So I was reading an article this morning about female athletes at the Olympics challenging the femininity stereotype, and the story in the beginning prompted me to really say, “dafuq?”
Gini Dietrich writes about a time her father took her to the side to scold her for being “unladylike,” because she burped to make her brothers laugh.
This kills me. I can’t imagine a family that is uncomfortable with this. In my house, growing up, a burp was a normal bodily function. My parents warned me about doing it in public (because, ew) but I was never reprimanded for doing it at home. As child-hooligans, my sister and I would take pop cans, drink the carbonated deliciousness, and continue to engage in a burping contest. My father would join in every now and then. We weren’t any less lady because we did this, we were just a little less decent if we did this in public (because, ew.)
Apparently, being sweaty, exercising in public, and weight-lifting are also little nuances that make one less feminine. I don’t know how many girls that complain to me about being fat or wanting to lose weight fast. So I tell them, weight lift! Calories burn and it heightens metabolic rates. But over and over, I hear this, “Ew, I don’t want to be all muscle-y and buff.” Face palm. Face-banged-against-the-wall.
I just don’t get it because I wasn’t raised to be dainty (we all know Mom wasn’t), subservient (we all know Mom wasn’t), or helpless (we all know Mom wasn’t). I was raised to stand up and be heard, I was raised to ask for things (“You will never get what you don’t ask for”), and to be a leader.
These ladies at the Olympics are leaders and they’re damned good ones. Yes- that’s right, they’re definitely ladies. They sweat, they toil, they train, and could certainly kick my ass. And in my eyes, they aren’t any less ladylike for it.
And to be clear, who cares that one of the weight lifters, Holley, is 300lbs? She can lift 600lbs and I’m pretty sure you don’t want to mess with someone like that.