Stop shaming girls for their interests


Lucinda Costello-Kumfer, Guest Writer

    Why are women always shamed for what they like? Whether it be an interest, hobby, or piece of media, young girls are almost always belittled for expressing a passion for almost anything. 

    Often, young girls will be taught that their interests and passions are inferior to those of men. Men can watch and obsess over typically masculine things, like sports or action movies, without repercussions. But when women show a passion for popular things that are classified as “girly” (think “Twilight” or a boy band), they are stereotyped as dumb and basic.

    When men shout at a television screen about a football team, that is just simply them being passionate about something. But when women scream along to a concert of a band or music artist they really like, they are being hysterical and crazy. 

    “It’s very discouraging because it feels like anytime we like anything it won’t be taken seriously,” Zofia Reed, senior, said. “If we express interest in anything, we will be seen as inferior or like little kids. Bands who typically have young girls as their fanbase are seen as trivial, but if mostly men like them then they are revolutionary.”

    Girls will be depicted as dumb or brainless, simply because of a popular “girly” media they enjoy, whether it be a music artist or movie franchise. That they are simply mindlessly following a crowd. When teenage girls are really into something, society will paint them as obsessive. These stereotypes make it difficult for women to be taken seriously. It also causes them to live in fear of expressing themselves and talking about their interests.

Society has taught us that when women are interested in certain things, they are seen as obsessed and juvenile,” Lucy Rhoades, senior, said. “It makes me feel ashamed of my interests.”

    Often the media itself will also take a hit. Books, bands, movies, etc that have an an audience of primarily teenage girls will often be seen as bad. They are often judged and made fun of for it. Another issue is when girls show an interest in typically masculine interests, like certain sports or video games. When girls show a passion in these types of things, they are told that they are just doing it for attention or that they’re just interested in these things to attract the attention of boys.

    When women show an interest in typically masculine things, they are told to be more feminine or to “act more like a girl.” But when they show an interest in typically feminine things, they are ridiculed. Either way their interests are not taken seriously. Women will also sometimes shame other women for the things they like. Something that has been happening for a while is women claiming to be “not like other girls.” These girls are basically just women who are not interested in stereotypically girly things and use this to bash women who are, basically saying they are better than them. But women who are interested in stereotypically girly things will make fun of women who are interested in more masculine things.

If you like ‘girly’ things, you are seen as a ‘pick-me,’ but if you like other things that are not considered feminine, you are also seen as a ‘pick-me’ and like you are trying to be different,” Lyla Stewart, freshman, said. “You can’t win either way, like you are trying too hard.”

    So when women express an interest in something, instead of making fun of them or dismissing them, we need to listen and take it seriously. We need to treat women who are passionate about “feminine” things the same way that men who are interested in “masculine” things are. We need to stop dismissing popular media that women enjoy. We need to stop stereotyping women who are passionate about things as brainless and obsessive. Women also need to stop spending time bashing each other and come together.