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"Don't be a girl" - really?

(52 Posts)
FunnymalsOnPop Wed 17-Feb-16 12:49:31

I really didn't expect to hear "Don't be a girl" on a kids' tv show, and so I've just sent this email to the Pop TV channel. Will be interesting to hear their response, if I get one at all.

"My son and I were enjoying Funnymals - very funny programme, great voices, loved it. Such a shame then to hear the response to a cormorant who didn't want to play: "Kevin, don't be a girl!"

I'm a girl, I'm good at sport, and I love to play sport. I felt the need to remind my son of that fact, and to remind him that other girls were similarly gifted at all types of sports, and being a wet blanket wasn't a typical trait of the gender.

Disappointing to have to point that out, broke the merriment somewhat. Please remember that as a programme broadcasting to children, you have a responsibility to avoid reinforcing negative stereotypes."

Would you be surprised/disappointed to hear this?

DoesAnyoneReadTheseThings Wed 17-Feb-16 12:58:10

I'd be very disappointed, sadly I wouldn't be surprised. I'd love to know what response you get and I hope it makes them think about this kind of thing.

Brionius Wed 17-Feb-16 12:59:09

Good on you. That would infuriate me!

Fweinds Wed 17-Feb-16 13:00:30

Yanbu to be shocked and to complain.

Yabu to watch Pop, total shite on there. You wouldn't have had to comment about being a girl on CBeebies!!

Fweinds Wed 17-Feb-16 13:01:14

*the comment - not to

ShamefulPlaceMarker Wed 17-Feb-16 13:02:33

I'm with Fwiends

LilacSpunkMonkey Wed 17-Feb-16 13:03:09

I agree with you but you've posted this in AIBU, rather than Feminism, which means you're going to have people coming along telling you that you're making a fuss over nothing, sexist doesn't exist anymore (because they've done well for themselves as a woman so therefore every woman now has equality), feminism is no longer relevant, sexual harassment doesn't exist (because they've never experienced it), etc, etc.

Sadly, too many women dismiss things like this out of hand.

spanky2 Wed 17-Feb-16 13:03:27

Watch annoying orange on kix. He says 'don't be an apple'. Apple is okay, I'm not sure what orange's problem is.

goodnightdarthvader1 Wed 17-Feb-16 13:07:36

What Lilac said with bells on.

That's ridiculous that a kid's show would say that. Appalling.

catsinthecraddle Wed 17-Feb-16 13:31:00

Seriously? I wish people could react about serious issue, not silly things like that. I am female, I use that expression myself.

Have you noticed that Nigeria has now officially banned female genital mutilation? Do you know that girls are still being mutilated in the UK? Why can't people spend time dealing with real issues. Is it because they are not concerned directly?
(even a couple of hours a week given to a charity would help, a lot more than a rant about nothing on here).

uglyswan Wed 17-Feb-16 13:33:29

Ah yes, feminists should care only about FGM. Shame on you, OP!

Birdsgottafly Wed 17-Feb-16 13:36:53

Cats, using 'girl' as an insult, is serious, just as using 'gay' would be.

Or do you think that these 'small' things haven't convinced us that the more abusive/second class treatment of women, is just part of life/justified.

The OP has complained, not just started a thread on it.

RaspberryOverload Wed 17-Feb-16 13:41:24


You're the one being silly. Comments like the one in the OP all feed into sexism. Meaning that actually our society is still sexist enough that the will to deal with the serious stuff like FGM is still somewhat lacking. It's all intertwined.

Only when we finally root out sexism and these attitudes become historic will people really be shocked enough to deal with the serious stuff.

VinceNoirLovesHowardMoon Wed 17-Feb-16 13:42:26

Well done. I just wanted to add my support before the 'don't make a fuss over nothing' posters turn up. You're quite right.

VinceNoirLovesHowardMoon Wed 17-Feb-16 13:42:58

Haha there we go already

WorraLiberty Wed 17-Feb-16 13:45:01

Good for you OP.

It will be interesting to hear the reply.

catsinthecraddle Wed 17-Feb-16 13:46:24

I believe that the biggest disservice you can do to women is trying to pretend they are equal to men. They are not, never have been, never will be. Trying to ignore difference is bringing them down, we would be so much better off recognising the differences and adapting the workplace (for example) to them. Unless you want to start seeing female athletes competing against male ones?

Be consistent, either we are fully equal, or we are not.

The outrage about a jokey comment is really tiring, and frankly silly. When a friend tells me "don't be a girl", it's funny, I don't get offended, I get the point.

AskingForAPal Wed 17-Feb-16 13:50:33

If you use that expression, catsinthecraddle, I suggest you stop it. It's sexist as hell. Roughly as acceptable as "work like a black" would be now (still see that phrase in old books and do a massive double take).

When people said to me "you throw/drive/run like a girl" I taught myself to look them in the eye and say: "What, really well?" Generally works.

SpuriouserAndSpuriouser Wed 17-Feb-16 13:51:43

catsinthecradle caring about small issues and caring about big issues are not mutually exclusive. You can care and act to help with both. And I would argue that casual, "everyday" sexism is what creates a culture where big things like FGM are overlooked. You have to tackle the small along with the big to create equality.
Plus there is a subtle difference between saying that men and women have equal rights, and that they have equal skills and capabilities. Obviously men and women aren't equal in that sense, no one is exactly the same. Everyone has different skills and stuff, we should account for that, as you point out. But men and women and disabled people and LGBT people etc. etc. should have equal rights and equal respect, and that is what is going wrong in the cartoon, the respect is not there.

OP well done for calling them out, you are absolutely right that it is unacceptable.

Helmetbymidnight Wed 17-Feb-16 13:52:05

Well done op.

Iggi999 Wed 17-Feb-16 13:54:12

Glad to see almost everyone thinks this is an issue.

LilacSpunkMonkey Wed 17-Feb-16 13:54:44

So, let me get this straight, sexism is only an issue when it's on a big scale (like fgm) but the little things don't matter?

So, my dd should just suck it up when she encounters low-grade sexism because at least she's not suffering fgm?

I'll just pop off and tell her that, at 14, she's being silly when she challenges remarks like 'stop being such a girl' (as used by her Dad (my ex) to her younger brother when he cries) because it doesn't matter. I'm sure she'll be delighted.

RaspberryOverload Wed 17-Feb-16 13:55:23

catsinthecraddle You're right in that men and women are different.

But the problem is that expressions like "don't be a girl" simply reinforce the sexist idea that women are always going to be worse at something or other than men. It's a very negative comment.

VinceNoirLovesHowardMoon Wed 17-Feb-16 13:58:39

Boys and girls are not the same
Boys tend to be stronger, taller, less body fat and higher testosterone
Girls have female reproductive systems etc
Personality wise, boys and girls aren't inherently different. Society deems that the weaker, softer, more passive and caregiving traits are feminine and reinforce those mercilessly. Such socialisiion harms girls and boys and should be challenged. Telling a boy he shouldn't be like a girl and that girls are rubbish at sport is harmful.

goodnightdarthvader1 Wed 17-Feb-16 14:39:09

catsinthecradle So which is it - that we shouldn't worry about this "non-issue" or that women actually are inherently weaker and therefore crapper at sports? I'm a bit confused about what your (fucking stupid) objection to this very valid thread actually is.

BRB, just need to send cats a PM about everything that happened to me today so that they can tell me what's worth getting my lady brain upset about.

Also, look up #everydaysexism and try to educate yourself.

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