Excuse the punny title, but I couldn’t help myself. Fortunately (or unfortunately…) this post isn’t about sex, at least not the kind you’re thinking of…
Today I want to talk all things gender. I’ve briefly skirted around this issue before, on my last post about why I decided to pursue skateboarding at 23, and as a girl.
For the most part, I’ve seen nothing but support, and the fact I am a ‘girl’ hasn’t really caused me too much animosity. But yesterday, I experienced my first taste of what it is like to have your gender spat in your face, and used as an insult against you, in a male dominated surrounding. It was only one person, out of like fifty, but it got my blood boiling. It’s super lame to let negative comments like that get to you, especially from a guy who is obviously narrow-minded, but it ruined my day and sent me home on slightly less of a high.
What was said isn’t really important, it’s the implications behind what was said- look at that girl even trying, how lame… Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I think if I was at the park, hanging out and flirting with guys and sat on my ass not trying, that would be lame. Instead I’m putting all of my effort into learning new things, I’m falling down and getting cuts and bruises and still giving it my all. If it was a guy doing that, it wouldn’t be lame, it would be encouraged.
I don’t think I’ll ever truly know how real oppression feels. But I know how it feels to be called out because of what’s between my legs, and the stereotypes that come with that.
One of the things I’ve struggled with the most is the fact that I am extremely outwardly a girl. I love fashion and makeup and cute puppies and hot guys in boy-bands. I’m not in any way remotely a ‘tomboy’, so I guess that makes me a target. But so what if I was to wear a cute pair of pants and eye shadow… and then pick up a skateboard and try (and fail) to Ollie?
It’s almost like elementary school playground flirting: be mean to the girl and it’ll get her attention. Thing is though, that doesn’t work. It just makes me feel low.
It annoys me that I can let the stupid comment of one individual make me feel so down on myself, but I think these incidents are important to document. To show that whether you’re at the gym, or in a nightclub or just walking down the street- this stuff still happens.
For the one guy who had to share his negativity with me, there were like 20 other guys who were being supportive and talking to me and teaching me new things. And that’s important too.
I think the take-away though is this: be proud of who you are and what you love. And this time, instead of feeling intimidated and sad about what happened, I’m going to feel even more determined to get better every single day.