By Jennifer Jacques, GunsAndCurves.com
I wonder when it started. When I was little, my Dad had me shooting archery in the range he made in the basement of our country home. I was good. I had a red Bear bow, just a basic recurve but I could pick off a saltine cracker from a fish hook at 15 yards.
In summer, he would place a balloon in an old tire and put me in between two stacks of bales to create a “blind”, then roll the tire in front of me and I would hit the balloon every time. Both with a gun and my bow.
I shot like a girl and since I shot better than the boys, that phrase never bothered me.
Somewhere along the way, the phrase “like a girl” became an insult, but when I tell my girls (ages 10 and 7) that they shoot or kick or throw like a girl, they beam with delight! So at what age does that phrase become such a gross offense?
My 16 year old son will happily rib me when we’re shooting trap, “Geez Mom, you’re shooting like a girl today!” to which I will promptly step it up a notch and swiftly smoke his score. So now I’ve narrowed it down between the ages of 10 and 16, but why is this still an insult?
Two years ago, the UN declared October 11th as the International Day of the Girl Child to raise awareness about all issues concerning gender inequality. While I am not by any stretch of the definition a feminist, I do encourage my daughters to fight as hard as the boys they are up against in school and in life; not only to compete with them, BUT TO WIN.
My daughters are good at some sports, not so great at others. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses, we can’t be good at everything, right? But what they ARE good at, they often do at leaps and bounds past what the boys their age can do.
My daughter Katie is, like her mama, an excellent shot. She can shoot her compound bow and her .22 at 15 and 30 yards respectively and consistently hit the bullseye. Hell, with my scope on her gun, she can still nail the target out to 200 yards! Obviously, to her, “you shoot like a girl” is a GOOD thing, right?
So if were to keep pointing out great female athletes and role models, do you think “like a girl” would disappear?
Look at the accomplishments of Julie Golob, Mia Anstine and Gabby Franco. What an HONOR and a COMPLIMENT to say you shoot like any one of them!
What about Mia Hamm, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Serena Williams, Dara Torres, Gabby Douglas, Bonnie Blair, or Jennie Finch?
Do you think anyone would ever say Laila Ali hits like a girl? HECK NO, and I pitty the fool who would ever try to say that to her face.
We need to stop looking at the phrase “like a girl” as an insult and keep proving just how good it is to pitch, throw, kick, flip, punch, jump, hit, run and shoot like a girl!