"You [blank] like a girl" is something that I started hearing in middle school if not earlier. It was a loaded term, meant to insult. You run like a girl, you fight like a girl, you cry like a girl. It was incredibly powerful language that seeped into my brain at a young age and was something I never had the courage to stand up to and say was wrong, even thought inside myself I knew it was demeaning to half the people in the room, whether I was at school, on the playground, at a party, and beyond.
Often I heard bullies using the term as a way to make themselves feel better at someone else's expense. I can't actively remember if I ever let it slip, but if I did, I am sending energetic apologies out into the universe to anyone I may have hurt.
I was lucky to be surrounded by incredibly strong women, mother-figures who defined what being a woman in this world meant. They helped me understand my own mistakes towards women when I was younger, helped reshape my language about women, and for that, I feel blessed. Why? Because I realize so many men and women were never that lucky. They may not have had mentors, parents, uncles, aunts, or grandparents who said hey, "Don't say something is like a girl unless it is featuring the most powerful elements of what it means to be a girl."
While this video was produced by a feminine products maker, I am grateful that this message is getting out. It is powerful to know that at puberty, girls are incredibly susceptible to having their sense of self destroyed. We need empowered girls to become empowered women.
It is our duty to teach boys and girls that "Like A Girl" is a good thing. I want my own son to learn that and I hope he is more able than I was to pass that a long to others.
-Alok Appadurai is co-founder of Fed By Threads, rockin' the mindful lifestyle of ethical fashion, vegetarian food, bicycles, small homes, compassion and being a rad dad!
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