By Debrah Totten
“You kick like a girl!” he hollered out after he tossed the ball on the ground. The soft twimp, twimp, twip of the ball bouncing, crescendoing closer as the rubber red sphere approached. I kicked it as hard as I could, the loud tunk echoing in my ears. The ball sailed up and into another boy's hands on the opposing team. Then he said that phrase that can seemingly hurt anyone. At first, I thought, “Well yeah. That’s because I am one,” before I started to ask myself what that truly meant. Did it mean I was bad? Could it signify that I couldn’t just do it like anyone else? This caused me to realize that the world isn’t fair. Which was fine, I could live with that. The problem was that my gender played a huge role in it. Young boys and girls are universally taught that doing something “like a girl” was not acceptable: It meant they did it in a “sissy” and “weak” manner. It meant that the boys were somehow more capable and “on top,” creating a sexist chain reaction that fuels into itself, not being broken unless we do something and hurting everyone along with it. It begins to bare its teeth, challenging anyone who would dare to change the narrative. I dare to tame the beast. I dare to break the chain. I dare to not be defined and marginalized because I “kick like a girl.”
By Kerstin Randolph
November 2019 Submission of the Month!