“I Hate Being a Girl”

The number of times I’ve instinctively muttered those words from my mouth is devastating. It started when I was younger because I wasn’t as strong as the boys, and I was taught by all the kids at school that strength is power, and so the tiny little girl I was felt powerless. Then, when I was finally old enough to learn about the birds and the bees, I hated being a girl because my fellow fourth graders spoke of periods like they were some sort of disease and pregnancy like it was painful and horrid rather than beautiful. When the girls started wearing make-up and doing their hair and going on diets, I said I hated being a girl because I didn’t feel like I was as pretty as them, yet I kept trying to look like the models in the magazines because that’s what “girls are supposed to do.” And even as I got older I hated being a girl because of the pressure and emphasis society puts on sex, yet the scandal society brands a girl with for getting pregnant before marriage, like it’s somehow entirely her fault. I’ve said “I hate being a girl” because I hate having to worry about being skinny, about being pretty, and about being what the “boys like.”
This shatters me. Girls and women are powerful, strong, and beautiful. It is in no way fair at all that men are still seen as superior to women. We are fundamentally the same. Today, I am a college student living in a vibrant area of the city. Despite hating early mornings, I get up early to go to the gym because the only other time I can go is after class, and it gets dark by then. I realized the other day that I instinctively change my daily routine to avoid walking outside in the dark. And do you know why that is? Because I am a girl. And society has told us to stay inside when it’s dark and carry pepper-spray at all times, instead of telling our precious little boys not to rape.
Instead of hating being a girl like I’ve spent so many years of my life doing, this makes me hate society. I love being a girl and I hate how society has labeled girls. It’s time for that to change, and it’s time to change our girl’s “I hate being a girl” into “I hate society, and I’m going to change it.”