strangers have shouted at me walking down the street.

On my way to work just the other day, a man I had never met in my life told me to give him a ‘smile’.

Why did I take such offence to his request?

And would that man later tell another man he didn’t know to smile?

These were the questions that went through my head after the encounter.

“Your face – just like your body – is something you, and you only, should police”

 

A quick search on the internet revealed that I wasn’t the only one sick and tired of being told to ‘smile’ by a stranger. While of course, both genders can be guilty of such a faux pas, the search revealed that in the main, men were the repeat offenders and women, the unwilling recipients of such comments.

Beneath this seemingly harmless comment, much larger issues are at play; gender stereotyping and sexism.

At the heart of smile-gate is the expectation from some men, that females specifically, need to exhibit femininity through smiling and ‘prettiness’. It is an unwelcome assertion of authority and implies that you feel I am here for your entertainment and that I should look how you want me to look – not only that, but on some level you feel you have the right to tell me how to look and act (FYI: You don’t, no one does).

Being told to smile can be invasive, patronising and insensitive. You have no idea what that person is going through; they could be struggling with depression, experienced a recent bereavement or conversely, they could be ecstatic with happiness! Your face – just like your body – is something you, and you only, should police.

 

Girli

We interviewed GIRLI, the young, fearless, London-based singer/rapper/producer making rappy, bratty, sugar-dance-pop

DtL: Our research revealed that 35% of teenage girls believe that their gender will have a negative effect on their career. What are your thoughts on this, based on your experiences in the music industry?
Girli: My gender has definitely had an impact on aspects of my career – as a girl in a male dominated industry, there’s a lot of “lad” culture which means you get left out or your music gets shunned just because you’re not a dude. I’ve lost out on support gigs and collaborations because of being a woman, but also the fact that I speak my mind and I’m a girl means I get way more s*&! for my songs than men who are outspoken in music. But then, at the same time, I feel like because I’m a girl saying important stuff through my music, people sometimes also pay more attention than they would than if I was a guy. It can swing both ways.

DtL: What themes inspire your writing process?
Girli: Mostly my friends and their dramas – I love listening to people’s conversations and observing their traits then writing songs about it.

DtL: Did you ever experience bullying? If so can you tell us what happened and how you dealt with it?
Girli: Yeah, I was pretty badly bullied when I went into secondary school in year 7 and 8 by a group of girls, but also in primary school I had a girl I thought was my friend who actually was really manipulative and gross to me and made me lose loads of confidence. I was really scared to go into school for a long time, and my school were crap about dealing with it, but I busied myself with things, like music, studying, family and hobbies. I also started hanging out with better people and then the ones that bullied me stopped bothering me because they saw I didn’t care anymore.

[full-width-figure image=”https://www.ditchthelabel.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/untitled-article-1461322297.jpg”]

 

DtL: What advice would you give to someone who may be experiencing bullying right now?
Girli: My advice would be to anyone going through the same thing to find someone or a group of people in school, whether it’s a counsellor or a schoolmate, who gets you and can help you see that those people don’t matter. You need to find your real friends, because then the people don’t matter anymore.

DtL: If you could go back in time, what one thing would you tell your younger self?
Girli: Chill out, don’t worry so much about school, go out and meet everyone.

DtL: What is it like to be a woman in 2016 and what needs to change?
Girli: It depends where in the world you are. In the West, we have made so much progress but still it’s s&%t. So much change still needs to happen with equal opportunities, sexual safety, the pay gap, the way the media puts pressure and humiliates women; the list is long.

DtL: What advice would you give to young people wanting to get into the music industry?
Girli: Just go out and do it. And f*&! what anyone else says. Write songs about anything, record them at home, put them on the Internet ASAP, then go out and play them to people. Cause a riot.

DtL: What is it about the colour pink?
Girli: No clue. It calms me down and revs me up. 🙂

DtL: What is next for GIRLI?
Girli: Loads of new music, GIRLI.FM 2 (my radio show/ mixtape), and a U.K. tour with my buddy Oscar!!

DtL: Is there anything you would like to add?
Girli: Read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – it’ll change your life !!

 

http://girlimusic.com/

Categories
Gender Quiz

How Sexist Are You? [QUIZ]

How Sexist Are You?

Gender equality is – and quite rightly so – a topic of fierce debate at the moment. At Ditch the Label, we believe that everybody should be a feminist. You might consider yourself completely free from all underlying sexist attitudes, but are you harbouring sexist opinions or beliefs without even realising it? Take our short quiz to find out…

Sexist Ads: Through the Ages

Oh, the glories of being a woman. Cooking. Cleaning. Waiting for your man. And when you find the time, working on that curvaceous figure that everyone craves. Or was it slim figure? We just can’t keep up. Actually, thinking about it, are we smart enough to drive nowadays? What’s the 411 with that?

It seems the idea of what it is to ‘be feminine’ has changed drastically over years. We need to ‘man up’ and ‘stop being so fickle’. And if the adverts of yesteryear are anything to go by, they weren’t opposed to men abusing their wives if they bought the wrong coffee either… But have things really changed? Join us as we compare and contrast the old and new of seriously demeaning, objectifying and sexist ads.

Your body isn’t good enough.
In the 1920’s we were ‘too skinny’…

1920

…Vs. us all being ‘too fat’ in 2015

2015

The 1970’s gave us cars
… that were FINALLY simple enough for a woman to drive. Phew.

1970s

Hey, men! Want to get laid? Buy a car and she’s yours

BMW-2008

Us women and our little lady brains, what are we like eh?

1950's

At least we knew where we belonged back then!

1950's

Under a mans foot, of course!

this-is-a-modern-ad-for-valentino-at-least-the-woman-as-rug-image-was-a-joke

1951-show-her-its-a-mans-world

Or in an abusive relationship?

898f92b1ebdcaa89a84cb6bf16a4eb38

898f92b1ebdcaa89a84cb6bf16a4eb38

But at least our husbands could pre-empt our cleaning desires back in the ‘good old days’

1950s

Oh wait…

today-home-appliances-are-still-the-key-her-heart

The 1950’s showed us coffee-induced domestic violence…

1952

…And Ford India has kept it alive and well

2013

From the 70’s when ‘innocence is sexier than you think.’

1974

This recent ad from Tom Ford. Just. Plain. Weird.

thylane

Apparently masculinity is saving a woman from a gorilla in a river. With your top off.

1950

…Tell that to Brad.

1999

But we’ve consistently understood who our best friend is, right girls?

2007

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For the record, we absolutely detest all of the sexist ads shown on this page. What do they teach us a society? They condition us to see women as objects. As slaves. As submissive. Wake up call: WE’RE NOT. We are equals, believe it or not.