Why do people feel so comfortable in what they say to little girls?
For the record, I highly doubt this is strictly a gender issue, but in my experience of having one of each, my daughter receives far more direct comments that shut her down than my son ever did.
As an example, my daughter has been told:
- “Shouldn’t you be finding your parents instead of talking to me about your dance bag?” (said by teenager)
- “I’d rather stick a fork in my eye than go to your dance recital.” (said by adult)
- “I want to play there and you’re gonna move.” (said by kid)
And that’s within the last six months.
I get that marathon recitals and marathon (seemingly insignificant) talks can be much, but how do people decide it’s okay to say these things to her? I haven’t witnessed them all being spoken, but when I have I used the moment to teach her how to handle the situation. And there are times I totally had to set the boundaries myself, “no. she’s not gonna move. and you’re gonna leave.”
In the face of these comments, for the most part she laughs it off (a tactic I use myself) and goes about her way. But there are times that this girl is crying out to be heard. It’s usually when she’s trying to say something and her brother doesn’t want to hear it, because that’s how siblings roll.
But how many times does she NOT cry out, because it’s someone she’s not that close with?
It may seem like it doesn’t hurt, but it does. To me. Here’s my little girl who’s strong, but definitely a free loving spirit and these things are being spoken into her life. Of course, there’s lots of love and care spoken too, but the negativity hangs around. It’s stickier.
So far, these comments don’t seem damaging, but at what point does it become that way? When will that little girl realize what people are saying to her? Or does she already?
Again, I don’t feel this is only a “girl issue” because I’m certain it happens to boys too, but does it really happen as often?
Inquiring minds and all.
Side note: This post was written in the wee hours of the night. Why? Because the dance bag comment was made today (yesterday) and I somehow made the connection between this comment and so many others in my sleep. This realization was strong enough to wake me up. (Those who know me, know that when my body sleeps, it sleeps. The realization was strong on this one.)