I really like being a girl, female, a woman. I like most things that come with the territory. But it hasn’t always been that way.
When I was younger I was very much a tomboy, and looking back I can see clearly that sexism within society had such a huge impact on me growing up.
I thought everything ‘girlie’ was silly and fickle, while everything masculine was somehow better, cooler.
And although I didn’t realise it at the time, I now know the reason I shunned everything pink was because I believed that to be respected I should be more masculine.
And so I didn’t wear dresses, I didn’t wear makeup, and I bought tshirts from Topman in an effort to be ‘one of the boys’. All while having a keen interest in One Tree Hill and starting to notice boys, which was quite an odd time in my life.
Don’t get me wrong, I still experienced hair mascara, Barry M dazzle dust and sleepovers with my girl friends, but the majority of my late childhood and early teens involved tracksuit bottoms and pretending to find sexist jokes funny so I’d fit in with the boys.
In my 9-5, my department is pretty much all male, and when The Mamaland leaves for maternity in a few weeks, it’ll be basically me and ‘the boys’, on the office floor at least.
(I work in advertising so as you can guess, it’s a v male dominated sector. It’s also not a 9-5 but 9-7 doesn’t have the same ring, does it?)
But I’m no longer ashamed to be female. I’m proud.
I like makeup and nice perfume and talking about the latest reality show in the office kitchen. I like getting glammed up and feeling good about myself. I like Instagram and trying to better my photography, and I like writing on this blog in my spare time. I like glitter and dresses and nice shoes. And I’m okay with that.
It took me a long time to realise that I didn’t need to be “one of the boys”. I’m not a boy. And I can be female, and a woman, without that having any impact on my abilities and worth.
I don’t mind being the one of only girls in the department. I can join in with the ‘banter’ and the rude jokes and the chats about fantasy football. But I can do all that while wearing lipstick, taking Instagram photos, (and pretending not to notice their eyes roll because GIRLS),and the “sorry” apologies when the conversation becomes slightly risqué, as if the ‘would you rather have a willy for a nose or nose for a willy’ chat is so X-rated.
The boys club is fine, but you can keep your membership ta very much.