Prior's Field September 2018

Like a Girl

Published Thursday 8th of October 2015 04:22:26 PM

"Like a girl” is a common phrase used to describe both boys and girls but it is often used in a demeaning way, as a comment that has a critical or dismissive tone. It is almost never used as a compliment. Last year Procter and Gamble ran an advertising campaign to challenge this view where they asked 250 people what it meant to do things "like a girl”. Men, women and boys were asked to demonstrate a range of actions like a girl. There was a distinct difference in how they performed according to their ages and gender. Up to the age of 8 the girls really go for it, running as fast and throwing as strongly as they can. When boys, men, teenagers and women were asked to demonstrate running or throwing like a girl they adopted pathetic poses with flailing arms and lack lustre effort. Once girls reach their teens they seem to lose this positive can do attitude. Why should this phrase have a different interpretation according to your age and gender? To be the best you can be is a message that we feel is really important to convey to our girls at Kent College, whether in their day to day life or in their future careers. Of course men are usually better at punching, kicking, throwing, hitting, running because they are generally perceived to be bigger and stronger, and while women are different it doesn’t mean that the female way is inherently worse. Different doesn’t mean bad. What is wrong about crying like a girl or a boy for that matter? Sometimes it takes great courage and compassion to "cry like a girl” and it is nothing to be ashamed of. "You run like a girl” should be a compliment, or a statement of fact. Being a girl doesn’t make us better than boys. But we should stop treating "like a girl” as an insult. Have you ever been told you do something "like a girl” and felt it was a criticism? How do we turn the phrase "like a girl” from a negative to a positive? We do expect our pupils to behave like a girl at Kent College, because they are girls. For us in a single sex environment we can encourage them to embrace new experiences without questioning that their capability to do something well is somehow restricted because of their gender. During their time at Kent College we focus on the girls developing the following attributes: compassion, resilience, kindness, strength of character, determination, persistence and self-confidence. To be a girl who is willing to take risks, experiment and try new things without losing sight of her values. In essence, to be the best you can be in all that you do. Our is belief is that being like a Kent College girl makes things happen in a positive way.
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Kent College Preparatory School, Pembury

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