Damned if you do, damned if you don’t


(Emily Stull)

By Amelia Sandgren

People really don’t like teenage girls. Growing up, I never considered how my interests would be perceived by other people. As a child, I would wear excessive amounts of makeup or roll around playing football. To me, those two activities weren’t mutually exclusive, but later I realized that I would need to pick one or the other, and either way, I would lose. 

I began thinking about this again when I saw someone pose the question online, “What’s one thing that a girl can do that she won’t get judged for?” Stop and think for a second and you’ll realize there’s nothing. If you enjoy fashion, makeup, or baking, men will say you’re too “girly” and women will condemn you for not being “progressive.” We fought for the right to play with men, so what are you still doing in the kitchen? Except no one likes to mention how preventing women from doing hobbies they enjoy, simply because they are traditionally feminine, is just as oppressive as restricting them to those hobbies in the first place. You aren’t betraying the feminist agenda by doing something that brings you joy, only putting down other women for branching out does that.

And then there’s the same treatment of women who like to play video games or skateboard. Now they are either “too masculine” to be dateable or they are a “pick me girl,” desperate for male attention to the point where they feign interest in male hobbies. But never fear! Everyone will quickly snuff out a “pick me” in disguise. “You like a sports team? Cool! Now name every player on the team, their record, and how far they went in the 2005 Finals.” 

No one is immune. Indie listeners are trying to be quirky, horse riders are weird, opinions make you bossy, and self-confidence is shallow. The summer of 2019 is infamous for their “VSCO girls” whose main prerogative was to wear shell necklaces and protect sea creatures, yet they were picked apart relentlessly. Twilight has it’s issues, but so does Transformers, the difference is one had a female fanbase. 

People still question whether gymnastics, dance, and cheerleading, are real sports despite them being some of the most physically grueling activities played today. 

And yeah, it’s important to be able to take a joke. It’s funny watching someone gallivant around their room like a horse. And not everyone is going to jump at a woman with a 50-question verbal exam the second they are excited to watch the Warriors, but sometimes it’s worth it to take a second and consider that not all women choose their hobbies based on men. Most of the time, we enjoy a certain hobby or activity, because we simply do.